Fiachra Durkan

Fiachra is a Product Design graduate based in Dublin city. He is passionate about developing meaningful user experiences in all aspects of the design process and believes it is in the everyday interactions, which often get overlooked, where users extract the most value.

Afterall, good design is obvious; but great design is transparent.

Fiachra believes that all end-users will adopt the right choice when it becomes the easy choice and firmly believes that all design should pledge to build an equitable, inclusive and above all else, sustainable world for generations to come.


Making Hybrid Work

POP-IP is a novel method of running collaborative hybrid brainstorming sessions which keep meeting agendas on track and encourage contributions from all attendees. Currently, employees working from home and attending a meeting remotely often feel unheard and ignored. Those working within the building struggle to realise when those at home are attempting to contribute to the meeting.

The remote, which each employee receives during the meeting has five functions: propose, oppose, problem, insight, and plan. These functions provide a jumping-off point for any employee to share some beneficial information and facilitates diversity of thought, which has proven to lead to more creative, well thought out solutions.

POP-IP is not designed to be used in most meetings, far from it. The purpose of POP-IP is that it facilitates fast-paced, engaging, collaborative diversity of thought and as such, it is to be used at the beginning of any big project as an initial brainstorming tool to get things moving. It acts as a playful means of identifying areas to explore further and allows those who may be shy or more reserved to add potentially valuable information.

POP-IP has three primary user benefits:

It gives all a voice, including those at home who previously felt they could not get a word in.

It promotes constant relevant engagement, giving all employees five inputs as a jumping-off point which keeps the collaborative session on track while reducing idle chit chat.

It achieves organisational goals through the process of ‘serious play’ which is due to the gamification of the controller.

While other interactive collaborative solutions rely on an accompanying app, likely used through the employee’s phone, POP-IP gives each employee a handheld controller. This has several benefits. Apps require the use of a phone or laptop device; this tempts the attendee to engage in multitasking behaviour which distracts from the current task at hand. Even when an attendee attempts to reengage, there is a cognitive associated with a context shift where the said employee has to refocus and place themselves back in the meeting. The use of a controller forces the user to engage solely with the meeting agenda, without the use of their phone and creates a playful approach to solving organisational goals.

POP-IP is unique in that other collaborative packages target remote or physical meetings, POP-IP considers the needs of both those attending from home and those attending in person.


Take A Break Go Outside

With remote working on the rise and no end in sight, workers should be encouraged to get fresh air throughout the day. Remote working has led to an increase in snacking behaviour which has been shown to have long-term negative effects on one’s health. A growing concern with these individuals is that they are developing a sense of isolation and disconnection from society which can have a serious impact on their mental wellbeing.

ThermoSmart attempts to tackle all of these issues. By encouraging workers to take a significant break during the day, where they can prepare a nutritious lunch, bring it to an outdoor venue, get some fresh air and take in their surroundings; improvements in diet, self-esteem and mental wellbeing will be observed in time.

ThermoSmart has four compartments which are entirely modular in their use. The product has a rich aesthetic, tactility, and ergonomic form. The lid is removed with ease by simply lifting away from the housing. A removable leather strap clips onto the D-ring on either side of the unit allowing the user to easily transport the lunch unit to and from their desired location.

ThermoSmart brings with it three primary user benefits:

It encourages those stuck indoors to once again venture outwards.

It promotes a healthy, well-balanced diet through its multi-compartmental design. The user is encouraged to mix and match their meals, no longer restricted to a single nutritional item.

It helps to improve mental wellbeing by immersing the user in the natural world surrounded by passers-by, refreshing the worker, yielding a better work output post-lunch after returning to the home office.

Unique Value Proposition:

This high quality thermally insulated lunch unit helps the everyday remote worker, who craves social stimuli, relaxation and the outdoors, by reducing the time spent stuck at the home office which often feels overwhelming, and encouraging them to venture outdoors with their packed lunch and immerse themselves within society and the natural world which they so desperately miss.

Unlike other products, this container allows for the simultaneous storage of both hot and/or cold food and drink, with a focus on portability and ease of use, allowing them to relax and turn their focus outwards rather than inwards.