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The brief was set during a James Dyson Foundation Workshop, to design a product that relieved a certain target group in a large scale crisis.


Ideas varied from memory boxes to places of remembrance. However, the aim was to design an inexpensive, easily distributed product. My contribution to the project was to visualise people's ideas through sketching, for greater communication between the team members.


Scent is very closely linked to memory. This reminded me of Fur Berries that would pop open and release fragrances. As a result, thoughts focused on using parent’s clothing that had been left behind to make a comforting product. The basis was to not cut up, sew or destroy the parent’s clothes in order to make something new.


Due to the economic collapse in Venezuela, adults are fleeing the country in search of earning money. However, as of 20th February 2020, one million children were left behind with neighbours, extended family or by themselves (Phillips and Rangel, 2020).

At this age, the separation can leave negative long lasting effects on a person’s mental health. During a workshop run by the James Dyson Foundation, the team wanted to find a way for the children to feel closer and connected with their parents.


Then Calmar was created. It is a long cushion with fastenings on either end. When a T-shirt is wrapped around the cushion to act as a casing, Calmar can fold over and fix to produce a comfortable pillow.


Other team members carried out prototyping ready for presentation. The product won 2nd place in the workshop for considering the emotional needs of the children, and feasibility instead of trying to solve the entire crisis.


There was a energetic dynamic in the team because we all felt strongly about the cause and only had a few hours to concentrate one idea. The range of disciplines included socially aware designers to practical thinkers. We were successful because we listened and reached a middle ground.

Phillips, T. and Rangel, C. [2020] A million children left behind as Venezuela crisis tears families apart. Available at: [Accessed 20th February 2020]

Design Tags:  CAD | Group Project

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