Home Fire Safety

2012 Emerging Technology

10-week term project with Länsförsäkringar Västerbotten


Background

The three term-projects at the APD programme essentially have the same basic goal, to identity relevant design opportunities and design solutions and products for these, but the point of departure is quite different. In this project, where statistics tells us that a fire takes place in 17 Swedish home every day; the students had the opportunity to focus on the obvious problem of fires in the home and in kitchens in particular. The main objective should always be to avoid fires, but the students were still asked to examinea before, during and afterscenarioin search for as many relevant design opportunities as possible.

Work Method

In the first phase of the project the students studied the background of the existing situation and the problems related to this, through both web and field studies, hands-on tests of existing fire extinguishing equipment at the Umeå fire department's training facilities and through an interview with a person who shared her insights to the cause, reaction and consequences of a fire, based on personal experiences from a large-scale fire in her own home.
The conclusions of this phase were presented at a one-day creative workshop facilitated by the APD programme where representatives from the collaborating insurance company, an international manufacturer of fire extinguishing equipment, a national supplier of kitchens and household appliances and the local fire department were present and participated actively in the brainstorms alongside the students.
In the weeks that followed, supplementary research was made in connection with the students deciding on their individual project directions.

Result

The results presented at the final presentation were eight different projects covering a wide span of concepts from stove monitoring and awareness while cooking, new concepts and designs of both fire extinguishers and fire blankets, proposals for domestic safety systems and a concept considering children's inability to wake up by the signal from the traditional smoke alarm.

External project tutor:

Michael Mattsson, industrial designer, Designit, Gothenburg

Other lecturers/ tutors:

Patents: Steen Mandsfelt, industrial designer (Denmark)
Cintiq sketching: Daniel Sellberg, Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center, Örebro
Internal tutor: Oscar Björk, industrial designer

Course responsible:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme