conch

september 2017

role // design, coding + manufacturing

why has sneezing always been a socially shameful activity? why is a behavior we can't naturally suppress something we have to apologize for? i've always had a strange-sounding sneeze (mine can sound like a duck quacking) and i started thinking, "how might i reframe the experience of sneezing as something positive, or uplifting?" i started thinking about objects that would be fun to blow a lot of air into. 

introducing conch. a 3D-printed shell that has hidden humidity sensors and LED lights. the more air you blow into it, the more conch comes to life, making the experience of sneezing or breathing delightful and addictive. i realized this was a perfect tool for allergy breath tests, where children find it hard to focus and motivate themselves to breathe as deeply as possible, leading to inaccurate test results.

field notes //

biggest overcome obstacle: experimenting with material properties and thicknesses to achieve desired lighting effects, and designing a compact circuit with multiple sensors to fit into a very small space.