redesigning "normal" socially, ritually, and emotionally
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Penguin Utility Knife

 
 

Penguin Utility Knife

Penguin is an ergonomic utility knife that allows the user to cut materials without tiring her hand.  By hooking her hand around the knife, the user can easily exert force from the arm, rather than the tip of her fingers.

 
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Penguin’s unique form that is shaped as a hook makes cutting easy by allowing the whole arm to work.  With a traditional knife, most of the work is done by finger tips that hold the blade down.  This can quickly tire the fingers when cutting multiple materials.  With Penguin, however, the work is in pulling the knife towards the user, not holding it down.  Because the hook allows the user to engage her whole arm to pull the knife, it makes cutting materials effortless.

 

Process

Penguin’s first model was created with wood, and then seven blue-foam iterations were formed to explore different ways in which the hook could be shaped to maximize the ergonomic effect.  One interesting observation was that when one held a knife, it was in a closed manner that made the wrist turn slightly towards the center of the body.  It allowed the hand to lock the wrist and hold the knife steadily.  In order to let the user naturally hold the blade in this way, it had to be shaped so that its cross-section would be a triangle.

 
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