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John Shanahan - Co-Pi

Meet John

My name is John Shanahan, I'm an aspiring product designer originally from Thurles in Co. Tipperary. I've been interested in how things work since I was very small, often breaking things (sometimes to the detriment of my mother's sanity) just to see how they worked. Nowadays, I do try to put them back together but the curiosity has never left me. This coupled with being curious and creative naturally lead me to study Product Design at UL. Over the last 4 years, I've learned a lot, not only technical skills such as CAD modelling and the Adobe Creative Suit but also how to think like a designer, using first principles, realising the importance of empathy, sustainability, and simplicity. My goal is to apply what I've learned to improve the lives of others as I believe design has an immense impact on our quality of life both as individuals and collectively.

To get in touch with John you can email him


Co-Pi (Co-Pilot) is a time management and orientation system for those with cognitive disabilities and degenerative diseases.

Co-Designed alongside young adults with Down syndrome, Co-Pi aims to enable increased independence and life skills development by externalising the cognitive load, comparable to a mental prosthesis. These issues are faced not only by individuals with DS but also people struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and similar cognitive disabilities/diseases.

Co-Pi’s mission is to facilitate guardians to assist the user in the development of their numeracy and life skills while giving them the opportunity to develop their independence, self-confidence, and overall well-being.

This system, over time, will allow users to experience higher levels of social inclusion, positive self-image, and overall numeracy competency.