Broo-ver: Some kind of vacuum cleaner

Designed byBen Fursdon, Broo-ver is a new approach to the humble vacuum cleaner with less plastic, less parts, less hassle.

Vacuum cleaners are a household essential, used often, abused more often and thrown away in vast numbers. Due to the complicated assembly and myriad of components, many vacuum cleaners end up at landfill when they could be repaired. Broo-ver is designed to empower the owner. Stripped down to the minimum amount of parts possible, Broo-ver promotes easy maintenance, increased level of ownership and understanding and longer product life span.

The main concept for Broo-ver came about after a trip to the local land-fill site. After seeing the mass amount of vacuum cleaners that were being thrown away, and learning that around 8 out of 10 of them could be repaired quite simply, the designer Ben Fursdon decided to design a vacuum cleaner with simplicity and minimal components. His in depth research included de-constructing numerous vacuum cleaners (modern and old), spending time with the owner of the UK’s only vacuum cleaner museum (James Brown) and generally trying to learn everything and anything about vacuum cleaners. After creating various working models which were then tested on users, the final Broo-ver shape and components developed. The end result is an elegantly simple and user focused vacuum cleaner, that affords the owner a better understanding of how it works and increased level of ownership.

Here are some words from the designer:

“The whole concept for the vacuum cleaner came about after a little bit of insight from the local landfill and also me being aware of how many household products we throw away as a society. I researched into why we throw away vacuum cleaners so readily and a lot of people said that it was because they ‘broke’. After further research and questionnaires and taking apart about 20 vacuum cleaners that were thrown out and apparently ‘broken’. I came to the conclusions that they weren’t broken it was just that they had not been maintained correctly and/or the parts that needed replacing, cleaning or maintaining, were more often than not, incredibly difficult to access.

The design process then began with trying to simplify the product down to the bare minimum. I made a prototype using a Tupperware container with a hole cut in the top and bottom, and jammed a filter into the lid and then connected that to the motor I had taken from and old vacuum cleaner, then as a quick and easy way to see if it worked, attached it all to a broom.

After a couple of electric shocks and a re-wiring of the motor I got it to work. I then left it at my university for a couple of days and came back to find that loads of people had been talking about it and saying that it was a great concept. So decided that even though the broom was a quick way to prove it was working, that I should stick with it as the basis of the vacuum.

Then the design went through several changes after making more models (in particular the foam board model in the picture) and testing for ergonomics and what not. I then finally came to the current design as seen in the photos.”

* Images courtesy ofBen Furdson.

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