Safety devices don’t usually focus on the form because their purpose is to serve emergencies and therefore function reigns over everything. But the winner from the 2020 Korea Design Exhibition was an example of how safety devices can be extremely functional while showing good design details so they aren’t an eyesore in the space. Think of them as superheroes and they need a good suit – now they have one!
Emergency Helper was designed to help people in the event of a fire in a building, but what makes it different is that it is a lot more than just a fire extinguisher and is aimed at helping with the side effects of the emergency as well. In case of fire, it informs the location of the fire extinguisher as well as the location of the evacuation route. When a fire breaks out, LED lights will come on from both sides and the bottom of the product, an alarm will ring the warning sound and the LED on the top- front will notify people where to evacuate from. In case the fire breaks out around the product or the product cannot be used for some reason, the smart device will spray extinguishing fluid from the front and both sides after detecting the heat around it. It also includes a hammer, flashlight, and respirators – this can help people evacuate safely and reduce respiratory stress for those with breathing problems in case of such emergencies.
The smart design of the Emergency Helper adds necessary layers to the traditional fire extinguisher for a more well-rounded safety system. The design reminds me of a modern vending machine that also helps users associate it with a reassuring product than something that reminds them of dreadful situations. Emergency Helper can also expand its safety measures by including life jackets and whistles to be even more prepared in case of unforeseen circumstances but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Something that comes to mind when designing safety devices is how can they be made more inclusive so people with disabilities can also operate them when needed – perhaps a voice assistant?
Designer: Jungwook Lee and Jinho Kim
When time is of the essence in event of a medical emergency, seconds also matter. Any delay in transporting a critical patient to the nearest medical facility can be fatal, that’s why an ambulance which can ensure timely transportation of the patient sans any delays can help save countless lives. More so in crowded cities where delays are imminent. The only way to eliminate, or at least diminish the probability of such delays comes in the form of an advanced ambulance which is built in a manner that ensures human life gets a second chance it deserves.
ERKA Autonomous Ambulance is designed keeping in mind the future of mobility in busy city streets plagued by traffic jams and a dearth of parking spots. The minds behind the concept design – Roman Ignatowski (transportation industrial designer) and Maja Bryniarska (engineer architect and industrial designer) – envision a self-driving ambulance that’s propelled by clean energy. The end goal is to have an autonomous emergency medical service that concentrates on the comfort and safety of the patients. The duo identified the current shortcomings in EMS vehicles, thereby designing a compact ambulance that evolves from a small-transport car into a professional vehicle with all the medical facilities.
ERKA is fitted with 90-degrees turning wheels which also act as signal indicators for pedestrians. This ensures maneuverability in tight spaces and lesser parking woes. For a smooth ride, the ambulance has a hydraulic suspension system and for easy accessibility, there is a ramp too. On the inside, there are display screens to keep a tab on the vital statistics of the patient who lies on a comfortable platform during the ride. For more flexibility, the autonomous ambulance has a solar panel roof with a drone that flies ahead and above the traffic to clear way for the ambulance faster. Roman and Maja have put a lot of thought into the dynamics of the design and with more improvements in the ideation, this concept could one day take shape in the real world.
Designer: Roman Ignatowski and Maja Bryniarska
Hygiene in the age of COVID-19 has become instinctual for many of us. Once we get home, before even removing our masks, we’re folded over the bathroom sink, hands sudsy with soap, counting down from thirty. We graze the sink’s faucet with unwashed fingers and send that one text without sanitizing our touchscreens. Of course, when it comes to hygiene routines, no one can be perfect – especially during a global pandemic. That’s okay – it’s the reason sanitizing products exist and the catalyst for ZERO from Jung Yu Jung with Design Dot, a design team based in Seoul, South Korea. Conceptualized to resemble the view of the moon from behind rows of window shutters, this home sanitizing station makes it that much easier to stay on top of both our own and our home hygiene.
ZERO is a smart sterilization product that can mount from any wall and direction. Its accurate and responsive dispenser not only motion-detects and sanitizes your hands with six UV-C LED chips, but it also includes a smartphone sterilizer. Based on the honest need for home sanitizing technology, Jung Yi Jung created the product with human instinct in mind. From each angle, the product is pleasantly inconspicuous and elegant. Upon first glance, the sterilizer appears like any unassuming and ordinary home appliance. However, along the rim of the device, a rectangular slot reveals a supplementary sanitizer that swallows your phone for a good ole’ UV-C LED cleaning. Its stainless steel construction increases light reflection and sterilizes your phone for safe use before coughing it back up. In order to enhance the product’s intuitive design, you’ll find only four buttons: two sound control switches for programmed signals, an adjustive mood light, and a power button. Additionally, ZERO charges with a type-c cable, a common mobile phone charging port, delivering seamless setup and service.
Around the world, we’re taking big strides towards a generally health-conscious future, specifically in regard to home design and technology. Home is our oasis, our clean corner of the world we want to keep that way. Intuitive design and practical function from ZERO offers an idea of what a healthier, more human future could look like, in your own clean corner of the world.
Pets are our best friends and they are also known to be incredibly crucial in reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and boost overall wellbeing. Given the times, the number of people adopting and relying on emotional support animals is only increasing. They are family and that means that they have to be protected like a member of the family – no one gets left behind. This clever animal carrier was designed to prepare you and your furry companion for disasters by equipping you with emergency kits that work for your needs and the needs of your emotional service pet.
While we love and care for them as we do for our own children, there is not enough being done in terms of disaster preparedness for them. Evacuating with animals needs a lot of advance preparation and most people are unprepared due to a lack of information or kits that are made for this specific situation. As emotional support/companion animals are increasingly becoming a new norm, we need a kit like Base which ensures their safety while doubling up as an everyday pet furniture item in the house. In the event of a disaster, you can rely on the built-in emergency kit by using Base as a carrier for your pet. The shape is inspired by a friendly cave that makes animals feel protected keeping it aligned with their natural instincts of hiding when they are scared. The product consists of two parts- the left side of the kit provides basic products and the right side can be selected by the user according to the companion animal species making it usable for a wide variety of people and pets. It also comes with rescue request stickers that help neighbors to identify the pet and help to rescue them in the case of any unfortunate events.
“The emergency kit with disaster necessaries for companion animals is built-in the bottom of the carrier, so it can be safely handled during the evacuation period by simply carrying Base carrier with the companion animal. It provides disaster preparedness manuals and emergency kits while also functioning as a carrier, allowing users to protect their companion animals from disasters. It has Disaster Preparedness manuals in the form of brochures so users are prepared for disasters in advance. It has information about what users need to know and a checklist to identify items needed in the event of a disaster, making it easy to be prepared” says the design team. In normal times, the Base can be used as an aesthetically pleasing modern pet house. Base is basically (see what I did there?) the Clark Kent of pet essentials – a sweet pet house every day that turns into a heroic product in times of crisis.
Designers: HeeSu Choi, HyoWon Son, and JiSeung Lee.