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The future of hand-washing: Designers rethink hand sanitisers in the Fountain of Hygiene competition

the-future-of-hand-washing:-designers-rethink-hand-sanitisers-in-the-fountain-of-hygiene-competition

When the coronavirus first emerged in the UK, the design agency Bompas & Parr launched its Fountain of Hygiene competition to rethink the way we clean our hands, a precautionary measure that has been the first line of defence in the fight against pandemic.

Eight proposals have now been selected. They will be exhibited at the Design Museum in London once it reopens, before being auctioned by Christie’s to raise funds for the British Red Cross. Here is a rundown on these prototypes, which may one day replace our bottles of hand sanitiser.

“The Bubble Party” by Steve Jarvis

In the “Industrial Design” category, Steve Jarvis has presented a playful device that blows out bubbles of hand sanitiser. Poetic, and more attractive than a standard dispenser, the Bubble Party is also distinguished by the fact that users do not need to touch any parts or surfaces when cleaning their hands.

“Step One” by Sally Reynolds

Sally Reynolds has reconciled hygiene and aesthetics with her “Step One” sanitiser dispenser, which is equipped with a copper tap and pedal and a terrazzo-inspired casing.

“Seaweed Capsules” by Terry Hearnshaw

In the “Sustainable Design” category, Terry Hearnshaw drew inspiration from the drinks industry trend for liquids in capsules. With regard to hand hygiene, his approach has many advantages, among them regulation of sanitiser dosage, and the avoidance of plastic. The spherical capsules are made from seaweed.

“Hygiene Friendly Visits” by Line Johnsen

Why not have doorbells that do more than just alert us to the fact that someone has come to visit? This was the starting point for Line Johnsen’s idea for a bell that also works as a sanitiser dispenser.

“Buggy” by Zoe Lester, Beth Thomas, Emma Chih, Erin Giles and Kris Murphy

In the “Awareness and Communication” category, Buggy has been created to remind us that our phones may also transmit the virus. The mobile application counts all of the individual contacts between your fingers and your phone’s display. When these are numerous, ugly green creepy-crawlies, which are designed to represent germs, appear on the screen. The app also has plenty of helpful advice on how to clean your handset.

“Paint Your Hands Clean!” by Kate Strudwick, Amos Oyedeji, Alexander Facey and Nicole Stjernswärd

The four designers aim to encourage children to use sanitiser with a product that makes hand-cleaning a fun activity that is no longer a chore. The result of their collective efforts is a PH-sensitive sanitiser gel that changes colour when it is rubbed into hands. It comes in a bottle with a brush applicator to make it easy for children to apply it.

“Handle Sanitizer” by Bo Willis

Due to the large numbers of people who have no option but to touch them, door handles are major vectors for virus transmission. “Handle Sanitizer” by Bo Willis not only takes this into account, but also transforms handles into sanitiser distributors by providing them with sponge covers that are pumped full of gel. The budding designer also submitted a second project for “Sanitizer Walls,” which are planted with cinnamon, aloe vera, cloves, rosemary and eucalyptus. The idea is for people to clean their hands just by touching this disinfectant vegetation.

“Centrepeace” by Conrad Haddaway, Twomuch Studio and Inga Ziemele

There are ten times more germs on a smartphone than there are in a dog’s bowl. So not surprisingly, taking out your mobile at the dinner table is never a good idea, especially in the context of the current health crisis. Above and beyond that, it is just plain rude. The team behind this last project have addressed both of these problems with “Centrepeace,” a sterilisation unit that can clean smartphones during mealtimes, which combines improved hygiene with better table manners.

(Main and featured image: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash)

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