> Tissue Dispenser

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When I got the assignment to design a tissue-dispenser I must say I wasn’t that thrilled. The tissue-dispenser I’ve seen where gadget-like cheap boxes you got for free with the tissues themselves. But as always it’s sometimes with the most tedious assignments where you can really do something else. First of all I had to find a problem before I would start sketching possible sollutions. There’s many problems with these kind of products. The most important one is that you have to ‘fish’ for the last tissues in the box. Quit a frustrating job. There’s also some other issues I wanted to solve with this product. Like storage room for thermometers, medicine, nail-clippers etc.., Maybe we could incorporate the function of tissue-dispensing in a existing baby-product? And off course the current tissue-dispenser aren’t that good looking ;) So I started to explore on these topics and after +100 sketches I showed these ideations to the client.

The client responded quite enthusiastic on the storage idea and the solution for the ‘fishing problem’. The solution was pretty simple: If you turn a current tissue-dispenser up-side down the tissues will always reside near the opening thus solving the problem of the last tissues stuck on the bottom. These topics would be the focus for further developing the tissue-box. We established that the product should be tipped over so the bottom would open up and reveal the tissues. In the upper-part there would be storage space for all the little stuff you tend to misplace. Now it was time to get a more hands-on-approach and I made some rough-mock-ups, exploring various shapes.

The triangular shape was chosen since it was the more ergonomical one. And left enough space on top for storage. With the shape and dimensions chosen it was time to make a fully-working prototype. After some experimentation with PS-sheets and a hot-air-blower I managed to make a quite accurate presentation of what the final product might look like. With this prototype we could not only assess it’s appearance but also it’s workings and how user might interact with it. There was also established that we needed to add some sort of anti-slip since it had the tendency to slide instead of tipping over.

But overall people reacted really well towards this tipping idea. So with the conceptualization finalized it was time to define the product architecture and detailed design. Some minor problems needed to be solved and since we wanted this product to be easily recyclable (read according to the cradle-2-cradle principles) we could not use co-injection-molding and reduce the amount of different materials to a minimum. Off course this limited our possibilities but this kind of design thinking should benefit us all. Especially since the product itself would be easily recycled and it’s materials re-used in other future products. So easy disassembly (and therefore easy assembly) was vital in defining it’s product architecture. Another interesting feature that was established in the fully working prototype was how the storage lid closed, since it felt really nice and really added something to the user-experience. Instead of adding snaps onto this lid we opted to keep the lid as simple as possible and think of it as one big snap. After several changes to the design the product architecture was approved and fabrication of the molds could start.

This project started in may of last year and was finalized about half a year later. The products themselves will be available in stores in April. This shows that exploring and implementing new ideas does not take anymore time than a regular restyled product, if done properly that is. (read: fast and broad exploration, testing and learning from prototypes since the very beginning of the project) For more information please visit: Here’s an excerpt of their site:
“Useful can also be beautiful. This multifunctional tissue-dispenser has two compartments: one side for wet wipes and on the other side for all the small but essential accessories of the young mother ear-buds, thermometer, nail scissors, nose water, suppositories etc. With its simple and sleek design the fits in any interior home: children’s room, bathroom, toilet, kitchen …”

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