A safe haven for children
This project explores the playfulness and the curiosity of young children and their emotional needs in terms of security and safe havens. I observed children’s terrible tantrums and peaceful pauses to understand children’s needs.
I investigated the secondary literature in the field of child psychology to define the epistemological basis of the basic idea. Inspired by nature and other influences I created an emotional concept of the child’s needs in terms of safe havens and security. This was followed by the hard work of sketching, building prototypes and defining the right materials.
The end result is a vibrant cocoon, which can be transformed from a flat play mat where children can run free, to a three-dimensional pod for some much needed rest and refuelling time.
As part of the MA course at Kingston University we took a three days workshop with Mike Dye. The task was to build a stool in three days with random materials we found in the streets, or in the attic or in the basement of our houses.
My idea was to create a stool made out of car tyres and elastic ropes. I found the tyres in a local car repair shop and the owner of this shop gave me the used ones for free. The elastic ropes were lying around in my basement at home.
I screwed three tyres together to achieve stability. Afterwards I attached the ropes around one side of the tyres and wove them into each other. The weaving created a nice pattern and a seat. The ropes provide an amusing sitting experience due to the fact that they are elastic.
This stool is perfect for outdoor locations, provides amusement and is much more comfortable than it looks.
Memories of your holidays or your vacation are precious. The problem is that you sometimes cannot clearly remember what you have done everyday during your holiday journey. An unexpected remembrance can increase the appreciation of your journey, especially after an amount of time.
The project aims to awaken precious memories of your wonderful journey. The focus is that your memories are locked away from you to increase their value. Furthermore the surprise effect is a key aspect of the product.
Time Capsule is a company (created by myself) which is located in twelve different countries. Each capital city provides a store where you can buy your own time capsule. This box can be filled with your own precious memories in terms of postcards, theatre tickets and many other things. Once you have collected all your precious memories together you can hand in the box at the stores. There you have to sign a form consenting that your box will be locked away for two years. That makes it more valuable. After this amount of time the box will be sent to you and you can explore your wonderful trip once more. In some cases you might have forgotten about the box or its contents. In this case the box is a wonderful surprise and a great chance to explore your journey again.
Classic wood and leather stool
The task for this project was simply to design a stool. After I researched sitting postures and sitting solutions I laid my focus on horse riding.
I gathered interesting research about saddles and even took horse riding lessons to experience how to sit in a horse saddle. It seemed that anyone can achieve a perfectly straight posture while riding a horse. This interesting fact became part of my concept.
The outcome is an abstract shaped saddle which is made out of wood and covered with red leather. I wanted to achieve a simple design with high quality materials such as leather which provides another way of sitting, but in a comfortable way.
The whole stool is handmade. Through the process of building this stool I improved my mechanical skills.
Critical souvenir from Austria
Most souvenirs for tourists offer a stereotypical and clichéd view of the country they are visiting. England is represented by red telephone boxes and policeman’s hats; France is represented by the Eiffel Tower, etc.
These superficial representations of culture and nationhood ignore more challenging points of view and national characteristics that are less tourist-friendly.
The task was to design a universally understood souvenir which offers a more accurate and critical reflection of my home nation. Due to the fact that I'm from Austria I decided to concentrate on milk prices and the grave situation of farmers in the Alps. Every year these farmers are paid less money for their milk and are struggling to survive.
I was inspired by the Russian Matryoshka dolls which consist of a wooden figure which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside, and so on.
I used the same concept for my milk churns to show the decreasing amounts of money the farmers receive for their milk each year. On the milk churns I painted the year and the sum of money they were paid.
The set includes four milk churns which were made all by hand.
Furniture for the Olympic Games 2012
As part of the Olympic celebrations New Balance created an exclusive lounge in the heart of London to entertain, stimulate and provide hospitality for athletes, friends and business partners. Located near Tate Britain at the Milbank Tower this lounge provided seating eating and meeting contexts plus live viewing access to the Games. Kingston University was asked to partner with Octink to provide twelve full-size furniture pieces and fourteen stools inspired and informed by the narrative and fabrics of New Balance shoes. NB provided six pairs of running shoes and a host of related fabrics and materials to fire the inspiration and to foster exploration of their brand ethos and identity.
The main idea of my group's design concept was to make a Club Chair which projects the philosophy of the New Balance group. New Balance's philosophy involves providing lightweight shoes for runners to increase performance, whilst offering comfort and support. The club chair also offers the same ideals: it is solid and comfortable yet sporty and light weight.
As the New Balance shoes are named or numbered, we decided to name our chair Franky. This name came up during the working process as we deconstructed and reassembled a club chair provided for our research by Classic Furniture.
We discovered the old frame was too small, so we rebuilt the chair, developing its character within our philosophy. We upholstered the chair and gave it its finishing touches. Frankie the Club Chair was born.
First aid kit for nights out
In 2012 I took part in the RSA Student Design Awards competition and focused on the brief MOBILE MEDICINE. I was inspired to work on this topic with a focus on first-aid kits because I work as a volunteer paramedic in Austria. I wanted to design a portable first-aid kit which is flat and easy to use for people who are not trained in first-aid assistance.
The outcome is a first-aid kit for going out which will be distributed to young people as part of a campaign at pubs, nightclubs and other events. The contents of the first-aid kit includes products from companies such as Elastoplast, Boots and Durex. The companies are providing the products for free as form of advertisement. The brand for the kit is my PAL- which stands for my Pocket-Aid Lifesaver. The kit is made from glossy laminated cardboard and an elastic band (Dimension: 80mm x 80mm x 10mm).
My PAL contains things needed for minor injuries (small cuts, blisters and sprains). Its contents include blister plasters, normal plasters, a small ice pack, disinfectant tissues, and a condom with instructions. In case of an emergency there are instructions on how to place a person in the recovery position, contact details for the emergency services and how to react in an emergency situation. It also has a little mirror on the back of the package which can be placed under the nose of the injured person to check if s(he) is breathing. If s(he) is breathing, the mirror becomes moist.
The fast pace of modern day life causes people to have less time and increases the chances of carelessness in doing simple chores. People also feel stressed by early starts and hectic work or school routines.
One of the most common habits is to forget to take one's shoes off or to change from outdoor shoes into slip- pers. Shoes made of canvas or leather tend to retain strong odours as these fabrics are absorbent and soak up perspiration. People can feel ashamed when they have foot odour and resist taking their shoes off. The soles or surfaces of our shoes naturally gets dirty, in the snow, in the rain, in the fields, or even when we just go for a walk.
I thought of combining these factors to design a useful and convenient product solving the problem of dirty shoes.
The result is a foldable shoe protector. It's a light weight storage product, which you can carry with you and use to cover your shoes and go indoors without having to worry about removing your shoes or getting the floor dirty. They keep surfaces clean as they contain microfibre noodles. They are also convenient as you can wash them along with the rest of your laundry.
Metal and glass vases
The aim of this project was to understand metal as a raw material through working with it directly in a hands-on way. One meter of mild steel flat bar (16mm x 3mm) was provided to work with.
After I played, explored and experimented with metal, I tried out different ways of bending it. I found out that you can bend this material like a tube which looks like a spiral. With a lot of effort and hard work I produced a set of metal spirals. Then I combined the strong and hard material metal with the transparent and fragile material glass.
The finished object demonstrates the nature of the raw material metal which is transformed into beautiful vases and is combined with glass, a complete opposite to metal. These two materials are associated in symbiosis and every vase is unique.
The vases work as individual objects and can be placed on a smooth surface. I also designed a frame which can securely hold three vases. This frame also includes hangers and clips where you can place your keys or messages.
Freddie the Fish
Children grieve very differently to adults. Sometimes they suffer more because they lack an understanding of death and of complex emotions. Children cannot express themselves the way adults do through talking and finding resolution.
With this project I focused on helping children with their grief after losing a loved person. Children go through a hard time after the death of someone loved and this can have a greater negative effect for them than for adults.
This project started as a group workshop. Each participant had to come up with a concept to support grieving children and to help them to overcome their loss. I created a book which tells the story of Freddie the fish who lost his best friend Eddie the eel. Each conceptual product which was designed by each participant is part of the story and helps Freddie to overcome his loss. I designed a chair in the shape of a blow fish. The flipper hugs the child and the child can comfortably lay inside and is provided with comfort and relief.