Final year project
Equine Rehabilitation Aid; EquiFlex [Read more]
Horse racing and similar sports have long undergone scrutiny over animal welfare concerns. As it stands, over 6000 horses a year are slaughtered for horse meat with many sources indicating a large majority of these are horses that have been injured as a result of racing.
EquiFlex is a product designed to aid the rehabilitation process for horses after sustaining a fracture or leg injury. The main aim is to reduce the risk of contralateral limb laminitis by ensuring normal weight distribution down both legs can be sustained despite the horse only being able to take a percentage of their weight due to injury. It acts as mechanical support as well as a progress tracker for users. Featuring ROM hinges for vets to select a range of flexion and extension and memory foam doughnut top for even weight distribution reducing the risk of pressure sores.
This product could revolutionise equine post-operative rehabilitation increasing the chances of maximising horse lifespan and quality of life despite injuries that would previously result in euthanasia.
EquiFlex Scenario of Use
Quick storyboard of the context of use for EquiFlex.
This was a saddle design for a live project brief set by Layer design. The brief was to create a gender-neutral product. As a keen cyclist and equestrian, I was already aware of "female" saddles for your bike and some of the issues that using a standard saddle may cause. The equestrian industry as a whole is one of tradition however often this means equipment is poorly designed for gender neutrality. Furthermore, often saddles are shared among riders and horses (particularly on larger yards or riding schools where horses have no single "owner") meaning frequently poorly fitting saddles are used on horses.
Genaue was created as a solution to this problem. Through the use of inflatable bladders, the saddle is a one-size-fits all product allowing adaptability to be at the forefront. This not only means every rider has the maximum comfort whilst in the saddle regardless of gender, but also means the horse's spine can be well looked after leading to happier riders and horses! The central groove accounts for anatomical differences providing ample room and maximum comfort for every user.
Geneue Saddle Exploded View
This image shows the exploded view of the saddle, detailed above. The inflatable bladders are represented in red which ensures the product is adjustable for both horse and rider. The cantilever style tree also reduces the impact on the horses back through the double-layer design.
Geneue; a new generation saddle solution.
Geneue Saddle Bladder Inflating and Deflating
Showing the impact of the inflatable bladders acting down the horse's spine for maximum comfort and adjustability.
Geneue Saddle Scenario Board
Quick storyboard for the context of use for Geneue saddle.
Heat and massage pad that I designed on placement, from initial sketch ideation through to commercial production. This was my first real insight into the entire design and development process which I was able to oversee all the way to pre-production samples which were very exciting! I worked on updating the form and including the heat and massage elements as specified by the Equilibrium team. I resolved the electronics designing all graphics for the product too. This project also gave me vast experience working with suppliers and communicating with overseas manufacturers.
Hare Commission Illustrations
I also work as a freelance artist and designer to sustain myself. These are continuous line drawing illustrations which I have recently used as a print too!
Hannah Mitzi Fielding
I am Hannah; a soon to be graduate in Product Design and Technology (BSc). My goal as a designer is to combine my interest in sustainability, and design for a sustainable future, with my love for art to product beautiful, functional and sustainable products.
My work offers a multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving and design thinking. Having studied fine art A-Level, I have been able to hone a variety of skills for visual communication (including sketching, sculpture/modelling and paint exploration) that allow fast, high energy concept exploration. I thoroughly enjoy combining my background in fine art with the design skills I have acquired and refined throughout my degree to achieve highly resolved design solutions that fulfil real user needs.
I am particularly proud of the commercial product - HotSpot, heat and massage mitt for horse rehabilitation - I designed whilst on placement with equestrian firm, Equilibrium Products, which is now available to buy...and receiving rave reviews from a wide customer base!
Aside from my degree, I love everything outdoors - mainly horses and mountaineering. I am an avid sea kayaker and take any opportunity for a physical challenge, having climbed Kilimanjaro aged 16 followed by London to Paris Bike Ride, Cycling Nottingham to Amsterdam and C2C. I love to get out in the mountains and am looking forward to my upcoming Mountain Leader training expedition.
Final year project
Equine Rehabilitation Aid; EquiFlex
I completed a placement year (2019-2020) with Equilibrium Products Ltd. - a highly respected brand within the equestrian industry endorsed by international and Olympic riders such as William Fox-Pitt, Ben Hobday and Charlotte Dujardin. During my placement, I was able to apply a variety of skills learnt through my experience at Loughborough, to real-life problems and briefs. Although well established, the brand is fairly small (only 7-15 employees) resulting in the opportunity for me to take on significant responsibilities. I worked on a variety of products - from impact protection to electronic rehabilitation products - throughout my placement allowing me to take part in multiple stages of product development and production giving me vast experience in project management. This spread across a variety of design disciplines including initial ideation and sketches, CAD drawings, pattern design and manufacture (textiles), rendering, presentations, low-fidelity prototyping.