As a graduating Product Design student, I am interested in leadership, art, fashion, and design through creativity, simplicity, aesthetics, and functionality. I enjoy working in teams and creating designs that will touch people's lives.
We all had those times when we felt overwhelmed, mad or sad and didn’t quite know the emotions we were feeling where we needed our space to relax and breathe for a second. Emotions can be complex and as humans, we are feeling around 7000 emotions a day where we categorize them down to 25 certain feelings. Unfortunately, just like neurotypical people, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also feel 7000 emotions a day but aren’t able to categorize or identify them down. This situation causes them to get overwhelmed by their extreme amount of feelings which could be misunderstood by others and it leads the autistic individual to mask in social situations.
The problem is neurotypical people who have an interaction with autistic individuals (educators, medical personals/researchers, family, friends, colleagues, etc.) are unable to easily empathize with these individuals’ way of being in social situations which causes individuals with ASD to hide their true selves.
Due to this situation, it is detected that autistic people have a life expectancy of ten years less than their peers and the number 1 cause of their death is suicide due to masking. My goal to solve this problem is to create a wearable design that will create an emotional empathy system. What led me to solve this problem was when I had the chance to work with people with ASD who studied different kinds of specific talents. For over a year I observed the needs and difficulties these people have encountered and ways how certain things helped them communicate and adapt to the environment they are in. While I was working with them I discovered many different and possible ways of empathy which later seemed to me like a situation that many people need to do.
The EMPHABRACE bracelet is designed to include collected bio-metric data to check daily through the app, as well as having a list of exercises that can help the individual. The user would receive notifications when feeling stressed or overwhelmed and send exercises to manage the individual's current situation. If the collected data still detects overwhelmed and stressed emotions, the product would change its color to warn others to empathize with the autistic individual and let them know that they should give some space to the individual.