Meet Desiree Riny, this month's community spotlight, who participated as a Maker in our September Melbourne Makeathon. Desiree is an Industrial Designer who has been involved with TOM since 2019. Straight after graduating in 2018 with an Honor's degree in Industrial design from RMIT, she was looking to apply herself to as many opportunities as possible in the field of medical design.
Image description: Black and white headshot of Desiree smiling
How did you hear about the TOM: Melbourne Makeathon? In 2019, I had an amazing opportunity to work alongside a team of medical experts and engineers to help co-design a custom exercise machine for Mary Henley Collopy. Mary, who is now Need-Knower Ambassador for TOM: Melbourne, was our Need-Knower at the time. Our team developed a custom apparatus to enable her to undertake regular resistance and whole body exercise. What was your experience participating in the 2022 TOM: Melbourne Makeathon? My experience as a Maker is always amazing. I believe volunteering for TOM: Melbourne as a Maker, and developing affordable assistive devices, has allowed me to use my skills to make a difference to a world that needs innovative healthcare solutions for everyday people with needs. It is great that TOM: Melbourne not only answers the needs of one individual, but a community of others who may be experiencing a similar problem, through releasing the product via open source files and sharing it digitally amongst a global community, therefore enabling someone else to produce or re-design the product for their own needs. You get to return someone's ability to simply enjoy life again, through a solution that allows them to execute everyday tasks more easily and independently. What team were you a part of? What was the challenge – and what was your role in the team? I was a part of Team Access Inc! Our challenge was to develop a jig for our Need-Knower, Guy, which enabled him to keep a cooking bowl stationary, whilst he mixed ingredients. My role was to oversee the product management progress, set the product vision and strategy, lead the team from product conception through to the final MVP and ensure the final design fulfilled our Need-Knower's needs. What are your top takeaways from your Makeathon experience and would you recommend it to others? Just have fun! It may feel a little overwhelming at the start when volunteering for the event, but as soon as you assemble as a team on the day everything seems to fall together in place. Just dive straight into the problem, ask a lot of questions with your Need-Knower and use each other's skills to help get through the problem.