Different designs are conceived to support many different needs, and each design serves a purpose, e.g. a chair lets you sit, a knife lets you cut and a watch tells you the time. Some designs even have the ability to save lives.
The Yellowone Handsafe is a wearable alcohol dispenser created by Hån Pham. Designed to prevent hospital deaths by providing healthcare staff with easy access to hand cleansing, the Yellowone Handsafe is an example of a simple design with a potentially big impact.
According to the designer, hospital-related infections kill 16 million patients around the world every year. Hand hygiene contributes significantly to keeping patients safe. This simple, low-cost action can prevent the spread of many of the microbes that cause health-care-associated infections. However, hand hygiene compliance among staff is only 40%.
There are two main reasons for not having adequate hand hygiene. First, it takes time, and second, healthcare staff members sometimes skip washing or disinfecting their hands when an emergency or unpredictable situation occurs due to a busy schedule.
To use the Yellowone Handsafe, the user simply squeezes the container, which can be fixed onto a coat or shirt, and antibacterial alcohol gel is dispensed into the palm without the user having to leave the patient zone to get the hand cleanser. The Yellowone Handsafe is operated with one hand, and it holds enough alcohol gel to last an eight-hour shift. In recognition of the potential of the design, the Yellowone Handsafe was a finalist in the WORK category of this year’s international INDEX: Award, which awards designs that improve life.
The Danish startup company Evershelter has designed a new take on the refugee shelter. Comprising 16 identical curved elements made of insulation material encapsulated in a thin layer of cement-based coating, the Lifeshelter provides 18 square metres of temporary living space for refugees in war zones and areas in which people must flee from their homes due to natural disasters.
When deploying the temporary home, locals can assemble the shelter without using tools. In addition, the minimal use of materials in the design means the shelters are easy to transport. Further, the material used can last up to 15 years, which is a long time compared to traditional tent-houses that usually have one-year lifespans.
According to Evershelter, this rehousing solution is meant to eliminate the use of tent-houses that often end up as waste. To minimize waste and encourage re-usage, the innovative concept can be repurposed since the curved shelter elements are designed to be used for insulation in permanent buildings after they have fulfilled their purpose as shelters. The insulating features of the shelters work. During a test period in Iraq, Lifeshelters shielded people from temperatures ranging from −10 degrees Celsius to 49 degrees Celsius.