Fountain of Hygiene

Sanitiser Design Competition

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The competition has officially extended the application deadline to 5 April 2020.

Download the full brief HERE.

With creatives and makers working from home around the world, the full brief and selected jury for Bompas & Parr’s Fountain of Hygiene: Sanitiser Design Competition is announced. The project is open to all, inviting creatives, designers, makers and those with a good idea, to design inspired takes on the sanitiser pumps and hand washing rituals being explored across the globe.

The results will be exhibited online in April and May with entries raising money for the British Red Cross. A physical display will be hosted at the Design Museum once it reopens, with successful projects auctioned by Christie’s at the launch to generate further funds for the British Red Cross.

With more than 190 countries and territories now affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), hand washing and enhanced hygiene has been identified by the British Government as one of the most effective way to prevent and slow its spread. The competition seeks to explore the aesthetic, functional, social, gestural and experiential possibilities of enhanced hygiene. It is hoped that this will accelerate the establishment of new behavioural norms which benefit the ongoing health of global society. Ultimately the aim is to explore how people can safely re-enter the public realm.

Through a rethinking of the artefacts, gestures, rituals and communication of hygiene and sanitiser gel, the open competition seeks to normalise enhanced cleanliness in both the public and domestic realms. This is with a view to exploring how people can safely move back towards the rhythms of their lives, pre-virus. 

The initiative sits within the wider context of the creative industries using the means at their disposal to reduce the physical, social and economic impact of the virus. LVMH is using the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels. by @neoncloth generates hand washing instructions accompanied by lyrics from a song of your choice.

Bompas & Parr's work explores humankind’s relationship with the senses, with past projects including the launch of the British Museum of Food, the world’s first cultural institution exclusively dedicated to food and drink. Hygiene, hand washing and health and safety have always been significant aspects of the food system and central to the studio’s approach.

Fountain of Hygiene select jury
Today the select jury for the competition is announced:

Jules Chappell OBE – Managing Director of the Mayor Of London's Promotional And Economic Development Agency, London & Partners

Marcus Fairs – Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dezeen

Tim Marlow OBE – Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum

Harry Parr – Architect and Founder of Bompas & Parr

Deb Pellen – Global Director, Innovation at Bacardi

Serena Rees – British Businesswoman and Founder of les boys les girls

Prof Charles Spence – Experimental Psychologist and Head of the University of Oxford’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory

Bee Wilson – Food Journalist, Author and Historian

Brief revealed
Via an open call, deadline 5th April, all are invited to submit their designs for a future vision of sanitiser pumps and hygiene innovation. A shortlist will be chosen by our panel of distinguished judges with awards presented in the following categories:

– Industrial Design 
– Luxury Design
– London & Partners Sustainable Design
– Gesture and Ritual
– Awareness and Communication
– Child-Directed Design 
– Cadet Designer (Entered by adult on behalf of under-18 participant)
– Hygiene Innovation Beyond the Sanitiser

Each submission will be evaluated using the following four parameters: innovation, functionality, social impact and aesthetic with participants asked to donate what they feel appropriate to the British Red Cross.

Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum said:

“Design has an important role in helping to solve many of the challenges that we face in daily life including some of those raised by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. We hope that the shortlisted entries of the Sanitiser Design Competition will demonstrate the importance of research and innovative thinking. We look forward to seeing the entries at the museum and raising money for an important cause.”

Marcus Fairs, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dezeen comments:
“The global design community is a tremendous resource for mankind. Creatives and designers at all  levels play an important role in shaping the future at this critical time. I’m looking forward to seeing a terrific variety of responses from the practical and resourceful to the imaginative and inspiring. The best ideas will have a powerful impact on our collective safety”

Deb Pellen, Global Director, Innovation at Bacardi said:
“Outstanding product design is always born at the intersection of human need and design possibilities.  COVID-19 has brought the societal health need for effective hand cleansing into acute focus and this competition will bring design possibilities that don’t just meet the need, but also bring elements of delightful surprise to the experience of using a ‘humble’ hand sanitizer.  This is one way that we can help transform what is currently a fear driven ritual into a long term habit which can benefit all.”

Sam Bompas, Director of Bompas & Parr, notes:

“Developing widely adopted strategies for safely socialising is essential for the continued dynamism of the global economy. Humans are social beings and the right artefacts have a role in getting us through.”

Download the full brief HERE.

Dezeen is media partner for the design competition.

NOTE: This endeavour is looking for interested corporate partners, looking to take successful concepts to scale and create significant impact. Please get in touch through