Dundee students have created a handbag designed to stop shopaholics from spending too much money.
As Christmas shopping mania sets in, Leanne Fischler, Kirsty Sneddon and Rebecca Smith want to challenge today’s consumerist society.
Their quirky creation, a brown leather bag, has a sensor that detects when the wearer takes out their credit card.
The bag then ‘speaks’ to its owner through a concealed sound system, discouraging them from buying more.
Messages such as “Do you really need this?” and “You’re already in your overdraft” are delivered in a ‘theatrical’ Cockney accent, getting louder the longer the credit card stays out.
They are in their fourth year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.
Leanne, 21, a product design student, said: “We are interested in design activism making a point through design.
“I do sustainable product design, which aims to reduce the amount of waste people produce.
“The project aims to make people consider whet they already own and whether they need to buy more.
“Consumerism is all about presenting yourself favourably and the bag does the opposite by embarrassing you in public.
“This is a one-off bag designed to create meaningful conversation it’s not for selling.”
Leanne said that the girls made the bag by hand and coded the sound system themselves, which took several weeks.
The voice for the discouraging messages belongs to Mike Press, professor for design policy at DJCAD.
Kirsty, 21, said: “We all pitched into this project equally. I worked on the tone of voice for the bag it’s supposed to be an annoying but friendly character.
“It’s a coincidence that we’re talking about this project near to Christmas, but excessive spending is certainly a part of it nowadays.”
Rebecca, who was involved in the prototype stage and hand-stitching the bag, added that the product has received positive attention.
She said: “I think our message has come across well and people have been able to see that design can be used in the context of social improvement.”