:: Specific Design Brief

Practical Action 7:
Carrying Equipment


All over the world, people have to carry a wide variety of equipment or goods to do their jobs – the tools of their trade. Investigate the problem of carrying equipment. Design and make a sustainable method of carrying equipment or goods for the person or occupation of your choice.

Joiners in the UK have to carry large amounts of tools, nails, screws etc. when they work on building sites. Investigate the equipment joiners use for carrying equipment. Design and make a sustainable method of carrying tools/ equipment that is practical, safe (can be carried without damage to backs, and up and down ladders), and which is better than the existing methods.
At present joiners usually use plastic boxes for getting tools and materials to and from building sites. The most common problem is that the hinges or clasps of the boxes break before the body wears out. So they buy a new box and throw the old one away. In the past joiners used wooden boxes and hessian bags, both of which used more sustainable materials. Design and make a container (or containers) for a joiner to carry tools in.

There are joiners in every town. You might find a company or individual joiner who is willing to act as your client. Discuss with them their needs and how their activities or products could be made more efficient and more sustainable. You can find out from the joiner the exact nature of the tools they carry every day (types of tool, sizes and weights, and how they need to be protected).

• The plastic boxes currently used are based on non-renewable resources
• When they break they are thrown away
• Manufacturing plastic boxes can give rise to toxic emissions
• Are renewable or recycled materials a possibility?
• Is it possible to design and make more robust system that lasts longer?
• Carrying the boxes currently in use is unsafe – people can hurt their backs, and carrying them up and down ladders is not easy
• Is there a market for customised containers for joiners’ tools?


If you decide to work on this design brief, don't forget to consider the issues of sustainability in the different phases of your designing and making.
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