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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emily Rothschild (2010 Fellow) wins Spark Design Award

Medical Glassware
Design Type: Product
Designer: Emily Rothschild

This carafe and tumbler set works towards wrapping the action of taking medication into other daily acts; the object reinforces the act of taking a pill with a bedtime glass of water. Medicine, and our relationship with it, has changed drastically in recent years. The medicine cabinet, however, has remained much the same. This product is part of a larger body of work which addresses our daily needs of and uses for prescription medication, and how our household rituals can better accommodate these. I am building new tools which reflect current behaviors and needs and which transform the mundane and feared into a more artful ritual. This body of work is not meant to amplify or feed into our dependence on pills, but is meant to give richness to the ritual when it is needed and call it into question when it is not. This product addresses means of access, tools for remembering, and the potential for new associations. Taking medication is something that many of us do daily and yet, somehow, often forget to do. There is also a fear associated with the act: fear of illness, dependency, and the unknown. We are not, however, fearful of nor do we forget to brush our teeth, read the newspaper, or drink our morning juice or nighttime glass of water. This bedside carafe and tumbler set builds medicine intake into other daily activities that have to do with health and well-being and increases our chances of remembering to take our pills. The goal is to locate medication in spaces in the home other than the bathroom medicine cabinet and integrate it into other routines that have to do with quality of life. The design incorporates a copper container on the bottom of a tumbler with a partnering carafe. This storage compartment acts as a tool for medical organization and provides the user with the ability to see whether they have taken their medicine or not. The glassware replaces the orange pill bottle or plastic seven-day cassette that sit on so many bedside tables. I want to make changes to things which are familiar in order to create something new and tuck one ritual in with another. The current system of pharmaceutical distribution and the orange pill bottle will most likely be around for years to come, however, in the meantime, there should be tools which better help to organize pills for intake at home or on the go.

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