If you’ve ever been on a crowded train you know there’s no such thing as personal space when your head is stuck in the armpit of some random person. In an effort to shoo away pushy jerks on public transportation, Siew Ming Cheng created a vest covered in spikes called Spike Away. It might look ridiculous to wear in public, but the next time you’re on a crowded train it might just save you some personal space.
In an interview with Fast CoExist Cheng says she created the vest because the trains in Singapore get very crowded and everyone pushes each other to get in; hence the solution of wearing a vest full of spikes. Cheng made the vest using strips of spikey, flexible green plastic normally used to keep birds and cats away from plants. She cut the pieces to fit her and tied them all together using cable ties.
Cheng came up with Spike Away while attending a workshop led by German furniture designer Werner Aisslinger at the National University of Singapore. At the workshop, Alissinger told everyone to build a “Chindogu” solution, a Japanese term for an “almost useless” gadget designed to solve one mundane, everyday problem. The commuter-repellent device hasn’t been field tested yet – according to Cheng, she’s only worn it at school. But it’s definitely an idea that’s just crazy enough to work.