I am a Product Design graduate from Edinburgh Napier University who is passionate about using the power of design to solve environmental and social issues and to help improve the lives of people around the world. I like to make products that delight people, that bring joy when they are used, and can create an emotional response within the User. I was introduced to Makey Makey in a coding beginners class last year and loved all the doors it opened up in making creative projects.
At the time I was working on this project last year, international women’s day was right around the corner, and I decided I wanted to make a project that would address this challenge:
Design a music audio player that would also empower women.
There are thousands of women around the world who are congenital amputees, or have malformed upper limbs or limited upper limb mobility. These women may rely on their feet to do many tasks or they require assistance from another person. I met a woman with one of these conditions a few years ago, and she stayed in my mind throughout this project and helped inspire this.
In my research on inclusive products that relied primarily on feet, I noticed that there were very limited options on the market and no current option for an on the go audio music player that I could find.
I designed this product to be an inclusive design, to make it easy to control your own music on the go, whatever your are doing with your feet, and to make it fun and fashionable and appealing to any woman with comfortable foot mobility.
I just completed my final year project “SoulMats” which you can view at my virtual university degree show here: @21degrees_napier. I designed a modular camping mat made with recycled materials and a collection of accessories that would make it adapt to the Users needs and adventures with a focus on survival, comfort, and convenience. With each of these products sold they would fund providing them for free to people living on the streets.
Homelessness is a massive worldwide problem that is complex and can’t be solved overnight, and every year hundreds of homeless people die on the streets in the UK. SoulMats are designed to support the survival, health, and well-being of people living on the streets until their situation can be improved.
SoulMats also have the potential to provide aid in natural disaster relief and the refugee crisis as well as aiding the homelessness crisis.
Follow Rhianna on Instagram @rhianna_parry.design