Over 10 million people in the world are living with Parkinson’s. Every 9 minutes someone is diagnosed – making it the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world. Even though Parkinson’s was first diagnosed in 1817, there is still no cure.
Most people only know Parkinson’s as the “Shaking-disease”. But Parkinson’s is a complex disease with more than 40 symptoms which always develop differently. Due to a lack of awareness patients are frequently misjudged as being drunk or mentally insane – and often choose to socially isolate themselves. To break this stigma, it’s important that patients share their stories.
As Parkinson’s rarely gets media attention, we needed an innovative concept that would break through the clutter stressing the urge for more understanding and research.
Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)
Together with Charité Berlin, one of Europe’s largest University Hospitals, we launched Printed by Parkinson’s – an art collection created by the first machine affected with a human disease.
We asked six patients to name an object that became difficult to use due to Parkinson’s. Then we recorded their kinetic and neurological data to create 6 unique data sets. Every object was 3D-printed according to the tremor data of each patient – visualising the impact Parkinson's is having on their daily lives.
The collection was launched on World Brain Day and exhibited in Berlin, Online, the stories educated people on the first signs, the progression of the disease and the latest treatments. Today, the collection is permanently exhibited in the Neurology Department at Charité.
Describe the execution (40% of vote)
We believed that the art objects would make the biggest impact if they represented personal stories. So, we 3D-printed each object while only using the personal tremor data of the patient who chose the object. To make the objects true art pieces, we used a filament with 30% real bronze particles.
The collection was launched on World Brain Day and exhibited in Berlin. To attract visitors, we launched a press-release and put up posters throughout the city. At the exhibition we placed educational panels unveiling the stories behind the objects ¬– while interviews with patients and doctors were shown on a screen. A catalogue could be taken home for sharing.
The microsite was the digital centrepiece of the project, educating people online. We developed a package of social media assets to increase traffic via Charité’s social channels.
The final touchpoint is a permanent exhibition in the Neurology Department at Charité.
List the results (20% of vote)
The launch exhibition was visited by hundreds of people from different kinds of fields – from doctors to Parkinson’s patients and art lovers.
The collection was broadcasted during the evening news on national television in Germany. It was published in international health magazines, design blogs, media outlets, and widely shared across the global Parkinson’s community.
The collection was exhibited at Health Conferences – reigniting a global debate on the importance of more understanding and research. Multiple patients from different countries contacted us to ask if they could participate in our project and share their story. This shows that the Printed by Parkinson’s collection created a positive change within the international Parkinson’s community.
And the collection will keep making an impact forever. It’s now permanently exhibited in the Neurology Department at Charité, inspiring all patients and their loved ones to break the stigma, one story at the time.