Sick of people invading your personal space on public transportation? Industrial designer Siew Ming Cheng invented the Spike Away vest to ensure that no one gets too close for comfort. The vest certainly won’t attract any potential dates, but it looks like it could be a futuristic piece of high fashion.
Cheng got the materials for her prototype from an unlikely source: a hardware store. It’s made of off-the-shelf strips designed to keep pests out of gardens. The Spike Away vest is just a concept, but it’s useful enough that we could imagine it flying off of the shelves if it ever became a real product.
Here’s what the designer has to say about the product:
“An idea that was conceived as an undergraduate during a short 1.5 day ‘Chindogu’ workshop at the National University of Singapore, held by German furniture designer Werner Aisslinger. ‘Chindogu’ is the Japanese art of designing ingenious gadgets to solve one mundane, everyday problem. “
“A quick brainstorming leads to a everyday situation. Trains are usually crowded during peak hours. Everybody will push each other to try and get onto the train. How can I protect my personal space? The idea was then conceived. ‘What if I wear a vest that is full of spikes?'”
“Attendees are given half a day to source for materials and hack together a prototype that represent the idea. The vest is made of strips of spiky, flexible plastic material found in the gardening section of a handy store. The strips are looped together with cable ties. Fittingly, it was normally used to keep birds and cats away from plants. “
Sure, this spiked vest might be taking personal space to the extreme, but it’s not actually going to hurt anyone, and seems likely to actually work. The fact that it’s made of such cheap materials is just a bonus.