Challenging today's fast-moving plastic consumerism.
Personal care products are often cheap and short-lived. They end up hurting our planet, as part of the 8 million tons of plastic being dumped in our oceans every year. I set out to design a razor with a minimal environmental impact and circular product life cycle.
Several tools and approaches were used to build a strong understanding of the market, user experience, and areas for innovation around the personal care product. This shaped a initial design concept that was presented in a visual report, serving as the projects first deliverable.
Additionally the report included a benchmarking of the Reserve Shave 5 Razor with a system analysis, SWOT-analysis, disassembly, and eco-audit.
IDEATION & Design vision
I wanted to add an emotional value to the razor, and chose to use form and material to do so. Not only would it be aesthetically pleasing, but the user would be more likely to take care of their razor and keeping it for longer, improving the sustainability of the product life cycle. I looked to brands like HAY and MUJI for inspiration.
Material Selection & life cycle
CES EduPack was used to make an overview of potential materials. Stone was shown profitable, with low values for embodied energy and CO2 footprint. A material vision was created, identifying its expreriental and technical properties.
Soapstone (also known as steatite) has been a medium for carving for thousands of years and is today used for large architectural features like fireplaces, floor tiles, and countertops. The idea became to use waste or recycled materials from these manufactures and suppliers.
Product life cycle
The unique thing about soapstone is that when powdered, its widely used for making products such as baby powder, make up and soap, because of its high content of certain minerals.
In this way, if or when the user would like to dispose of their razor, the material could be powdered for an additional use. The powder from the manufacturing would also go towards an additional use, creating a no-waste supple chain, and a circular flow for the product lifecycle.
The algorithm aided design tool Grasshopper was used to shape the proposed design. Grasshopper is known for creating organic, unique, and natural shapes and surfaces. The design vision would then not only be achivied thought the material experience, but also trought the shape of the razor.
Using Grapphopper, instead of making a model once, one set up an algorithm for the model. This allowed for easy and rapid iterations for the user testing.
Each iteration was 3D printed and user tested. Improvements were then made based on the feedback. The twist in the handle allows the user to place their thumb and middle, ring, and little finer on a flat surface. This feature secures the users grip, minimising the risk of the razor slipping, increaseing its safety of use, while still allowing smooth and comfortable manoevering of the razor in the hand, with no sharp edges causing discomfort.
The stone used for the prototype was sourced in the mountain area Rondane in Norway. Knives and sandpaper were used to shape the form after a quick model made of clay and 3D prints.