University of the Arts London
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INDEX: Design To Improve Life

online resource
posted on 2024-04-24, 15:48 authored by Lorraine Gamman, Marcus Willcocks, Paul EkblomPaul Ekblom

How did this design improve life?:
Research has proven that existing designs of bag clips are not effective in reducing bag theft. Design Against Crime Grippas are a range of clips offering different methods of attaching bag(s) to furniture in a bars and cafés. The products have enabled people to look after their belongings in bars and cafes at the moments when they need to relax and switch off by providing both a location to keep their belongings safer but also off the floor and out of the way. The designs are a reflection on the understanding and research into people’s natural defensible space.

These designs are being tested and independently evaluated by the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science in order to produce effective designs for the market place for their contribution to reducing theft.

As part of the communication of the project, we developed a package that would enable the host to inform their customers that they were providing Grippas and this communication design strategy is part of a separate entry. These handbag-shaped flyers are printed with instructions in 8 languages. The handle enables them to be simply hung on the Grippas to attract the attention of the customer. They have proved very successful and have been used by the Metropolitan Police and Westminster Council in their attempt to reduce crime over the Christmas period in Central London 2004.

Name of Designer(s):
Jackie Piper, Marcus Willcocks and Chris Thomas – designers – Dr. Lorraine Gamman – design concept and catalysation –

Designers professional status:

Status of realization:

Kind of design:

Produced by:
Design Against Crime Research Initiative

Year of production, realization or publishing:

Designed in country:
United Kingdom

Used on continents:

Short description of design:
A product that enables the user to attach their bags to furniture in an effective manner to reduce the opportunity of theft in bars/cafes. They come in a range of formats to allow different methods of securing bags including attachments to tables and chairs.

Materials: Brass / Aluminum / Wood.

Functionallity and use of design:
Hooking style system that places the bag off the ground and in physical and visual contact with the user. A product that enables the user to attach their bags in an effective manner to reduce the opportunity of theft.

Drawbacks of life improvement:
None known.

Research and need:
Design parameters were identified, tested and retested via the design against crime iterative research process methodology which is summarized at Following the extensive research DAC has undertaken into bag theft, the Grippa project (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board) was developed from the information gathered by the team, as a way of tackling personal loss from bars and cafes linked to research by Dr. Lorraine Gamman (“In the Bag – get smart quickly about bag theft, pickpocketing and street crime” – design resource CD-Rom). Research is summarized in “In the Bag – Get Smart quick about bag theft, pickpocketing and street crime” (by Dr. Lorraine Gamman), a comprehensive design resource focused on issues of bag theft. The CD-Rom includes information on: hot personal products and design case studies, perpetrator techniques, crime resistant products, illustrated principles of crime prevention with reference to design, anti-theft and anti-abuser projects – featuring voices of designers on methods, process and practice.


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