MU students unveil creative projects at Design Show

Final-year students Andrew Meehan and Laney Hyland pictured with their projects at the show.
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 - 10:00

Student designers at Maynooth University showcased a wide range of innovative projects, designed to address unmet human needs, at Come into Focus, the Product Design and Innovation Degree Show which ran on campus over the bank holiday weekend.

The end-of-year show took place from May 31 to June 4 and featured projects from 24 students in the final year of the BSc Product Design and Innovation degree. It highlighted designs to address user needs across a wide range of areas such as accessible living, the environment, industry, health, and medical devices. 

Among the products featured in the showcase were two by students who received HSE Spark Innovation grants of €1,000 to develop medical prototypes to aid patient recovery.

Andrew Meehan designed Curo to provide active physio during a fracture recovery. The product has built-in electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to help reduce muscle atrophy in damaged limbs by pulsing the muscles to keep them engaged during the recovery process. It has an accompanying app that allows patients to view their progress day to day. Andrew was named in the Top 10 in this year’s Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Laney Hyland, a top 10 finalist in the international RSA Student Awards this year, showed her product, Connect, a self-assisted rehabilitation system that offers patients a user-controlled recovery. It uses interchangeable resistance bands so patients can assess and build strength before surgery, and then can track progress through a colour-coded system after surgery.
Other notable products included Fatimah Wan’s Miru (pictured below), a way for people to embrace their natural skin colour by using AI technology and colour theory. By streamlining the foundation selection process, MIRU saves the user time from looking through multiple foundation ranges and money from buying the wrong shade,. By finding a complimentary colour pallet, the user can wear and shop for clothes better suited for their skin colour. It is aimed at makeup artists and beauty stores as a service they can provide to their customers. 

Eoin Conlon’s Air Locker (pictured below), a clothing cabinet, aims to revolutionise eczema, allergy and asthma management by using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration, steam technology and UVC light to thoroughly clean clothes. This treatment method eliminates contact with irritants, allergens and bacteria on clothing and refreshes garments by removing odour and wrinkles.

Other products include a wireless CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device for sleep apnoea patients, designed by Clint de Jesus, an equine therapy rug designed by Eline de Vries and Conor Raleigh’s Ace, a personal opponent and ‘ball boy’ to help people practice tennis individually.
According to Dr Frank Devitt, who led the Final Year Major Project module: “It has been fascinating to follow these projects over eight months since first encountering the broad themes described in the 2023-24 RSA Student Design Awards competition last September. The RSA’s five themes were: AI, Flourishing Places, In your Skin, Caring Culture, Made Natural.”
“The students individually chose inspiration from one or a combination of the five themes of the competition. They then took their design project from there, through detailed research, investigation, ideation and conceptualisation on to full concept development, testing, visualisation, prototyping and costing, during which they followed our in-house design process of Audit, Research, Reframe, Ideate, Validate, Execute (ARRIVE).”
The Degree Show aims to demonstrate the rigour involved in the creation of products that respond to an unmet human need. It is an integral part of the BSc Product Design and Innovation degree, which provides graduates with the foundations, skills and creative confidence they need to become empathetic designers.