Collective Making: Co-Designing 3D Printed Assistive Technologies with Occupational Therapists, Designers, and End-Users

Assist Technol. 2021 Sep 22. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2021.1983070. Online ahead of print.


In this study, we conducted four participatory workshops to facilitate co-designing 12 writing assistive technology (AT) interventions with occupational therapists, industrial designers, and an end-user with physical impairments. We observed participants’ activities during the workshops and held a post-workshop follow-up reflection session where we invited the OTs and the end-user to share their experience about the co-design activities and co-created devices. The study findings revealed characteristics of the clinical-technical-individual co-design contributions that are conducive to the collective making of usable and useful AT prototypes. We propose CoDEA (Codesigning Assistive Technologies), a potential framework that offers to follow four stages of co-experimentation, co-development, co-evaluation, and co-refinement and define specific roles and activities of OT-designer-user in each step to co-design 3D printed ATs successfully. We recommend utilizing a comprehensive approach to co-designing ATs by using prototyping toolkits/3D printing together with a designerly way of thinking to achieve state-of-the-art AT solutions.

PMID:34550049 | DOI:10.1080/10400435.2021.1983070

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