Hand sanitizer may not sound like the most exciting subject for a design competition on the surface, but the results tell a different story. Experiential design company Bompas & Parr recently teamed up with the Design Museum to launch “The Fountain of Hygiene,” challenging designers, makers, and inventors of all ages and levels of expertise to submit their visions for the future of hand sanitizing. The top submissions prove that this product can go way beyond alcohol-based gels and sprays.
“The competition seeks to explore the aesthetic, functional, social, gestural, and experiential possibilities of enhanced hygiene,” says Bombas & Parr. “It is hoped that this will accelerate the establishment of new behavioral norms which benefit the ongoing health of global society. Ultimately, the aim is to explore how people can safely re-enter the public realm.”
The entries are divided into eight categories: Luxury Design, Sustainable Design, Hygiene Innovation Beyond the Sanitizer, Awareness and Communication, Cadet Designers (Under 18’s), Child-Directed Design, Gesture and Ritual, and Industrial Design. These are the winners, but all of the entries are worth checking out on the Fountain of Hygiene website.
Child-Directed Design: Paint Your Hands Clean
It’s tough to get kids to wash their hands properly. This submission by Kate Strudwick, Amos Oyedeji, Alexander Facey, and Nicole Stjernswärd presents a color-changing hand sanitizer brush that turns hygiene into a fun activity.
Sustainable Design: Seaweed Capsule
Terry Hearnshaw’s biodegradable dispensing system makes it possible to carry individual doses of hand sanitizer in your wallet or pocket, or dispense them from gumball-style machines. Bursting the capsule within clenched hands releases the optimum amount of sanitizer.
Gesture and Ritual: Hygiene-Friendly Visits
This sanitizing doorbell by Line Johnsen is a simple concept that basically forces people to sanitize their hands before entering a home. In order to ring the doorbell, they have to place their hands beneath the automatic dispenser.
Luxury Design: Step One
Sally Reynolds’ innovation is a pedal-activated sanitizer dispenser made of colorful recycled plastics resembling terrazzo. Just step on the copper foot pedal to make the gel come out of the spout.
Hygiene Innovation Beyond Sanitizer: Centrepeace
Our phones might just be the germiest things we ever touch. This invention by Conrad Haddaway, Twomuch Studio, and Inga Ziemele sits in the center of a dining table, offering three shelves for phones. An ozone-generating UV light then sterilizes them while you eat.
Industrial Design: Bubble Party
“Imagine when we finally get back to having small social gatherings, the experience of hand sanitizer in the form of a floating cloud of bubbles, seeing people both young and old drawn to play, capture, and get clean!” says Steve Jarvis, designer of this neat creation. “So much more inviting than simply passing around a basic plastic bottle from person to person.”
Awareness and Communication: Buggy
Another attempt to encourage people to sanitize their phones, “Buggy” by Zoe Lester, Beth Thomas, Emma Chih, Erin Giles, and Kris Murphy is a habit-building app displaying the buildup of bacteria on your locked phone screen. It works by collecting data around daily phone usage, generating multiplying bacteria across your lock screen to convey the real-life bacteria that needs to be cleaned off your phone.
Cadet Designer: Handle Sanitizer
This tactile sanitizer dispenser system by teen inventor Bo Willis is a sponge cover that fits over door handles, automatically covering people’s hands with sanitizer when they enter the room. Willis also proposed “sanitizer walls,” living walls of aloe vera, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, and eucalyptus that you can run your hands through to kill bacteria.