From global pandemic to the Hygiene station
Aleksandra Stamenković, designer, Propulzija
How did the idea come about?
You must have heard or experienced that the best ideas and solutions are born under the greatest pressure, just as metal, steel, plastic, cardboard and other materials, under great pressure of the most modern machines, are shaped under the pen of young and extremely creative, Aleksandra Stamenković, designer from Propulzija company. The pandemic is, we would agree, one of the greatest health, business and mental challenges of our day and is not only an issue to those involved in manufacturing, but also to those involved in creating ideas.
How to design something creative, and at the same time extremely necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic?
“With the appearance of the pandemic, during the spring months, the entire business of the company and the people in it, had to be adjusted to the new rules of business and life. For an esthete like me, it was not easy to give up the cozy home environment, for the sake of a mini office. It was necessary to maintain high company standards of design and production, but also to meet epidemiological requirements for the use of such product, like: sterility, ease of use and innovation.”
“The hygiene station had to be simple for several reasons, so minimalism was my definite choice. Unlike the usual business office environment, the apartment gave me the opportunity to observe objects, including small household appliances, whose shapes inspired me the most. While I was making my own espresso, the coffee machine awakened my imagination and I realized that the design of that machine is the simplicity I will strive for with this product. From my experience, rounded edges make items easier to clean and maintain,” Aleksandra explains.
What did the Hygiene Station development path look like?
“As the office was replaced by a corner in the living room, I also got a personal assistant in it, so every sketch had to be approved by Mr. Žika, my dog. In addition to research and sketching, this time I had a lot of pressure from everyday figures, recommended protective measures, and that information is closely related to this product. After forming the basic shape of the product, which is characterized by a simple shape with rounded edges, it was time to choose colors and design pictograms.
“It was necessary to avoid any chance of confusing users, so I decided to show everything clearly – in black and white. The key thing for choosing this color combination was the possibility of applying hygiene stations in different public areas. Black and white is the winning combination when we do not know what the exterior or interior in which the product will be located looks like. Knowing that Kimberly-Clark products will be used, I adapted each section to their design. Striking pictograms clearly indicate the order of use of the different sections, thus satisfying the ease of use.
Is the final look of the created product different from your original idea?
“There is always a difference from the original sketches. The design adjustment is mainly realized in cooperation with engineers, who actually test and shape the idea and the final solution in relation to the production possibilities. When we discuss together the materials, dimensions, powder coating and many other important factors for quality production, I leave my colleagues the magical part of reviving the first sample of my creation. It is always a wonderful feeling to see the final product in the space that was created from that first shaky sketch”, Aleksandra says. “I had to think about every detail several times. Aside from online meetings and daily conversation with colleagues, this time I had the opportunity to hear the opinion of my loved ones, who, together with Mr. Žika, made the whole situation easier for me and thus provided full support. Each selection aimed to provide the end product with the highest quality and safety to help people the pandemic.
How did you manage to position this great product in our schools as well?
“Our virtual team meetings usually ended with the remark that we should take care of ourselves and others and stay healthy, and at the same time, the station slowly began to win positions at the entrances of companies and public areas. Many colleagues with small children, who worked from home, realized how important it is that their youngest members have the opportunity to disinfect their hands when they are at school, in the same quality and affordable way.
“The Hygiene Station, which meets all necessary standards of practical use, high quality cleaning and, eventually the design, came as a logical solution to this need and therefore we decided, in cooperation with Kimberly-Clark, to address all socially responsible companies who understand the importance of the fact that children must also disinfect their hands adequately, during the time spent at school.”
“In this sense, Propulzija company gave up the earnings from the sale. We are glad that our long-term business partners have already joined this campaign, and other companies are slowly joining our initiative as well. We believe that the number of those who want to participate in the protection of our youngest fellow citizens will increase”, concluded Aleksandra, pleased that her idea will help everyone.