Soundproof sanctuary to give mums a little peace

Emmi Hartinkainen with sons Valo and Okko in her time machine
Emmi Hartinkainen with sons Valo and Okko in her time machine
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STRESSED-out mums being run ragged have been given a glimpse of the ideal sanctuary.

The Time Machine, a sound- insulated booth complete with revolving door, could offer the peace and quiet they long for as the kids run wild.

Mum of twins Emmi Hartikainen came up with the idea while studying at Edinburgh Napier University, which opened its degree show today.

Among the other inventions on display are an “emergency chair” and a mysterious structure built with a little help from a Harry Potter set designer.

Emmi, who is studying BDes (hons) design and digital arts, came up with the Time Machine to provide an escape from the demands of her young family and her studies.

The 29-year-old said: “I look after my three-year-old boys, I run my own company and at the same time, I’m in my final year of university,” she said. “Sometimes I need to stop. I had to have somewhere I could go and completely switch off.”

Padded with thick acoustic foam, the two-metre-tall escape pod provides the perfect hideaway for busy mums.

The mum to three-year-olds Valo and Okko said: “Time Machine brings you much closer to your thoughts. There are no distractions and the little things, like the shadows and the tiny strips of light which creep through, become significant.

“Inside, I’ve set up a disconnected audio cable which creates static sound or white noise.

“Normally it’s lost in the background of everything else going on but here it grabs your attention, acting as a reminder of how much unwanted sound we’re bombarded with every day. We all have busy lives, so this installation is really for us all, regardless of what we do and how many children we have.”

Meanwhile, product design student Michael James is aiming to make sure people always have enough chairs when friends and family come to visit.

The 22-year-old, who lives in Juniper Green, said: “It’s a multi-functional furniture concept which plays on the idea of integrating some kind of furniture into another kind of furniture. The chair fits into a chest of drawers and when it is taken out, the space can be used as shelves.”

The School of Arts and Creative Industries Degree Show runs until June 1 at Napier’s Merchiston campus to highlight the creative talent of more than 150 new and emerging designers, photographers, film-makers and advertising directors.

Lyndsey Hunter, a design and digital arts student, produced a barrel-like structure based on a Victorian peep-box, which “transports” anyone who steps inside it into a forest by playing with their spatial perceptions.

As part of the design process, the 26-year-old, who lives in Mid Calder, consulted with one of the set designers from Harry Potter – Alan Gilmore – to produce the multimedia installation, which is around 2.5 metres high.

She said: “I hit the jackpot when I found his e-mail address and he got back to me and offered to give me any advice that I needed. I had a Skype interview with him.”

An anti-pickpocket backpack designed by product design student Xun Zhai is also part of the show.

She moved the zip to the back of the bag and shifted the straps to lie on top of it in a bid to deter thieves.

Programme leader for BDes (hons) design and digital art, Euan Winton, said: “The students have created some really thought-provoking pieces.”

The Degree Show is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.