Preserving Human Dignity :
PT. II ONE-HANDED CONDOM
This second part of the project focusing on how indignity manifests itself; moving on from childhood to look at young adulthood and sexual maturity. Again, considering the challenges a Hemiplegic faces at this particular period in their life a second intervention was created to help combat feelings of angst and boost a persons confidence during what is essentially a make or break moment.

Childhood Hemiplegia is a condition affecting one side of the body with semi-paralysis symptoms similar to that of a stroke. It is caused by damage to the brain which can make simple tasks we take for granted suprisingly difficult.

An involuntary contraction and twisting of muscles. This has very obvious physical effects, limiting funcition, dexterity, manipulation and a general numbing of the senses in the affected side.
Mental effects include the ability to sequence information, crossing the midline of their body to their affected side, and a lack of understanding/comprehension of social situations particularly when entering new social groups, which can result in low self asteem.
A numbed 'Hemi Half' means Hemiplegics struggle to gain feedback of their actions within an environment and fail to obtain the sense of spacial awareness we take for granted. The interlinking of hands and feet is a small but vital experience teaching the beginnings of interaction.
HAND DISTONIA:
PROCESSING:
SPATIAL FEEDBACK:

"I HAVE FOUND WAYS TO HACK MANY ROUTINE TASKS BUT OPENING A CONDOM REMAINS CHALLENGING. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO USE TEETH AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN WEIRD TO ASK HER."

(Hemiplegic) Male. 19yrs

UNWRAPPING A
CONDOM:
At a time when you perhaps want a moment to run as smoothly as possible, unwrapping a condom can be a stressful, distractul experience. Using two hands poses a challenging enough pain point, having only the full use of one hand makes this task nearly relatively impossible.With increasing feelings of awkwardness between partners and the added pressure from surrounding social groups, this activity can cause surprising distress and embarrassment.
SOLUTION:
ONE-HANDED WRAPPER:

This condom addresses the need for newly sexually active young adults to avoid embarrassment when trying to don a 'dom. A one-handed wrapper easily opened, boosting feelings of confidence allowing the individual to perform and sustain a mood without the awkward distraction of a difficult wrapper; particularly when limited to using one hand. A durable outer foil layer with perforated design protects the thin inner sealed plastic membrane which preserves the condom itself. The design uses a one-handed finger snapping action to exert enough force to break through both layers, revealing the condom and forcing it to slide out of the wrapper between finger and thumb.

INTERACTIVE TESTING:

Testing the condom wrapper was relatively easy to co-ordinate. Feedback was positive with users generally surprised at the ease of opening; at first many were unsure of how intuitive it would be but upon attempting it they felt reasured and enjoyed the finger-snap un-wrap.

The wrapper has been designed to exploit the moment of opening, trying to make it as smooth in real life as the rose tinted vision in your head. The design of the new wrapper focuses on the gesture of opening and how this can add charm to the action. a finger-snap un-wrap turns what would otherwise be a negative mundane experience into something that is positive and captivating in a way; a mood enhancing tool and next generation contraceptive experience.

ONE-HANDED WRAPPER::

These interventions are driven by detail and an appreciation of situation in response to embarrassing awkward feelings people experience due to the hindrance of a condition. They are a manifestation of a situation we might all face in some way at some point in time, the difference being these problems are more acute for Hemiplegics.

They are a demonstration of the application of design thinking on un-explored areas of people lives. Throughout the research there have been many other opportunities identified where the same value could be added. The intervention enables a behaviour making it easier to do things we all perhaps take for granted, and they remove the opportunity for indignity to arise.




PRESS:

One-handed condom wrapper has been exhibited across Europe's most prestigious design shows, it has featured in magazines such as Wired, Fast Company, Core77, Dezeen, Cosmopolitan, It's Nice That, PSFK and others. It has been been broadcast across media channels including the BBC, ITV and French5 and throughout local and national nespapers.


© 2011 BEN PAWLE