Walking in the dark can be a dangerous act,

especially for people in developing countries. With little electricity and darker, more rural roads, pedestrian casualities are bound to occur.

Designed to pack and ship cheaply and easily, Be Seen is a conceptual product that gives pedestrians a little bit of light to help reduce collisions.

About the project

Class assignment: Using components from the Walmart Ozark Trail 3 Headlamp ($1), design a product for small-scale manufacturing and distribution to developing countries.

Challenges: Product concept should:

- be manufacturable by a small-scale humanitarian agency.

- incorporate provided LED components.

- help solve a problem in developing countries.

What problem can low-lumen count LED components help solve?

Insight: Many roadside casualities occur at night because pedestrians are walking on poorly lit rural roads.

Goal: Use the LED components to create a product that provides and encourages safety by placing light on the pedestrian.

Design inspiration

Two design typologies were employed for this project: frame and layer. Frame inspiration was found in several real products, while layered forms were primarily inspired by semi-transparent animals found in nature, such as the glass frog, whose skin inspired the glowing core of the final product and the plastic bag packaging concept.

Model production details

In an effort to create a viable product for a mid-scale humanitarian non-profit, Be Seen was designed to be made out of acrylic sheets cut using a conventional laser cutter, then layered together. A detailed housing was carefully developed for the button cell batteries and circuit board, which would diffuse the light from the LEDs. Intended to be a cast glow-in-the-dark piece, a 3D print acted as a stand-in for this model. Precision modeled in Rhinoceros, it fit the components perfectly. The frame was test cut with black foam-core board, then cut on sheets of acrylic. Standard machine screws hold the product together, allowing access to the batteries. Two-inch polyester webbing was used for the strap.

Full production list: Laser-cut acrylic sheets, 3D-printed glow-in-the-dark battery and circuit board housing and button, machine screws, 2-inch 6000-lb tensile webbing