Pivoting to Fight the Pandemic, Indian universities

As COVID-19 patients overwhelm US hospitals from NYC to New Orleans to Seattle, medical personnel are risking their lives to provide quality care. In the absence of sufficient supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks,

and Auxiliary Services recently donated N95 masks and safety goggles to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“We quickly saw how dire the situation was,” says Wiedenmayer, “and it was glaringly obvious that we had the skills and the passion” to meet the need.

Using the iterative process they honed as RISD students, Coffin and Wiedenmayer are attempting to improve their designs with every batch, beginning by sending multiple prototypes to partner hospitals and asking for feedback.

terms of division of labor, Coffin is handling design, prototyping and printing, while Wiedenmayer is coordinating with hospitals and working with other designers to bring them up to speed.

Hong’s and Muller’s approach to design and production is driven by available resources and the need for inexpensive, reusable face shields that can be easily sanitized on site.

The Velcro strap, Muller explains, can easily be removed and disinfected in a bucket of bleach solution. The Pneuhaus team is also making incremental improvements with each iteration.

“it feels good to do something.” And the Den Den duo concurs, encouraging other alums as well as current RISD students to “get involved and do everything they can to help.” After all, they point out, “Netflix will still be there when this is all over.”

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