In the tumultuous onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as an industrial designer, I embarked on a mission to address the critical issues of material shortages and the scarcity of N-95 masks. The urgent need for effective protection against the virus prompted a deep exploration into alternative solutions that could provide safety for people facing the shortages.
DEPREE + COVID-19
Amidst the challenges, a beacon of opportunity emerged – the realm of readily available personal protection equipment. Recognizing the potential to utilize materials not under shortage, I delved into the exploration of innovative possibilities. It was during this journey that I stumbled upon the remarkable efficacy of Sterilization Paper as a filter medium, surpassing even the stringent standards set by N-95 masks. The simplicity of this material, coupled with button elastic and a streamlined design, presented a promising avenue to safeguard lives.
The quest for inclusivity led to the development of diverse prototypes, ensuring that the mask could effectively accommodate faces of all sizes – from children to those with larger facial dimensions. The design evolution culminated in a simple 3-part structure that securely sealed the filter medium to the mask interface. A stroke of accessibility genius was the incorporation of a circular size, compatible with round cotton pads commonly used for makeup and nail polish. This strategic decision ensured the functionality of the mask even in the absence of Sterilization Paper, promoting widespread accessibility.
The success of this project lies not only in its efficacy but also in its minimal tooling requirements, utilization of accessible materials, and intuitive design. The mask seamlessly conformed to a vast range of face shapes and sizes, emphasizing adaptability and effectiveness. This endeavor epitomizes the power of design to address pressing challenges with innovation, accessibility, and a commitment to saving lives during unprecedented times.