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Useful products that will solve problems you didn’t know you had



We may not have noticed these problems, and now they are solved. In the case of everyday problems, our heroes and heroine from School of Design & Environment put their creativity to use in their final-year projects.  

Stir the Pot and Not Get Burned

Feeling vexed from burnt food? Samuel feels you too. An aspiring product designer and novice chef stumbled upon a solution to his problem in the kitchen. And that solution is to create a stirring pot to prevent food from burning and sticking to the base. “In my mind, I was thinking, “Why don’t I use this as an everyday problem as the theme of my final-year project (FYP)?” said Samuel.
 
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Prototypes of RUPOT
Think of RUPOT as your sous chef, who takes care of your food in the kitchen. When we asked Samuel about his inspiration behind the name, RUPOT, he chuckled. “I’ve always envisioned a small bearded man named Rupert. A punny realisation struck me that the culinary term roux sounds like Ru. Hence, RUPOT becomes doubly meaningful,” said Samuel. 

The inner pot rotates in circular motion, while the external body rotates vertically.
Especially when there are soups and gravy in a dish, RUPOT comes in handy before a sticky situation occurs. Stirring is a tedious and time-consuming process that requires one to be present at all times. Samuel solved this by designing a vertical rotation cooking method in two parts. While the food is cooking, the body rotates vertically, with the inner pot rotating in circular motion so the food won’t remain stationary. With RUPOT’s intuitive touch buttons, users can customise their own presets for cooking. Once done, the cooking pot alerts users with a beep and sends an alert to their smart phones.


Rolling Good Times

Barrel may look like a plastic container but it is a helpful tool that could potentially improve the quality of Kenyan women’s lives. Where the Kenyans spend a third of their day travelling for water, their journey can be daunting. Plagued by poor sanitations, the natives suffer from diseases and even deaths. Zijie’s goal was to tackle these issues with an effective and sustainable solution. “I wanted to work on a non-profit project that lets me help people in third-world countries by inventing simple, easy-to-use products,” he said.


Prototypes of RUPOT 
Barrel is not only a water barrel that transports 90 litres of water, it is also a sustainable filtration system that distils water inside. “Further enhancing this filtering process, it has four other sustainable filtering functions to separate sediments from the water,” said Zijie.



Charcoal filter, a feature of Barrel, which removes contaminants and impurities.
The water first enters a mesh, which removes large sediments. Next, a charcoal filter absorbs toxic chemicals and small particles of the water. Passing through a cloth filter, the centrifugal force of the rolling barrel is enabling the cleansing process. Finally, with heat of pasteurisation, the natives will be able to enjoy clean water by the time they get home.



Zijie put together graphic visual representations of information for Kenyan women’s ease of comprehension.
While these filtration steps sound confusing, Zijie made sure to design a useful infographic manual that visually explains the steps, precautions and emergency helplines of Barrel.



Barrel is a simple, rollable water barrel that collects, moves and stores water that women need in Kenya.  












Clean, Filtered Water on the Go

Travelling in countries with unsafe water has prompted Li Xuan to device ways to improve the access to sanitary water. “I was interning in Laos for three months. The quality of water was questionable, so my classmates and I had to buy six 1.5-litre bottles of water,” said Li Xuan.


Collaborating with her client, The GoodWater Company, Li Xuan worked on her research to design and test a prototype adaptor for a water filter. Known as AquaPure, it is a simple equipment that is easy to use that makes it equally for travellers as well. 

“I was given a design brief to create accessories that could house and enable a water filter in both urban and rural environment,” said Li Xuan.

AquaPure is designed to fit bathroom and kitchen faucets of various diameters. It is also adaptable for use in environments with natural water sources of unknown hygiene. Looking back on her journey with her client, Li Xuan was relieved that the design process was smooth-sailing.




“Working with my client wasn’t very tough. In fact, I was given a lot of freedom tweaking my designs. All I need to do is to give constant updates as a form of assurance. I’m glad that they liked the final product,” said Li Xuan. As an environmental-friendly person, Li Xuan lamented about the wastage of plastic bottles. “That trip to Laos made me realise that we wasted a lot of plastic bottles. So it would be good to have a filter so we can drink from the tap anywhere we go,” she added. “I’d love to execute AquaPure as a real-life application so we can enjoy potable water without hurting the environment.”




Li Xuan demonstrates the process of filtering unclean water from a river.