Mother Is Necessity For This Invention: Escape By Nora Flood
Necessity, the saying goes, is the mother of invention. But in the case of Escape, a portable fire escape ladder, Mother was the necessity for the invention.
Nora Flood, a junior at Purdue University in Illinois, won first place at the 2009 International Home and Housewares' (IHA) Student Design Competition. She won for her well-researched product design for a portable fire escape ladder. Ms. Flood had to get this ladder right; she was designing it for her own mother.
“The design for Escape was driven by my mom’s fear of having a fire in her house and not being able to get out,” Flood explained. “Based on deep research, I identified problems with existing fire escape ladders, and looked for new solutions and ways to merge them to make the user’s experience as simple and risk-free as possible.”
Ms. Flood's ladder is designed to be lightweight as well as compact. Another important aspect of the design's uniqueness is that Escape fits over the window frame and not the window sill. Because window frames come in different sizes, Escape expands to the appropriate size of the frame.
Ms. Flood created the Escape design for an industrial design course at Purdue. Though the course only entered the curriculum three years ago, students from the class have done very well at the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition. In addition to Ms. Flood, another two students from Purdue took Honorable Mentions this year, and last year Purdue students took home six Honorable Mentions.
In addition to winning $2,400 in award money, Ms. Flood won an all-expense paid trip to the IHA show, which will be held at Chicago's McCormick place on March 22 - 24. We hope she finds solid interest in manufacturing her Escape ladder.