Otago Polytechnic design student Ross McFadden with his
bullet bottle opener, Urban Survival. Photo by Jane Dawber.
It is not often that bullets are designed for comfort.
But for a Waimate farm boy, who is not used to the hustle and
bustle of big city life, a .30-06 big game rifle bullet is
the key to his comfort in the "urban jungle".
Ross McFadden is a second-year bachelor of design (product)
student at Otago Polytechnic and has spent the past 10 weeks
fashioning large calibre rifle shells into nifty beer bottle
"I'm a country boy. I used to get freaked out just walking
around the supermarket - I'm not used to the confined spaces,
all the people, the noise."
Mr McFadden said he was more at home in the remote hills
surrounding Waimate, where he likes to go deerstalking.
"Sometimes, the world we live in becomes too distant from
nature. So this [bottle opener] gives the ability to escape
from your concrete jungle into the vast beauty of the
While the "Urban Survival" product provides him with a level
of comfort in the supermarket, marketing the product to local
retailers in a dragons' den-style sales pitch at the Otago
Polytechnic yesterday did not.
He was one of about a dozen second-year design students who
were grilled by potential buyers and distributors of their
products, about how they were made, manufacturing costs and
their ability to produce large quantities.
Other product designs presented to the judges included
chopping boards made of reclaimed wood from the Christchurch
earthquake, doily brooches, fridge magnets and iPod stickers.
Design lecturer Machiko Niimi said the students had 10 weeks
to design, manufacture and brand a unique product, which
could be sold for $20 to $40.
The students were asked "to sell an experience as much as a
product, and there really is an interesting story behind each
of the creations", she saidMs Niimi said some students teamed
up with local businesses, such as Farra Engineering,
Brandwell Moller and Otago Polytechnic's Innovation
WorkSpace, to manufacture their products.
"It's been fantastic for the students to work with these
businesses and see their creative dreams realised," she said.