Face Mask Challenge

The Face Mask Challenge is an opportunity for students to engage in an interdisciplinary experience in which they are confronted to the complex issue of designing face masks to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. An interview with filtration expert Dr. Ali Balhoul explains the multiple complexities around the issue.

During this eight-week challenge, students work in teams to tackle one of the issues related to face masks. They build innovation skills ranging from critical thinking, strategic thinking, problem-solving, creativity, collaboration and communication. Through this learning experience, students are offered a variety of workshops and mentoring sessions to develop their prototypes, become resourceful, seek opportunities and expand their network. Once the challenge is complete, students have various opportunities to develop leadership skills.

Topics students can choose from include 1) Fitting and leakage; 2) Breathing comfort of the material; 3) Design of the mask; 4) Washable material; 5) Nose clip designs for adjustment; 6) Toggle designs for adjustment; 7) Ear savers designs; 8) Anti foggy glasses designs; 9) Accessible face masks; 10) Sustainable materials and future materialities investigations

Google Doc with description of challenge, topics and challenge template.

Selected readings to start your research, but you need to conduct your own literature review.

A group of ten students from the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Faculty of Fine Arts, the John Molson School of Business and the Faculty of Engineering participated in the first iteration of the challenge was held during the Summer of 2020. The final prototypes were presented at the 4th Space. The following professors were involved: Ann-Louise Davidson, Barbara Layne, Ali Balhoul with the collaboration of PK Langshaw.