Episode 29. Approaching functionality creatively with Sarah Giblin


A couple of weeks ago, an article caught my attention on the BBC website. It was the story of how a Mexican doctor had got in touch with the British company making the backpack he’d been using for a year to voice his frustration, because he couldn’t use it anymore. The coronavirus pandemic was raging and his backpack couldn’t be sterilised and taken into the hospital. Not only did the owner and creator of the bag, Sarah Giblin, respond to his message, but with his feedback, she designed in only 11 months – and during lockdown – the first backpack that can be sterilised and therefore used safely by medical staff.


This isn’t Sarah’s first invention. On her commute one day, in 2012, she noticed a problem with backpacks: the person behind you can get into it. The solution? Remove zips on the outside of the backpack and design them neatly against your back. Her creation, RiutBag, is used daily by over 20,000 travellers around the world and has sparked an anti-theft backpack industry making travel safer for millions.


I was so impressed by Sarah’s creative response to not just one, but two specific safety needs, that I immediately invited her on the podcast to discuss her creative approach to functionality. Sarah is passionate about improving the user’s quality of life and shares her motto, function before form, the process of embracing her new ideas and bringing them to life, and her very own take on creativity. If you thought functionality isn’t creative, think again!


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Visit www.riut.co.uk to see the latest RiutBags Sarah has created.


Taking an invention from idea to the marketplace (BBC article)


The Creativity for All Podcast explores creativity in all its forms. With each guest I interview every two episodes, we discuss what it means to be creative in their daily life, zooming in on the mechanics behind their creativity and debunking myths, wherever possible, to show you that you too can be creative on a daily basis, that you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. My hope is to show you that creativity is everywhere and to inspire you to tap into your own creative potential.


The Creativity for All Podcast is sponsored by Blue as an Orange, where we believe in creativity through communication, and offer mentoring and coaching for aspiring writers, and tailored language tuition for individuals and companies.

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