Transporting equipment

The Design Context:

Investigate the problem of carrying equipment and design and make a product suitable for the area and work of your choice.

Design and make a portable carrier for use by a travelling veterinary surgeon in Kenya whose main method of transport is by bicycle

Before you begin:

Key questions for sustainable design and manufacture to ask yourself before you begin

(Note not all the questions will be appropriate to your particular design idea or product)

  • Is the product something that people want and need?
  • Will it always be wanted and needed? Is it subject to the whims of fashion? Is it economically feasible to make the product given the whims of fashion and the marketplace?
  • Who would benefit the most from this product given their available income and their local environment?
  • Will production (and any subsequent repair, recycling) provide work to help people earn money?
  • Which raw materials will be used? Are they renewable?
  • What pollution is caused by the extraction and processing of the raw materials?
  • How will the product be manufactured?
  • What other materials are needed in order to use the product? (eg fixings, surface paints or varnishes)
  • Can the product be made locally using local skills and local materials?
  • How much energy is used at different stages of the product's lifecycle?
  • How will the product be packaged?
  • How will the product be sold / transported to the shops?
  • How will the product be promoted / marketed?
  • How will it be used? Will it only be used for its intended purpose? How many times will it be used before being thrown away?
  • How will it be disposed of after use?
  • Could it be repaired? Re-used? Re-cycled?
  • Can the product be easily repaired using local materials? How many parts can go wrong? How likely are they to go wrong?


Web reference

How do bikes work?

What is the science of cycling?

Information from the San Francisco museum, The Exploratorium.

What types of panniers are currently commercially available?


What types of bike trailers are commercially available? How do they attach to the bike?


What other products are available for carrying equipment?


Before you begin

Web references

Specific design context
1. Product Design - A portable carrier

2. Product Design - An improved bicycle taxi seat

3. Product Design - Firewood Carrier

1. A portable carrier for vets

The area where paravets work

The origins of the roads
What are the roads like?
What are the bikes like?
How do they carry their equipment now?
What's wrong with current methods?
What distance do they travel daily?
What's their ideal carrier?
What diseases do they Treat?
What equipment do they carry?
What carrier making skills and materials are available?

  2. An improved bicycle taxi seat

The area where the taxis operate

The bicycle taxi business in Kisumu
What's a bicycle taxi like?
What are the current problems?
What would be an ideal bicycle taxi?
Have they tried other ideas
What materials and skills are available locally?
A bicycle taxi for a paravet?