It is fantastic to see so much media interest in Collyer’s student, Glenn Crombie’s DFF winning pull-out plug socket idea!
International online design magazine, Core77 reported :
“One of the funniest things I ever saw during my corporate design years was the tech support guy who was trying to get fired. He never confided to me that he was trying to get fired, but no other motivation could explain his behavior. One day I called him in to complain about a faulty monitor. “Let the doctor take care of it,” he said, grabbing the power cord. He then suddenly, savagely yanked it out of the wall so hard it was like he was trying to start a lawn mower. (And yes, he bent the prongs.)
The tech support guy had a good grip on the cord, if not job security; but for those with arthritis, removing a power cord from a wall socket can be an ordeal. Addressing this latter fact, UK design student Glen Crombie has designed a power outlet with a sort of eject button. Press it and the plug is forced out, easy peasy.
Crombie’s outlet design took first prize in a design competition sponsored by product manufacturer The Future Perfect Company and the UK’s College of Richard Collyer. (No word yet on whether it will see actual production.)”
Online tech blog, Gizmodo :
“Does your old person have trouble unplugging power cords from their sockets? Fear not! This award winning student design can see to it that, with a simple eject button, your grandma’s osteoporotic fingers need not suffer unplugging her computer again.
Dreamed up by UK design student Glen Crombie, this concept won first prize at the Future Perfect Company design competition, which asked its competitors to find elegant solutions for the problems faced by an aging population. The idea is simple: if the average three-pronged plug is too hard for an older person to grip, add an easily-installed eject button to push the plug right out of its socket. Quick and easy. It might be nice to see this concept see some real-life use”.
Charlie Sorrell from WIRED said :
“This curious plug-ejecting power-socket has just won first prize in the The Future Perfect Company design competition. The brief: Come up with “attractive and aspirational” designs that help people carry on as normal when they get older.
For most of the world, pulling out a plug is as simple as yanking a cord. Arthritis? Wrap the cord around your wrist before you pull. In England – where the fear of electrocution is only matched by the fear of the gangs of teenagers that roam the streets like marauding post-apocalyptic biker-gangs (only without the bikes) – things are more complex. Switches, interlocks and a three-pronged design with a side-exiting cable mean you need some strong fingers to unplug a plug.
Glenn Crombie’s winning design has an eject button. Press it and three prongs push the plug out and let it drop gently to the thick carpets that cover the floors of Britain. Never mind that frail fingers will have to press hard on a thin rod to make it work, or that when the plug is not in place there are three prongs sticking out to catch on skirts, slacks or any furniture you may wish to place in front of the sockets.
I guess the best thing to do would be to change UK plugs, but that’s about as likely as the country ditching the pound for the Euro, driving on the right or finally admitting that it is no longer in charge of a world-spanning empire.”
And finally, a nice write up from the West Sussex County Times with a quote from Collyer’s tutor, Kate Sharp :
“Without design and technology in the national curriculum and its progression to product design at A level, our students’ experience at school and college would be a lot less enriching. As a subject, product design is the perfect bridge between science and creative, innovative design”.
As funds are ploughed into the sciences, it is easy to forget the importance which design and creativity play in our lives and how transformational good design can be. As we get older, it can mean the difference between being independent or not, enjoying our later lives or not”