Beyond Basic Needs

  • The Floating Jacket offers basic comfort and ease of travel to refugees who are trying to survive. While on their journey to escape their country, refugees have to go up against harsh conditions. The refugee will wear the Floating Jacket throughout their journey. When they are tired or need to rest they can unfold the jacket and inflate to use as a bed or they can simply buckle the arms which will be used as straps to make the jacket into a chair. Not only is the inflatable jacket good for nights when sleeping on the uncomfortable ground, it also works as a raft in case of harsh weather such as heavy rain which can sometimes cause floods. The Floating Jacket is not only useful for refugees. It can also be used for less fortunate people, especially those who are homeless, that find themselves sleeping in the streets. The Floating Jacket may seem like a small piece of comfort but it will make a difference.

  • When traveling long distances, hygiene becomes an issue for refugees. How does one wash their clothes when they walk for miles and miles every day? Women have an even greater problem; their menstrual cycles. Because of a lack of disposable solutions, many women use reusable rags that they wash, but again, they have no time or place to wash them when they are traveling. Our solution is a hand powered, lightweight and compactable washer/dryer. To wash, you add soap and enough water to fill the bottom of the outer trough (which is a tiny amount compared to a side or top load), and you turn the crank quickly. After another cycle to rinse, you simply slide the locking square into its housing, and you can wring your clothes out with massive mechanical advantage. Though there would be some residual dampness, the clothes would be much more dry than if they were hand-squeezed.

  • In refugee camps, many kids do not go to school, and end up not having anything entertaining to do. To keep them interested, and also provide physical exercise, we designed and built a play to power machine that generates electricity as the kids play on it. Not only would this reduce their boredom, but it would also empower them: allowing their play to help the people around them. 

    We ran into a few problems in the beginning, mostly revolving around originality. We found out that there was already many play to power machines that existed. Some of them were ideas that we had brainstormed before. We discovered swing sets that generated electricity, see saw's, and others like that.  We decided that it would be best if we made our own playground toy, and found a way to have it generate power. 

    There is a generator inside one of the boxes, that spins as the kids are balancing from left to right. There is also a ratchet that is connected to the rod, that causes the generator to spin. 

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  • Problem - Refugee’s in transit struggle with comfort, whether it be walking or swimming. They do not have protection from the elements, like rain or sandstorms.

    Solution - The Floating Jacket allows protection from the elements and it can be inflated to make a raft, a bed, and a chair for comfort when sleeping, sitting, and getting caught in the water. It can also keep the person wearing it warm during the night as it will have an attachable blanket.

     

    Main Story - The main reason for the creation of the Floating Jacket was to help give comfort to refugees in transit to their refugee camps. Refugees are just like you and me, they had regular lives, cars, beds, even iphones, now they are displaced from their home, no electricity or wifi. Our jacket, even if it is not much from what they once had, can change a person’s life. Instead of sleeping on the cold hard ground, they will now be able to sleep on a blow up bed with a blanket to keep them warm at night, or change it into a chair for comfort while sitting down. A large part of the jacket, is the fact that if you or a refugee is caught in a flood or have need of crossing a body of water, the jacket will inflate into a raft of sorts, so that they can stay dry.

    Mechanics - It works just like a regular jacket, but it has a folded up inflatable bed inside the back of the jacket. Once unfolded, can be blown up with a valve at the bottom. There is a blanket velcroed to the bottom as well, so it won’t fall off.

    Development - The jacket is almost exactly how we imagined it, the original idea was that it was going to have different fabric, water proof, and that the arms and hood also inflate, but due to time crunch we were not able to add everything. Although, the jacket prototype conveyed the idea we had perfectly.

    Challenges -  Sewing and crimping were the hardest parts of creating the jacket. Other than that, making the mini models were not that bad and seeing the final prototype was very cool.

     

    Iteration 1 - For our first iteration, I decided to make it a mini model and out of paper. This was where I measured a small wooden mannequin and researched how to make a jacket. We spent a little while laying with the plastic and crimper, to test making a small raft, and cut out a torso piece out of paper, as well as the arms. We taped the sleeves and raft to the mannequin, and attached the torso piece on.

    Iteration 2 - The second iteration was much like the first, but was made out of fabric. We decided to make the sleeves double layered to show where the plastic was going to go, but that was before we decided to not have the arms inflatable. Once the sleeves we sewn together and put on the second mannequin, I took my torso cut out, and made it out of the same fabric. Also, instead of having the raft on the outside, we made it so that it would be folded up on the inside.

    Iteration 3 - After I bought the Jacket from GoodWill, the one we would be taking apart, We decided on making a ½ scale model of the raft and blanket on a full scale jacket. This was when we decided that the only part to inflate would be the raft/blow-up bed. We used a soft, grey fabric to make the raft casing and the blanket. It was a quick model so we could then start working on the full scale model.

    Throughout the whole process of making the jacket, the design for the most part had the same key parts to it. We only made changes is we thought something was missing or wasn’t needed. Overall, The jacket turned out great and I was very pleased of how it came together.

     

  • Home. Home is a hard thing to describe, it is more than just living quarters, it's a place that holds a lifetime of memories. Over 12 million people have fled to safety, and now their sense of home is all but lost. This project aims to recreate the feeling of homeyness no matter where you are. This foldable tent can be deployed on any terrain, and allows users to display their photos and immerse themselves in memories. This project started out quite different, and we have taken many steps to get the point we are at today. Each iteration had their merits, but we kept facing challenges that forced us to redesign and change our idea.

    Our first iteration took form as a square piece of pegboard on a stand. Users would have the ability to insert hangers and shelves wherever they wished to customize the board to fit their needs. the board could be rotated, or more boards could be attatched as well. As time went on however, We stepped away from the idea of a stand after we realized it would take up too much valuable spaceand was too bulky.

    Iteration two was designed to be a foldable mass of pegboard squares which could be flipped and folded to create different structures. We had a 3x3 panel made out of hinged squares that all had specific folding capabilities depending on what the user wanted. One design we created had all the pieces of our panel fold into each other, stacking all of the panels on top of each other. Another design was more focused on functionality, having the ability to transform into a table, divider, or storage unit. However, this design was not able to fold up in the way the other design could. we moved on from this idea as the functionality of this model did not match up with our intention which was the displaying of photographs

    Our next models kept the idea of folding so they could be easily transported, but were more focused on only displaying photos effectively. At this stage, our design was inspired by domes and the insides of mosques, sporting a large half circle top with legs folding out from the side. This design did not see much development, as the concept of domes eventually inspired us to created our own dome esqe tent. the legs we have in our current design were inspired by how we created our half circle part in this design.

  • One major problem that Syrian refugges coming to Vieanna faces is learning a new language. Syrian's speak Arabic and Austrian's speak German.

    We created a board game that is both educational and entetaining, it turns a checkerboard into an 8 by 8 grid of flash German-Arabic flash cards.

    We created 8 catagories of helpful words. The catagories are health, food, clothes, house, job, politness, direction, and question words. Each catagory contain 8 words. There are 64 words in total. The German word will be on one side and the Arabic on the other side of the square. The board starts out with just Arabic words on it, a player picks the next move and then correctly translate the word into German, flipping the square over, only then can the player move his or her checker or chess piece. 

    The game can be played by two German or Arab kids. They can have fun while they learn. 

  • Home. Home is a hard thing to describe, it is more than just living quarters, it's a place that holds a lifetime of memories.. USE THE NUMBERS IN YOUR PROBLEM SLIDE As countless refugees flee to safety (from whatever issues plagued their old home), this sense of home is all but lost. THIS PROJECT RECREATES THE HOMEYNESS OF HOME. (We created the Homey Tent to preserve the feeling of home and create a personal space wherever you may be). This foldable tent can be deployed on any terrain, and allows users to display their photos AND IMMERSE THEMSELVES IN MEMORIES. (By folding out the tent's wooden legs, the cloth walls in between are pulled taught, creating a flat surface for displaying photographs). This project started out quite different, and we have taken many steps to get the point we are at today. Each iteration had their merits, but we kept facing challenges that forced us to redesign and change our idea.

    Our first iteration took form as a square piece of pegboard on a stand. Users would have the ability to insert hangers and shelves wherever they wished to customize the board to fit their needs. the board could be rotated, or more boards could be attatched as well. As time went on however, We stepped away from the idea of a stand after we realized it would take up too much valuable space AND WAS TOO BULKY.

    Iteration two was designed to be a foldable mass of pegboard squares which could be flipped and folded to create different structures. We had a 3x3 panel made out of hinged squares that all had specific folding capabilities depending on what THE USER WANTED (we wanted the panel to do). One design we created had all the pieces of our panel fold into each other, stacking all of the panels on top of each other. Another design was more focused on functionality, having the ability to transform into a table, divider, or storage unit. However, this design was not able to fold up in the way the other design could. WE MOVED ON FROM THIS (This idea was scrapped unfortunately), as the functionality of this model did not match up with our intention (seem necessary to an invention mostly focused on) WHICH WAS THE DISPLACY OF PHOTOGRAPHS (displaying photos.) 

    Our next models kept the idea of folding so they could be easily transported, but were more focused on only displaying photos EFFECTIVELEY, (but doing it well), At this stage, our design was inspired by domes and the insides of mosques, sporting a large half circle top with legs folding out from the side. This design did not see much development, as the concept of domes eventually inspired us to created our own dome esqe tent. the legs we have in our current design were inspired by how we created our half circle part in this design.

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  • The experience of refugees traveling long distances over land and their living conditions, will be the focus of this design and making studio. Students will be studying historic and current refugee crises and fabricating industrial design-type devices meant to aid refugees in ways beyond and above basic needs (e.g., beyond shelter, food and clothing). Students will be creating projects that help add soul to what can be a dehumanizing experience. We will be speaking with Damjan Mandelc, professor at the University of Ljubljana, about his current humanitarian work with Syrian refugees at the Slovenian/Croatian border. Talia Radford, a Vienna-based industrial designer, will also serve as a resource for the students because of the work she has done designing for social good.

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