A Series of Student Design Projects for Improving and Modernizing Safety Helmets
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Johannes de Boer (1,2), Margot Stilma (1), Karin van Beurden (1), Wouter Teeuw (1)
Institution: 1Research Centre for Design and Technology, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Enschede, The Netherlands; 2Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Section: Design Education in Practice
The Saxion Research Centre for Design and Technology employs many students during research projects. This paper discusses a series of student design projects on safety helmets in the Safety@Work project. At construction sites workers are required to wear personal protective equipment during their work. However, there is often a lack of intrinsic motivation for wearing them. The series of projects focus on raising intrinsic motivation to wear safety helmets by adding features, and making the safety helmet more comfortable to wear. Co-design principles were used for five consecutive projects. The first projects got a clear view of the problems while wearing safety helmets. Later projects focused on designing prototypes, constructing prototypes, and eventually conducting usability studies with construction site workers. Students are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with companies, research groups at the university, and test their ideas in the real world. A reflection of the process is described.