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25 November 2019

Sustainable Product Design in Action

For an optician, trying to get a good look in to the eyes of a child can be tough. They’re easily distracted by everything else in the room and can find a stranger getting so close and shining a torch in their eyes a little unnerving. This can be intensified if patients, not just children, have additional needs such as those with dementia or learning difficulties.

Posed with this problem from long-term partner company Optimec and optician Simon Berry, Clive Goodwin, an Associate Lecturer in Sustainable Product Design at Falmouth who has his own design consultancy, worked with the team to create the Optimec Visual Fixation System (VFS).

Clive tells us about key considerations in designing the product:

“In terms of product design there were a number of challenges; making sure it was user-friendly for both clinicians and patients, optimising manufacture to make it financially viable in the UK but also in developing countries, addressing sustainability using recyclable materials and simplified assembly/disassembly, and reflecting the company brand, it had to be designed and manufactured in England.

“I took the product through design, 3D modelling, prototype testing and manufacture. The outcome is a truly user-centric product with an ethical, sustainable design. For the design I used simple self-coloured vacuum forms and recyclable materials designed for disassembly. This removes the need for paint and metal fixings such as screws, it allows the unit to be shipped and easily assembled wherever it’s needed, and then disassembled and recycled at the end of its life.”

Simon Andrews, Course Leader at the School of Architecture, Design & Interiors is delighted we have Clive sharing his experience with students, “Congratulations to Clive for his innovative, human-centred design that has attracted significant recognition in the ophthalmic industry. The value his professional design experience brings to the students is huge and we’re very pleased to have him working with us.”