Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a disease characterised by severe and chronic nerve pain in parts of the face. It is classified as a rare disease, currently estimated to reach 1 in every 20,000 individuals; however, it is also considered to be one of the worst diseases as it is an unbearable and incurable affliction. Throughout this studio, we will use a case study of a TN patient to design solutions to improve the everyday life of this nerve pain sufferer. Ultimately, this may inspire solutions that potentially apply to many other individuals with other related conditions.
Because TN effects the face, solutions will be highly visible and will have to take into consideration the social and psychological impacts of wearing something so prominently displayed. Beyond these considerations of style, this solution will need to address several different situations and symptoms: protecting the face from wind, keeping the face warm, warming inhaled air, and fitting comfortably during sleep. Solutions will address any one or all of these elements, and combine both stylistic elements and functional heating elements, while taking into account usability and user interface. Students will use a variety of tools including digital modeling (Rhino, Grasshopper, T-Splines), laser cutting, hand crafting (sewing, molding), and circuit wiring (Arduino controllers, electric heaters).