For B-Tech Industrial Design students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), the annual 5K project challenge is about designing a product that will make at least R5000 profit. But for eight students, this year’s project was a combination of both aesthetic appeal and social impact.
For the group members of S.E.S Designz (Raees Amien, Henning van Aswegen, Naeem Cassiem and Luke Slabolepszy), the idea behind their product, the “Watch It Drink Holder, focused on a potentially life-saving idea – to help prevent drink spiking in bars and clubs.
The group had decided to address this serious problem before ironically, team member, Slabolepszy’s own drink was spiked at a bar, making them more determined to come up with an innovative solution. “People say it never happens to me – and it happened to me. People are still not going to look after their drinks. With this product, people that want to look after their drinks, can,” said Slabolepszy.
The Watch It Drink Holder has been designed for patrons to take their drink with them when they go to the bathroom at clubs or bars. Of 500 people surveyed by the group, over 73% said they took their drinks with them to the bathroom, but had issues trying to hold it without putting it on the floor or spilling it.
“The product should be placed where it’s always in line of sight,” explained Slabolepszy. The holder, made of mild steel, is durable and strong, and able to support up to 75kg. It is designed to accommodate most sized drinks and prevent slippage. For males, the holder can be placed next to any urinal or in any cubicle. In female toilets, it comes with a hanger for purses. The holder also has space for advertising.
“We would like this product to have an awareness campaign on it, like having images or stories of people (who have been spiked). People tend to look at things and read things so much better if it has reality on the product,” said Slabolepszy.
As much as the group hopes that the holder will help to decrease the number of spikings, they have insisted that it is only preventative. “It’s not an anti spiking product. There’s no chemical or light that shines through to say you’ve been spiked. (But) with this product – I hope people don’t get pushed into the situation that I was in,” said Slabolepszy.
The product, which will sell for about R200, has already received attention from many club owners praising its innovativation and placing orders.
The 4elements group, (Angela Landos, Bradley Witte, Erna Nel and Jarryd New), focused on eco-ethos by using bamboo instead of plastic to create high quality, aesthetically appealing headphones, aptly called “Shoots.”
“Plastic….has become unsustainable due to the way it is treated once the user is through with it. Bamboo has the best material properties for cutting and bending – (so) we could use one piece of bamboo for the whole thing. It (also) grows very fast so it’s something that we can use that will always be there,” said Landos. However, “in terms of production, using natural materials is a lot more expensive because they can’t be mass produced,” said Witte.
The sustainable headphones come with acoustically designed surround closed cavities, leather ear cushions and a fully adjustable headband. And the R1000 starting cost? Due to quality materials, hands-on production processes and a set of group principles ensuring a superior product, 4elements is proving that the Shoots are worth their weight in gold.
Image: Henning van Aswegen, Naeem Cassiem, Luke Slabolepszy and Raees Amien
Image 2: The Watch It Drink Holder
Image 3: Erna Nel, Jarryd New, Angela Landos, Bradley Witte
Image 4: Shoots bamboo headphones
Images courtesy of S.E.S Designz and 4elements