Katapult Design for ActiveMask <em>ActiveMask</em> designed 2020–22; carbon filter, merino wool, silicon. Courtesy of Active Mask<br/>
© ActiveMask

Katapult Design for ActiveMask

Katapult Design
(est. 2009, Melbourne)
(est. 2020, Melbourne)

When entrepreneur Adrian Critchlow’s father died from COVID-19, he became determined to create more effective personal protective equipment to safeguard other vulnerable people. Along with business partner Mehdi Qerim and the team at Katapult Design, Critchlow launched ActiveMask in 2020 to provide a Victorian solution to a global challenge by producing cutting-edge, long-lasting masks.

ActiveMask won the 2021 Good Design Award for a Commercial and Industrial Product from Good Design Australia, who praised the device’s environmental sustainability, agility, best practice health credentials and bespoke specifications. Designed from the ground up to be reusable, safe and comfortable for long periods of wear, ActiveMask protected those on the pandemic’s front line, including customer-service staff, essential workers, medical practitioners administering vaccines and tests, defence force and emergency services personnel, and staff in surgical and clinical settings.

Led by Katapult Design’s technical director Lloyd Fenn, twelve different team members worked on ActiveMask over the project’s journey, from concept design through 3D computer-aided design development, prototyping, production and testing. Featuring filtered one-way air intake valves and a central exhale valve, the mask closely controls airflow without constraining the user’s breath. Custom-designed filters use a combination of activated carbon cloth and woollen fibre to clean bacteria and dust from the air. The mask itself is moulded in flexible, medical-grade silicone in a compliant profile that smoothly seals on the wearer’s face to prevent contaminated particles from sneaking in, providing optimal protection and comfort. ActiveMask can also be easily cleaned and sterilised for reuse.

Adrian Critchlow is the non-managing director of the Australian Solar Group and a managing partner in the Active Venture Fund, a portfolio of twelve early-stage technology and clean-tech companies in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Katapult Design has received multiple Australian and international design awards.