• Nebulizer design challenge.

    When the theme popped up in Instagram for "Weekly Design Challenge", "Nebulizer," I was interested by the fantastic sci-fi sounding name- that of some sort of fututistic weapon that can send your enemy into another dimension? I had no idea. Upon doing research, I discovered that it is a medical device to help people with breathing problems. Of course, the medical world has all sorts of devices that are an essential part of people's lives- without them they will die. And, as is common, the devices are cold, cheap in appearance, straightforward and unimaginative as they are focused on function.

    I almost balked at participating in the challenge, but that's not very sporting! Putting myself in the shoes of the user of the product, I felt an empathy for people who use medical devices regularly. Why would you want an ugly piece of industrial plastic littering the bedside table, your office desk, the coffee table? If this is a part of one's life, why not make it pleasant in appearance? As a functional container of sorts, there's no reason it can't have the style of a humidor or a watch winder box. The style can take many forms, depending on budget, I tackled the upper end of the market, showing what can be done. Resin compound aggregate in weighty onyx appearance for the main unit so that it won't accidentally fall off a table and establish a feeling of quality, burnished steel framing in contrast and an element of artistry, pulling away from cold manufactured product and leaning into sculpture. The art nouveau themed box was the first direction, but a new motif of angles and clean simplicity was better.

    As with an countertop appliance, a large part of the market would pay more for a toaster that does the same thing as the cheapest toaster made just so it is enjoyable to look at. Quality materials that feel good- avoiding bendy thin-walled plastic is key. As a non-disposable product, much like a refrigerator, finishes that can be maintained and resist damage bolster the value.

    In the final design, the mask and drug capsules can be stored out of sight under the hinged lid.

    Of course, even those who cannot afford the high end nebulizer should also be able to have a beautiful, interesting device- how would you solve that challenge?