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  • SuperTowel (formerly Magic Towel) form, packaging and distribution kit design

Stevens, John, Holm Larsen, Torben, White, Sian and Fong, Vikci, 2018, Printed Publication, SuperTowel (formerly Magic Towel) form, packaging and distribution kit design (Unpublished)

Abstract or Description:

This research concerns the design development of an innovative antimicrobial textile, exploring its potential application in humanitarian contexts. ‘SuperTowel’ is a microfibre towel treated with a permanent anti-microbial bonding, designed as a soap alternative in emergency situations, when handwashing is critical for disease control but it is also inconvenient and difficult to practice. The product has a dual mode of action: rubbing the skin with the fabric provides mechanical removal of bacteria and dirt from hands, and the antimicrobial treatment disinfects the towel.

The project structure includes iterative cycles of laboratory tests, design experimentation and field trials in Eritrea and Tanzania, hence spanning three disciplines and methodologies, leading to a viable, impactful outcome.

Two design experimentation phases include two-day workshops to explore design possibilities, providing developer Real Relief with creative directions improving the application of their SuperTowel fabric for hand cleansing in a humanitarian context.

Design workshop 1, in February 2018, led and facilitated by Stevens, and included Real Relief’s Technical Director and a WASH specialist Research Fellow from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and RCA MA students. The workshop led to prototypes used in subsequent lab and field trials, increasing functional efficacy (better dirt removal), and increased likelihood of timely use. Lab tests found three of the four prototypes derived from workshop 1 were better at removing E.coli than handwashing with soap (while also using less water).

Workshop 2 in February 2020 aims to refine structural design, pattern, and visual communications to improve intuitive understanding of the product’s purpose and mode of use, and to develop a communications package to be used by distributors, such as NGO field officers and volunteers. A second round of field trials in Africa follows.

Official URL: http://www.realreliefway.com/en-us/life-saving-pro...
Subjects: Other > Medicine and Dentistry > A900 Others in Medicine and Dentistry > A990 Medicine and Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design > W990 Creative Arts and Design not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) i
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2020 15:50
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 17:53
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4295
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