Whipsaw designs to improve the human condition
In this year’s edition of Time Space Existence, experimental proposals suggest new ways of living and invite us to reflect on our existence that is redefined by a contemporary perception of time and interaction in both virtual and physical spaces.
Nowadays like never before, practitioners in the architecture and design fields are forced to reconsider public and private spaces and develop new products for our overall well being. The Covid-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need of a holistic approach for rethinking and redesigning our relationship with our surroundings, each other, and all living organisms.
In this year’s edition of Time Space Existence, experimental proposals suggest new ways of living and invite us to reflect on our existence that is redefined by a contemporary perception of time and interaction in both virtual and physical spaces. Many designers working in the Health and Wellness sectors exhibit projects and products that can help better our lives in different ways, starting from our homes.
Design firm Whipsaw is currently showcasing a few of their recent projects that demonstrate this urgent call to action. The company chose to feature projects that reflect how good design can improve the human condition in big and small ways. To find out more about what Whipsaw has on display at Palazzo Mora, we interviewed Dan Harden, CEO and Principal Designer, an active creative force and luminary in the design world.
How do your projects respond to the concepts of Time, Space and Existence?
These six projects were selected from our recent portfolio to demonstrate good examples of “time, space, and existence.” Each project had an ingredient of time as an essential part of its functionality; each had to merge into a unique spatial condition; and each needed to earn its right to exist by providing true value to the human condition.
- Ceribell is a portable electroencephalogram that can diagnose a seizure in less than six minutes.
- MyZone defines a space perimeter, whether for social distancing or alerting a safety zone.
- KoniKore instantly protects our own existence by detecting organic compounds, such as explosives in an airport or disease lurking in the air in a hospital.
- KODA is a robot guard dog intended to monitor spaces and protect our existence.
- Servi is a food service robot that smoothly navigates around any obstacle in a restaurant environment and delivers food in a hurry.
- Tonal is a home gym that uses digital weights (an electric motor controlled by software) and hangs elegantly on any wall. Tonal highlights every element of time, space, and existence: It allows you to have a complete gym experience in any area of your home to get in shape fast, thus ensuring your own existence.
MyZone by Whipsaw
Koniku Konikore by Whipsaw
Servi by Whipsaw
How do you think design can improve our health and wellness?
Our health is perhaps our greatest gift, but it depends on frequent maintenance in the form of diet, exercise, sleep, and medical checkups. When your health deteriorates, you need treatment, a change in behavior, and care. How maintenance, treatment, and care are offered and delivered is where design comes in. For example, design can take the form of an exercise machine like Tonal that keeps you healthy; an innovative surgical tool that heals you; or a more intuitive software platform that helps you understand and improve your condition. The highest purpose of Design is to solve problems, and one’s health and wellness are perhaps the most important benefactor of good, problem-solving design. Design can have a direct impact on the betterment of one’s life, and in some cases, even save it.
Tonal Strength Training System by Whipsaw
How did KODA, the robotic dog, come about?
During the last several years, our client KODA made remarkable strides in developing its robotic technology. They had two primary focus areas: 1) generating lifelike motion that could closely simulate a dog’s movement and behavior, and 2) incorporating blockchain technology that would allow all Cloud-connected KODA dogs around the world to learn from one another in order to improve each individual robot’s performance. (Kind of like how a real pack of dogs learn from one another.)
KODA’s unique innovations in these two areas suggested there was an opportunity to create a new kind of dog robot that could be a companion, a guard dog, or a research platform. KODA the company realized they needed a great hardware design solution to house the technology and to make it interesting and desirable to end-users. This is when Whipsaw got involved. During the next year, we embarked on a rigorous design program to bring KODA to life.
Could you tell us more about how Ceribell EEG can provide value to the human condition?
The Ceribell Rapid Response EEG is a portable electroencephalogram used in hospitals by nurses and doctors to quickly monitor brain activity and to detect dangerous subconscious seizures. It receives signals from a patient’s brain within six minutes of unboxing. Traditional EEG machines are large, expensive, and difficult to use. Ceribell consists of a compact and lightweight headband and controller. This portability means that Ceribell can be used within minutes of a patient’s arrival at a hospital, which is the critical opportunity to save a life. In addition to its portability, Ceribell’s biggest benefit is that it turns electronic brain wave signals into sound patterns, so that any nurse can hear when a seizure is happening, instead of waiting for a neurologist to decode signals. Ceribell is now in use in most US hospitals.
Ceribell is the most novel invention since the original electroencephalogram was invented in 1924. Conventionally big and expensive EEGs take over an hour to set up, and the process is uncomfortable for the patient since one’s scalp is shaved before electrodes are attached with gel. What’s more, a neurologist is the only one trained to use them. On the contrary, Ceribell is compact, light, and portable, which means it goes to the patient instead of the patient going to the EEG. It also takes just minutes to get a brainwave reading compared to one hour.
Healthcare is a major societal problem that benefits greatly from innovation. There is no higher calling in our field of Design than to improve or save lives. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Ceribell is that it can save one’s life. Many seizures happen when a patient is unconscious without showing any physical symptoms. These seizures can cause severe brain damage if they’re not caught in time. Doctors and nurses do not routinely hook up a patient to an EEG because it’s difficult and time-consuming. If a patient is admitted to an ER and is susceptible to a seizure, like after a heart attack for example, a nurse can now quickly apply the Ceribell system to monitor that patient’s brain activity and hence, save their life.
Whipsaw is a highly acclaimed product design and experience innovation company in Silicon Valley specializing in industrial design, digital design, and the engineering of products and experiences. They strive to create smart, unique, and intuitive solutions that profoundly connect with users on both rational and emotional levels.
You can find out more about Whipsaw’s design values and ethics by listening to their podcast PRISM. Just like a glass prism that reveals the colors hidden inside white light, this podcast uncovers the true vision, purpose, and people behind the innovations that impact our world.
Text and Interview by Whipsaw and ECC Team.