Steph Fulke

Can You Stick It?
Young men and compliance with medication.
How can young men, with severe allergies, get fast access to adrenaline?

It is estimated by ‘The anaphylaxis Campaign’ that severe allergies known as anaphylaxis causes 10 to 20 deaths per year. A disturbing number of deaths epically when approximately 500,000 people in Britain will have a food allergy; of which 250,000 are children and half of them will be young men. These reactions are usually caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers. Auto injectors, are a fast and are the first-line source for treatment. Although doesn’t cure their reaction it will stabilizes their condition providing time to get the patient to the hospital. Whenever a reaction is triggered there will only be a few sections for the reaction to becomes lethal.

This project has been focused on young males as it has been observed that they will carry their emergency pack much less than women. This project specifically targets young men aged 14-25 years, as this is they typical age in which youth become very rebellious and non-compliant with most things… one of which being medication. To get young men to carry their auto injectors clinicians and parents continuously re-iterating the needs and concerns of having to carry their pen. This is become too much of a habit, disinteresting for the young males and highlights the need for alternative methods.

“They don’t want to be bound down by their allergies”
Professor Sara Marshall, advisory expert for this research project.

The aim of the project is to design either an easily integrative product, product services system or service that would in round about way encourage young men to carry their epi pens in order to for them to comply with their medication. To achieve this aim I will find out why and when young men don’t/do carry their auto injectors. This project is not directly about getting young men to carry their epi pens but about making a better quality of life, easier and safer ways of living and understanding how design can be used for these reasons.

“People are disabled by the society they live in, not directly my their impairment.”
Professor Graham Pullin, author of design meets disability.
By using design research methods such as cultural probes I will try to understand new social environment experiences away from home in which the participants feel vulnerable in new and uncontrollable situations. I will also conduct interviews to discuss with the young men to: gather as many personal stories to use as influences and identifying theme or reasons; discuss their feelings, opinions, relationships they have towards their auto-injectors and compliance with medication and teenage trends; as well as who or what are their greatest reminders. I will observe how parents pass responsibilities onto their children. I am planning to conduct experiential workshops to see: the problem from many points of view, to understand new social environment experiences. Aside from this I will also conduct alternative craft workshops in order to understand: how would young men personally like to identify themselves or something they would like to use; to understand what object young men would choose if they had designed it themselves and the reasons behind it.
The outcome of this project is to improve the quality of life and living, for people with serve allergies. To build up those individuals self-confidence, self-governance and improve their sociability, which would prevent further tragedies.
Medical product present themselves as a challenge often because of their attached stigma, which prevents people from carrying their emergency or life saving equipment. Although unappealing and undesirable to most there are a few fascinating medical products that aren’t perceived as discrimination due to design. This would become an exploration into how medical products are often used confidentially and become very personal to the user/owner. From a holistic point of view this new found knowledge we could apply this to other health related services such as: contraception usages, inhalers, diabetic tablets and pens etc.

Word cloud: accessibility, young men, epi pen, adrealine, emergency, portability, transportation, design

Newell, A. 2003. Inclusive Design or Assistive. In: Inclusive Design- Design for the whole population. Eds, 2003 Clackson.J, Coleman.R, Keates.S, Lebbon.C. pp 172-181.

Craftspace, 2003. Designing for Access – young disabled people as active participants influencing design processes. [Report] MONTH, YEAR. Ed. Buckley.D, Fennell.J, Figueiredo.D.

Hocking.C, 1999. Funcation or feelings:Factors in abandonment of assistive devices. Technology and Disability, 11/1, p3

Pullin.G. 2009. Design meets disability. United states of America: MIT Press.

Ross, A. 2009. The Bone Project. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 December 2011]

Goldsmiths. 2012. Biojewellery. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 December 2011]

N. Akeson, A. Worth and A. Sheikh, 2007. The psychosocial impact of anaphylaxis on young people and their parents. [Original paper]. Available through: Blackwell Publishing Ltd [Accessed 22 December 2011]

Hill, A. 2010. Sharp rise in number of people with fatal allergies. The Guardian, The Observer. 14 Feb 2010. Available at: [Accessed 19 December 2011]

Anaphylaxis Campaign. 2010. Anaphylaxis Campaign. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 December 2011]

ALK-Abelló Ltd. 2010. Life line. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 December 2011]

McGuirk, J. 2011. UP, the braclet with a healthy app-etite for your lifestyle. The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 16 December 2011]

Behar, Y. 2012. Fuse Project. [online] Available at [Accessed 16 December]

My name is Stephanie Fulke. I am currently studying a Masters of Service Design at Duncan of Jordanstone Collage of Art and Design. I am a curious individual who loves asking questions and encouraging others to experience the enjoyment of asking as well.

I have previously done an undergraduate in product design. The reason I love to design is because I love working with people who inspirer me and I believe that service design brings me closer to people. I am a huge design thinker and love learning about all aspects of design. I have other interests in graphic design, illustration, visualisation, screen printing and craft.



2 Responses to Steph Fulke

  1. Ashley says:

    Hey Steph,

    This sounds a really challenging project in some ways, as you are dealing with changing a mindset and acceptance. But that is the most rewarding projects in many ways, as your investigations will highlight and throw up new and innovative ways to approach this problem.

    I think we have similar elements in our projects – and I would happily discuss any information I find which may be relevant to you.

    Sounds like a great choice!

  2. Hi Steph,
    As Ashley said, this sounds like a challenge! I think the fact that you have already considered the project from different perspectives is really positive and this approach will benefit you as the project goes on. e.g It may be worth looking at why females carry epi pens as well as why males don’t.How do you intend to identify people with Anaphylaxis?
    Really interested to see where you go with this project!

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