Face masks act as a barrier to protect others from becoming infected should the wearer be a carrier of a disease. They also do not necessarily protect the users from airborne pathogens. This becomes a potential safety risk as users are constantly touching their masks which could harbour microorganisms that could lead to self-contamination and therefore, further transmission of diseases. Additionally, this problem becomes much bigger as the reusing of masks tends to be common among mask-wearing.
Introducing MSK-Safe, a cleaning case for your mask which uses the sterilising properties of ultraviolet light to ensure that your mask can be safely reused without the fear of any potential viruses and bacteria.
My project had explored the research question of how can design assist in the safety and sustainability of face masks- a topic which seems relevant now more than ever after the world slowly shifts away from a global economic halt. However, the donning of face masks remains to stay with us as it integrates with the societal norm.
Currently, face masks come in a variety of shapes and sizes all made to serve one purpose: to prevent the spread of droplets to others. Eventually, their form becomes limited and redesigning a mask would only lead to it being placed among other similar mask redesigns thus, a change in direction with my project to ensure the safety of reusing face masks resulting in MSK-Safe.
Developing a product that utilises electrical components was a main concern during its prototype. I had to consider current technological limits, size restrictions, power consumption etc. which I had referred to various existing electrical products to influence the final outcome of the sterilising case. In the end, the case would utilise an LED that emits UV-C light through a quartz filament which would result in the deactivation of microorganisms’ DNA rendering them effectively dead and unable to reproduce thus achieving a sterilising effect on the mask itself.
The colour palette was chosen to show its medical benefits as the aqua green and blue is commonly found in hospital environments thus connoting the feeling of safety and sterilisation. The form was chosen to have an organic shape with a clean and sleek aesthetic to promote health and friendliness. This type of aesthetic was heavily influenced by dentistry instruments as these tools can be frightening for patients briefly, saved for the thick and rounded handles (and friendly colour scheme) that help alleviate the feeling away to give it a more friendly look.