Have you forgot to wear something today? Your face mask! Since now the air is polluted due to cars an factors, by 2020 the pollution rate will increase and everybody will start using face mask to protect themselves and breathe better. I imagine in 2020 everyone will carry a face mask in their pocket or purse just like carrying their phones daily, so the title is sarcasm about the next generation. Many people who are suffering from breathing fresh air at work or in the street whether they were in Asian countries or working in a lab or construction area have been waiting for this moment. The final product is still in progress but the sketch of the design have been decided on. Blossom Biomedical Design group have worked hard as a team to decided based on four sketches which one would be the best in effectiveness, ventilation, comfort, and reusable materials and will satisfy customers needs. Take a look at the new ecoMask by LBanda, a member of our group, although the mask has not been named by LBanda, yet I chose to name the design for now (not official) this way, “com” for comfort.
Each member of the group had designed and sketched a mask that she think would work the best and will satisfy the needs of the customers. The sketches were based from the customers interview needs. After rating the customers needs and the mask, we decided the best mask will have lowest combined rating numbers. As a group we decided on ecomask due to it effectiveness, ventilation, comfort, and its reusable materials, however since all the 4 sketches looked good, we deiced that from each sketch we will add one product that could make the design better and of course, we will keep in reference of customer needs list.
Since Blossom Biomedical Design group main concerns are the effectiveness of the mask if the heavy particles will get in the lungs, and the ventilation of how much oxygen is getting into the lungs, the group is looking for a mask that has the best quality. Considering myself as one of the customers and as a designer, I would say ventilation is important to consider in making the design because if the customer is unable to breathe normal then there’s a high chance that the customer will not wear it nor use it. Also in considering of designing the mask, the mask will include filter to filter the air, fabric for design, and elastic for holding the mask and not make it slide from the face. Therefore, ecomMask has better quality in effectiveness (not get air particles inside the lungs), ventilation (oxygen and air goes to the lungs), comfort to wear, and has reusable materials.
Before making a design, one must search about the environment of the customers. Surely the mask is specifically for those who suffer breathing unclear air due to air pollution, working in construction or chemical environment. The research will help guide the designers to make the best mask. As I was researching about heavy particles and their sizes so I can find a filter that could prevent small and big particles from getting into the lungs. According to Particle Pollution article in American Lung Association it states that there are very tiny solid and liquid particle that are in the air that we don’t see and can be dangerous like trigger illness, hospitalization, and premature death. The article was helpful for our team when we were deciding over the ranking because two of us were debating over ventilation should come before effectivness, but some of us debated the opposite claiming that without the ability of breathing the mask will not be useful but it is also important to think about the effectiveness of the mask (filter) as one of the priorities in the customer needs list, and test the filter before making the final product. The filter will have small nets so heavy particles will not go through and on top of it we will have a fabric as another layer to add another protection and prevent small particles from getting in the lungs. Because the Blossom Biomedical Design group have looked for materials in stores, they have found good and reusable materials (including filter) that could make the mask. Our next step is to research more, test, and very soon the final design will be done.
“Particle Pollution.” American Lung Association State of the Air 2013. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.