During the very uncertain beginnings of COVID-19 I volunteered to help design a ventilator which could be made extremely quickly, at a low budget, and used in emergency situations. Lots of ventilators were coming out of deep storage during this time to varied successes, and lots of less fortunate areas barely had access to ventilators at all in a desperate time.
At the time, my full-time contract in-house design-engineering gig for a medical start-up (heart monitors and defibrillators) had just sent everyone home for an unspecified amount of time. I was scared, essentially jobless, and wanted to see if I could help out.
After several meetings with respiratory therapists, ICU nurses, and engineers... and lots of unpaid CAD time later, my design direction became the goal for this project. Some time later, a prototype of the same design landed in the Design & Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics exhibit in The Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York City.
The exhibit has been running since December 2021 and will be on display till February 23rd, 2023.