January - April 2017 | Individual Project 

Peek Interactive Sunshade

"Design a product to improve the travel experience, using primarily plastics"

I approached this brief from two sides; researching the extensive possibilities of plastic as a material, and thinking about the user experiences of travelling. When I began to think about travelling as a child and read about thermochromic technology, these two approaches aligned.


Travel sunshades are usually dark and dull, increasing children’s reliance on the virtual world of smartphones and tablets, and isolating them from their surroundings and the magic of travel. I decided to reinvent the sunshade, to make it interactive, reminiscent of doodling in the condensation on a fogged up window. 


This sensory interaction is facilitated by a range of plastics, each for their own unique properties. I really enjoyed working with children on this project, and the material exploration involved (there were a lot of dead ends).

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This project started out as coursework but grew into something bigger once I was shortlisted for the Design Innovation in Plastics Award, one of six chosen from nearly 200 entries. I developed and detailed it further and was rewarded with the first prize.

Most importantly, this presented new practical opportunities to me such as spending a week in the headquarters of Covestro (once Bayer Material Science) in Leverkusen, Germany and gaining a place on the Fundamentals of Systematic Moulding course at RJG Technologies. 

Overall, I learned a lot about the design potential of plastic as a material and the responsibility we have to use it correctly (and keep it out of the sea!).


© 2018 by Ellen Britton

ellenpbritton@gmail.com  |  Tel: +44 7512262031