Everyone knows the feeling of pain in the wrist after many hours of work at the computer. Deterioration of motor function, numbness in the fingers, severe pain in the hands which radiates to other parts of the body - these are the symptoms characteristic of the carpal tunnel syndrome. The effects of this condition can be alleviated by massage, compression or stabilising the hand. This is exactly the idea behind MIKO+, jewellery with a therapeutic function created by Ewa Dulcet and Martyna Świerczyńska, graduates of SWPS University's School of Form.


Hand and wrist pain

More and more people are complaining about the negative effects of manual work. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common ailments and manifests itself by impaired hand function, a feeling of numbness in three fingers or the sensation of pain radiating to other parts of the body, including the shoulder. Very often patients ignore the pain as long as it is bearable, forgoing a consultation with a specialist. Another problem is people’s reluctance to use a brace, which is a common method of supporting the wrist. The reason for this is mainly aesthetic - braces are associated with disability and disease, causing a sense of shame and discomfort, especially in women.

Is there an alternative to wearing a brace then? How else can you relieve wrist and hand pain? Is there a way that will be both effective and aesthetically pleasing, something people will enjoy using preventively?


MIKO+ therapeutic jewellery

The MIKO+ project by Ewa Dulcet and Martyna Świerczyńska, graduates of School of Form at SWPS University, includes seven jewellery items made using traditional goldsmithing techniques from rose gold-plated brass and mineral-acrylic composite. By definition, the items serve a therapeutic function - while adorning the body, they enable effective self-therapy, which is very important in dealing with strained wrist muscles.

Each MIKO+ jewelry item works a little differently, but they are all based on the same premise. Three rings are designed to massage the muscles of the hand, where two of them use moving parts making the massage very smooth and pleasant, while one of the rings compresses the muscle structures accordingly. Bracelets are used to stabilise the joint or force movement as ensuring the right angle of wrist bend while working at the computer is extremely important in treatment.

The MIKO+ project required physiotherapy consultation throughout every stage of its development. Cooperation with physiotherapist Marta Jokiel, MD Ph. D., allowed us to understand the structures of the wrist and to translate the movements which the physiotherapist makes while working with the patient into the formal language of jewellery.

The creators emphasize that their jewelry is not a substitute for medical treatment or use of a brace, but an additional aid for handling wrist conditions. The combination of aesthetic features and functionality is a good way to make people aware of the strain we put on our hand muscles every day during work. The effectiveness of the tested items has been confirmed during trials (including EMG, or electromyography) conducted in the Department of Traumatology, Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences.


Open to the needs of others

While designing the therapeutic jewelry, graduates of School of Form, showed extraordinary empathy and openness. The MIKO+ project was created primarily with the users and their emotions in mind. Jewelry not only adorns the body, but also provides relief from ailments and helps overcome the emotional problems associated with physical disability. Not surprisingly, the initiative was awarded the Progress Prize during the 2017 Global Grad Show in Dubai.

After defending their dissertations, the designers started working on putting their jewelry into production. The project was developed from the technical side and the experience gained enabled new prototypes to be made in an improved form. The results of the work will be presented in the fall of 2021.

Ewa Dulcet i Martyna Świerczyńska

Ewa Dulcet and Martyna Świerczyńska

They met in the School of Form in 2014 and have been working together ever since. Before studying design, Ewa graduated from Cultural Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Martyna finished studies in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. They are the founders of @itemprojekt studio where they focus on designing functional objects and spaces. The aesthetic nature of their work is a result of their proprietary manufacturing process and the functionality of the designed items, which they define based on the premises of inclusiveness and practicality. They are not afraid to experiment with patterns, colours and materials. They won first prize in the “Kreacje z Natury” competition for their take on the design of the Barlinek board in 2018. Their graduation project entitled "MIKO+ therapeutic jewelry" won the grand Progress Prize at the Global Grad Show during Dubai Design Week in 2017. They have collaborated with, among others, the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw (design and performance of the scenography for the Przemiany Festival), SWPS University in Warsaw, Concordia Design in Poznań and with designer Mr Paweł Grobelny participating in the creation of the exhibition organised as part of the Poznań Design Festival "Nowe Scenariusze Miasta – Projektowanie dla miasta w procesie zrównoważonego rozwoju" in 2018

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Graduates of SOF win prestigious Prize in Dubai

MIKO+ jewelry, designed by Ewa Dulcet and Martyna Świerczyńska, graduates of School of Form in Poznań, has been awarded the Progress Prize at the Global Grad Show in Dubai