How did I come about choosing this topic for my thesis, you ask?
I thought long and hard about what I want to do after I graduate with my Master’s Degree in Industrial Design from Rochester Institute of Technology. I have always come to the conclusion that I will design products that will make a difference in the world. Products that will have the chance to better those individuals’ lives that truly require it. It allows me to design products with true meaning and intention. I have always had a great connection with children for as long as I can remember. I love the idea that design can have an impact on them from the beginning of their development that can last for the rest of their lives. So why not choose a group of children who can outwardly benefit from the help?
Children with physical disabilities often work with occupational and physical therapists. The therapists use different techniques and products in order to help the children gain more muscle tone in certain areas, enhancing their range of motion and motor development. These visits can take place at a pediatric center or the child’s home, in which the therapist will bring their equipment with them.
My goal is to create products that children with abnormal muscle tone will have in their homes at all times. Products that they will interact with and use throughout their daily lives that are geared towards helping them develop physically. They will be used by the children without them knowing that they are actually increasing their muscle tone; products that easily fit into their homes and lifestyles. That way, they will be advancing on their own in between therapy sessions in order to compliment what the therapists are working on with them. In addition, it will have an affect on the relationship that they have with their parent/caregiver. The task of strength-training with their child will no longer seem tedious. It will be a time that they look forward to spending with their child.