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Student Showcase Archive

Jon Kuster

MA work

MA work

  • Open Water Guard

    Open Water Guard, 2015

  • CE Kettle

    CE Kettle, 2015

Open Water Guard / CE-Kettle

Open Water Guard

Where minutes count between lif­­­­e and death, this system/guardian cares for your life 24/7, immediately when needed to take action, with not a second of rest, always ready.

Since 2000 there have been over 285 people going overboard on big cruise ships alone. Sixty-eight have been found dead, 200 are still missing. Seventeen people have been found alive, but they were very lucky, as it took up to 18 hours for the rescue teams/crew to realise, stop the ship, prepare for rescue, search and find them (only 5.96 per cent successful rescue rate). On average it took them seven to eight hours to be found in the open water. The fastest rescue was 30 minutes. Even for the rescued it is a tragedy within the waiting hours, not knowing if rescue is on the way or if anyone even noticed they had fallen overboard, and without a floating device to hold onto in the (mostly) icy water. The psychological impacts are another factor.

I want to improve security on big cruise ships by integrating a drone into rescue strategies. This would give customers the feeling of absolute safety and comfort, at the same time increasing and maintaining customer loyalty and sustained growth for these companies. It would improve the rescue tactic onboard cruise ships, by filling in gaps of attention and helping detect and help people fallen overboard within seconds rather than hours, which could be detrimental to victims' lives. It does not replace the existing security and rescue system on board of ships, but rather improves efficiency and assists creating higher level of safety and reliability. I want this to have a high impact on the level of safety and rescue quality on cruise ships around the world, while at the same time reducing the number of victim fatalities.

Once a victim found to have fallen overboard through heat-detecting cameras and/or coordination chips placed in their room cards are identified as being off the ship, a drone is dispatched from the automatically stopped ship, carrying a self inflating object to the victim, coordinated by the chip and/or heat cameras. This keeps the victim safely afloat until the security team rescues them. The drone also hovers above the person as it blinks – acting as a flashlight, making it easier for them to be discovered by the rescue team.

CE Kettle (CE standing for circular economy)

In a finite world such as ours, dealing sustainably with resources is no cup of tea, but a good cup of tea can be the start of sustainable use of resources.

Not only is the new CE Kettle designed more sustainably in terms of minimising environmental impact, it is more hygienic, easily cleaned and maintained (it's even possible to put it in the dishwasher). Most importantly, it is more effective and efficient as the water can be kept warm for longer and boiled quicker.

All products are prone to breaking; currently the majority of them are not designed to be repaired. Although there is a huge opportunity of design for reparability to address social and environmental issues, as designers we do not always consider its impact.

The average kettle has a life span of only 4.5 years and the average of low end kettles, sold for around £5, usually break within only two years. The difficult maintenance, weak parts of the kettle and the inability to be easily repaired or upgraded make people want to buy a new kettle and throw the old one away, rather than investing effort into the old kettle to make it useable again.

The 'CE Kettle' is a product that lives in a 'circular economy' instead of the ’take, make and dispose’ system. Today's high levels of resource and energy use cannot be sustained with the planet’s finite resources. Therefore this product design focuses on solving current difficulties with maintenance and repair, as it is an important factor for closing material loops and is the key element for reaching a local sustainable consumption and production model.



  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Products, 2015

  • Practice and Interests

    My skills are very mixed, spanning a very technical background in industrial design, to a styling-based background in vehicle design. My focus in design is to reach innovation, in terms of bot technology and visual impression.

    Everything people see has an impact on their perceptions and therefore their ways of life. It is of great importance to me that a design expresses emotions that reflect the value of ideas within the design as well as the practical demands of customers. 

    Today, it is essential to think on a large scale when it comes to every kind of product design and to be aware of the responsibility each designer has, because a product can have great influence. Each decision made during development has the potential to impact on the environment and society in either a positive or negative way, depending on whether the designer makes the right call. This is what makes design so meaningful to me. Design is a crucial aspect of modern society, even if we don’t quite realise it.


    English (professional), German (first language), Swiss German (mother tongue), French (basics) 

  • Degrees

  • BA Product & Industrial Design, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northern Switzerland, 2012