Ana Lucia Sarabia Villegas
Pretty Loud aims to transform hearing aids to enable hearing aid wearers to express themselves visually and build identity – using jewellery as a medium to find the middle ground between functionality and aesthetics.
The work addresses the social problem explored in my research, the stigma around assertive technologies and the conservatory approach of hearing aid design. Stigma can be challenged by manipulating concepts that originate in jewellery design, such as elevating power and status. I use jewellery to celebrate disability and make the invisible visible, bringing to light unseen and, therefore, often ignored disabilities like deafness.
As deafness is an invisible disability, the jewellery pieces are inspired by animals in the ocean that live in the abyss, the life we cannot see.
Pretty Loud are hearing aid brass frames/cuffs that are designed to be beautiful, attractive, distinct accessories. They are attachable and detachable to existing hearing aid devices, and the design is simple so that it can be easily implemented immediately onto pre-existing devices. I hope to show society another point of view and that disability is not something to hide but to celebrate.