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LSBU student invents a backpack that can save your life

An Engineering Product Design student blew away the judges at the Student Starpack Awards, “surpassing the brief” to create an innovative disaster relief kit
18 July 2017

London South Bank University (LSBU) student Kristen Tapping's Poly Pack design is a waterproof backpack that can assist victims in any natural disaster, supplying the wearer with an expandable pouch for valuable items, life jacket, water filter and rescue tarp.

The design won gold, with the Student Starpack Awards judges commenting the addition of the SOS rescue tarp was “brilliant” and they also liked the name and the detailed model Kristen made of her design.

Kristen said to address the design brief, she tried to imagine what it would be like to experience a natural disaster.

“I put myself in the position of somebody who had just experienced a natural disaster and possibly lost a home, was carrying a handful of random belongings, and had children to care for,” she said.

“This person would be highly distressed and in need of a familiar tool they already know how to operate. I designed the packaging as a roll top backpack so it could accommodate disaster relief kits of all sizes as well as the user’s personal belongings.

“I added features that were both useful in disaster situations and easy to use, including an inflatable life vest embedded into the straps and the back lining, a natural water filter, and a deployable SOS tarp folded up under the pack.

“Considering this packaging could go out to people of all demographics and in any country, the sides of the backpack have wordless infographics depicting how all three added features can be used.”

Despite originally thinking her design was too simple, Kristen attended the Students Awards Presentation and walked away with a £500 prize.

Learn more about studying Product Design at LSBU.