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Expressions Mask

Trigeminal Neuralgia | Projects

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia is a disease that affects the trigeminal nerve in the face and causes pain in the face. The pain is not always constant, it can be triggered by cold air, warm air, chewing, brushing teeth and many other things. Some treat their Trigeminal Neuralgia with a medication but many wear masks to block wind and keep their face warm. The problem with these masks is that they are often ugly and make it harder for the person to be comfortable in public and social situations. Our goal for this studio was to create a mask that helped show expression and was visually appealing and functional to keep the person’s face warm and blocked from the wind.

    Our mask it made of an under functioning layer and three different designed layers on top. The lower layer has a soft fabric for comfort that is against the face, Wires attached to a low voltage battery for heat and a layer of fabric on top of that to protect the plastic designed layers. The three designs are all unique and fashion forward in their own way. The first design was inspired by petals and by building on. It is made of rectangles straight and in line at the bottom and getting more wild as they go up in a flare on the side of the mask. The second design was inspired by nervous system jewelry. It is made of intricately cut shapes in an interesting design. The third design was inspired by feathers. the feathers are used in a flare at the top and an interesting middle piece. The special part of this mask is how it shows expression. Each design is in three pieces and will attach to the bottom layer with nodes and clips. The pieces were chosen based on what part of the face shows the most expression. There is one on the forehead and nose, the cheek and the chin. When you speak and move your face, the mask will move with it to help show your expression.

    This mask is important because it has the potential to help people living with trigeminal Neuralgia to feel more physically and mentally comfortable with this mask and feel less restricted about expressing who they are.

  • By the end of this studio, we were able to create a cohesive mask that was both stylish and protective to affected areas of the face. During the first few brainstorming sessions for our mask, we all agreed that we wanted our mask to stand out and look unique, rather than be concealed and hid. We experimented with different design techniques, mechanical aspects and style ideas to create a mask that was eye catching and aesthetically pleasing.

        During our first few brainstorming sessions, it was clear that we had a ton of great ideas that ranged from a mask full of feathers, to a mask fit for a halloween party. To organize all of these ideas, Adut, Esther, and I worked to put all of our design ideas into sketches and decide which design ideas we liked the best. After narrowing the sketches down to two, we were able to take elements from each of the sketches and put them into one main sketch.

        When we finally had our basic design idea down, we started prototyping and designing the underlayers of our mask. During the first few days of our project, we had all agreed that including a heating element in the mask would make it that much better.

        When working to create our first iteration, we decided to use a laser cut a thicker type of paper that would be foldable to resemble the shape of the mask. This method was very helpful in seeing what areas of the face that the mask would cover.

    For our second prototype, we used laser cut small to medium sized triangles that would be used on top of a stretchy fabric that would help the mask maintain a sturdy yet moveable appearance. Adut and I experimented with sewing the triangles onto the fabric. This method proved to be tricky and not very successful.

        The next iteration of our mask used a white felt material that had wire surrounding the edges of it and offered a flexible structure to it. We decided that this prototype was very successful in creating a mask that was super comfortable to wear. While this prototype was successful, it wasn’t the prettiest design. To make our mask more appealing, we decided to use this felt and wire prototype as an underlayer that wouldn’t be visible to the outside of our mask.

    We also decided that using layers underneath the mask would be the best solution. After doing multiple brainstorming sessions, we decided that making a outer layer to the mask that would have a cool design would be the best way to go. Since we all had different ideas about how to outer layer of the mask should look, we decided to each create our own version of the mask.

        After each coming up with our own designs for the outer layer of the mask, we realized that we needed to come up with a way that our mask would connect to the other layers of the mask and still be moveable. Yoni came up with nods that would connect at certain parts of the mask and would allow the mask to move along with your facial expressions. We decided to make 4 separate pieces of the mask that would have 1 or 2 nodes attached at each point.

    By the end we created a mask with three sets of attachable pieces and a comfotable understructure that would protect affected areas of the face while being a fashionable accesory.