Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Suitable Machine: Exploring style through storytelling to inform design

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posted on 2021-12-07, 11:48 authored by Kennedy, Ashleigh

The Suitable machine demonstrates how aesthetic change can be made to a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) device, allowing it to suit the visual style of a specified bedroom environment that has been described. Digital data (3D scans) of the CPAP device provided specific measurements allowing a wide variety of aesthetically styled outputs that were tailored to fit. Each suitable to the people, home and machine they are designed for. CPAP devices that are used to treat patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are considered strongly driven by a medical aesthetic. The Suitable Machine explores how CPAP devices, hoses and masks can be housed within these bedroom settings, producing designs to personalise the domestic environment and reduce stigma through the improvement of aesthetic qualities. The research uses Research Through Design (RtD) as a methodology. Background Research, Design Audits and Narratives are used to define the scope and criteria, providing parameters for the research and design outputs. Background research shows both knowledge gaps and bias to a growing dilemma; suitability. Development of the designed outputs makes use of Sketching, 3D Scanning, CAD Modelling, digital Rendering and 3D Printing as methods; producing an experimental indication of what could be possible for the personalisation of medical devices through aesthetic change in domestic environments.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Industrial Design

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Guy, Bernard; Stevens, Ross