I always like to turn my Uni briefs into something personal so when we got a live brief from the RSA about wearable intelligence and wellbeing I knew I wanted to do something close to home.
My classmate Ieva mentioned that the brief did not mention a person or human, I thought about working with my dogs.
Cooper has had lots of help problems and I started to look at designing an early warning system. I thought it would run off of his heart beat, however, it would be tricky to decipher what elevated heart rate was from exercise or stress.
He started having acupuncture around the time of this brief and that got me thinking about alternative treatments.
My old dog Rosie had had dementia and we had to put her to sleep when her symptoms became too bad. She would cry all night and she was so confused it was horrible to watch. This made me look at what we as pet parents could do to ease the suffering of our beloved animals.
Dogs with Dementia can get lost in their own home, cry at nothing, have trouble sleeping, trouble with incontinence and they lose a sense of their own body mass.
I started looking into dog dementia, there is not a lot of information out there, no real treatments. But then there is no real treatment for humans either.
Part of the brief was to design with modern technology, most of the app and health trackers I looked at are for people to keep tabs on their dogs from a distance.
I wanted to design something that made pet parent and animal connect. If your dog is confused you comfort it, no?
looking at harness shapes.
My beautiful girl Bela modelling samples.