When embarking on which materials I should be using for my work, multiple people pointed me in the direction of ‘Plush Microbes’. These are cute and cuddly toys that are designed on diseases. These diseases range from the common cold, sexually transmitted diseases, cells and much more. They’re created in a way that depicts them as characters and are labelled ‘humorous, educational, collectable and fun’.
I found these ever so interesting when I looked into them. Given they aren’t something I would design myself in that way, but they’re definitely functional; perfect for educational reasons, especially for children and students. They’re equally as humorous also, there’s something funny about cuddling up to a toy that is in fact, chlamydia!
I can see why a range of people suggested me to look into these microbes, as they function in the same way that I hoped my own work to function. Working with bright and encouraging colours and by giving these diseases character and value, they become a talking to which then leads to learning, educating and developing a better understanding to the diseases they are designed around. Here are some examples, and out of curiosity I picked out the cancer plushy in order to see how they had approached the subject: