Sunday 24 November 2013

Designing a safe electric Kettle

The brief for this group project was to create a kettle that responded to the ever increasing burns and scalds that are becoming ever to common with the very young and old persons.  Below are extracts from the design brief that we were given for the project. And give a detailed outline of what is expected in the final design and how the designers (us) should address the problem.

The Monash Injury Research Institute is an umbrella organization for a range of
associated research groups that cover transport, workplaces, homes, sport, etc.
Within the group that addresses home and sports safety is the Victorian Injury
Surveillance Unit (VISU) which publishes Hazard, a bi-annual journal which examines
injuries due to hazards in everyday life.

Reference: Hazard no. 57 Unintentional burns and scalds in vulnerable populations:
the very young and the very old, Victoria July 2001 to June 2003. These injuries are
common and although they occur through a range of causes, the problem age
groups are at both ends of the life spectrum.

Electric kettles are only one source of hazard and although they are not a major
agency for burns and scalds, they are still an inherently hazardous product and a
designer would not want to overlook the potential for these hazards if ever they were
to design a portable, electric, boiling water appliance.

What should be the design for a kettle for people who, across the population of the
very elderly can be generalized as having…?

- limited grip and arm strength
- poor co-ordination
- limited fine motor movements
- unsteady limbs and poor
- accuracy in targeting

- poor vision
- slow reactions
- reduced sensory response
- poor hearing
- lapses of attention and memory
- erratic and inconsistent decision
making processes

Below is some pages from the folio for the design. Enjoy!

This was a design by Kirby Masterman, Aileen Ng & Rowan Turnham.
Monash Industrial Design 2013.

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