Interview with designer Richard Harlow (RH), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Coloursafe Crc Protective Medical Storage.

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Interview with Richard Harlow at Wednesday 20th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
RH : Those who suffer from conditions like arthritis have great difficulty accessing bottles and containers with child proof caps. This often leads them to disable the caps allowing any children that may be present or visit easy access to harmful substances. The purpose of this design is to create an alternative method of keeping children out while allowing a larger range of adults in.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
RH : Primarily creating a safe and functional product. When I tested this design I was ecstatic to see it performed exactly as I had intended it to.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
RH : I am contemplating taking this design into production as soon as I can create a business plan I feel will best work with this style of product.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
RH : Over all about three months. I worked with a few different concepts but early on this showed to be the most effective route to take.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
RH : I developed this concept during my final year at university. I was brought a paper written by "Age Uk" illustrating the problem that many elderly people had with child resistant packaging and I was instantly passionate about the brief.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
RH : The design is not in production yet, however if I were approached to sell the design I would consider it.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
RH : I was fundamentally inspired by the workings of a combination lock.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
RH : The product has a wide range of uses so realistically any company selling a product that could be considered corrosive or any type of medication.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
RH : The conventional child resistant caps require a level of material deformation to allow access into the container, this design has been designed to minimise the levels of force required and instead depends on the users mental development.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
RH : The contents of the product are protected from children by coloured shapes on the outside of the packaging. from this function I gave the product the name "Colour-safe".

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
RH : I used quite a wide range. During the design process I used formal evaluation methods such as matrix analyses. For prototyping and testing I used multiple CAD/CAM software's and machinery taking advantage of both reductive and additive manufacturing methods. Additionally I used a plastics material data base to select the least reactive materials to allow for the widest range of products that could be stored.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
RH : I would have to say the products dependence of mental development rather than physical force.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
RH : Collaboration was limited to my self and some advice I Gained from my lecturers. I was however helped by the Cardiff institute of the blind to ensure my product was suitable for the widest range of vulnerable adults.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
RH : Technology is quite limited in this design. I have always been an advocate of creating simple products that are able to perform complicated tasks well.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
RH : I did a lot of research into children's mental development, the difficulties of those suffering from degenerative disorders and the material qualities applicable to the design of the product.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
RH : It was quite difficult to find a puzzle that best kept a child out. It is surprising how analytical children can be at a young age and finding the correct balance was challenging.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
RH : I was interested in applying to the competition and when I saw the category for "differently abled" users, I felt that this was a good opportunity to show one of my favourite designs.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
RH : I learned that it only takes one good concept to take you in the right direction to a final product. I went through countless concepts before finding the best solution.