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hyperbaric chamber wsod project

Building a Portable Hyperbaric Chamber at the KPU’s Wilson School of Design


* This video was filmed in 2019 prior to COVID-19 *

The Hyperbaric Chamber Project was a third-year Product Design group project that spanned 9 weeks and saw students through the creation of a personal hyperbaric chamber. The students went beyond their classroom and workshops by talking to industry members which included Elizabeth “Liz” Rose, the youngest Canadian to climb the Seven Summits who shared her experience with the students and gave them feedback during their project. This video was made possible by the funding from Future Skills Centre via Research Impact Canada.

We would also like to acknowledge the following people for their contribution and support of this project:

Elizabeth Rose (Author and Canadian Mountaineer),

Capt. Chris Dare (CAF Officer, Canadian Mountaineer),

Dr. Sanja Savic (President and Safety Director,

BaroMedical Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic),

Maxim de Jong (Founder and President, Thin Red Line Aerospace),

Wendell Uglene (Manager of Research and Technology, Mustang Survival Corporation),

Dr. Anthony Chahal (President, Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine, Emergency Medicine Expert),

Dr. Steven Roy (High Altitude Medicine Expert, Remote Medical Trainer, Wilderness MD), and

Sue Fairburn (Professor, Wilson School of Design).

Additional thanks to Alex Biem of Tangible Interactions, Klause Kallesøe of BaroMedical, and Stephanie Flynn from KPU physics department


Transcript Below

With design in general we like to talk about ebbing and flowing so first expanding your understanding of a project doing research reaching out to sources you may never have thought of and ideating and ideating and ideating and ideating some more. Product design is probably one of those terms that people get confused by they think okay do you design cars do you design packaging and the reality is that product design right now is quite a broad term and quite a general term. There's a lot happening in the world today. Climate change we're aware of. We also have this desire to do adventure recreation we also tend to take on new occupations and some of those occupations whether it's recycling e-waste some of those situations are unfamiliar and they aren't situations we've designed for before.

In this program we try to define what we need to do to understand those environments and then we look at how to design equipment that protects people. The hyperbaric chamber project is a third year product design group project done over the course of nine weeks that involves rapid prototyping ideation, conversation with industry experts, as well as production of a full-scale working prototype. It's actually a device that someone takes to height so if they're climbing Everest or any other summits they're always at risk of low oxygen they need a device that can simulate bringing them down.

The students identified this as an opportunity to design something that's lighter weight to design something that more people could access so that they could more safely climb and summit some of these great adventures that we all seek.

Hey this is Liz Rose. It's May 23rd at 11 a.m and I'm on top of Everest.

I've actually had altitude sickness several times not extreme amounts but enough that one of these bags would have been helpful. For someone like Elizabeth Rose who's a young climber accomplished mountaineer she recently completed the seven summits and she was really instrumental in sharing some of that experience with her students.

I came in at the early stages and saw a PowerPoint that the students did and all their ideas for the project and I asked them some questions and gave them my feedback with through my experiences in the mountains.

Within product design we are so lucky to have many opportunities to work with industry outside of the classroom and the workshops we weren't just cutting fabric and tracing paper but we were able to go out and speak with those who are most familiar with the industry that we're working within we're able to get specific knowledge that you can't find online or in journals or reports.

Research is a big part of it so they'll visit various sites so we try to ground their experience in people who are actually building these objects.

I think it's probably one of the most exciting programs because it's for diggers it's for people with ideas and it's for people who want to make things come to life to address some of the challenges that they see in a day-to-day.