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91/2088 Syringe kit, including container with syringes (3), 'Fitpack', plastic / silicone / metal, designed by Ruth McDermott and Steve Ward, New South Wales, Australia, made by ASP Plastics, St Marys, New South Wales, Australia / Terumo (Australia) Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia, for NSW Department. Click to enlarge.

'Fitpack' syringe kit

Designed
Possessing and injecting illegal drugs is a criminal offence so most users want to keep it a secret! But that need for secrecy encourages some people to share hypodermic syringes - which increases their risk of catching the HIV and hepatitis viruses from other people's blood left inside the needle. The Fitpack is a compact 'anonymous' looking container to hold a supply of clean hypodermic syringes and lock away used ones. It was designed specifically for intravenous drug users by an Australian …

Summary

Object No.

91/2088

Object Statement

Syringe kit, including container with syringes (3), 'Fitpack', plastic / silicone / metal, designed by Ruth McDermott and Steve Ward, New South Wales, Australia, made by ASP Plastics, St Marys, New South Wales, Australia / Terumo (Australia) Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia, for NSW Department of Health, New South Wales, Australia, 1991

Physical Description

Black plastic (polypropylene) matt-finish, rectangular prism shaped container; open at top end with click-fit lid self-hinged along width of container. Instructive label is adhered to inside of lid. Three unused packaged disposable syringes are housed within individual compartments in the container. These compartments are designed so that a syringe forced deep into the compartment is prevented from being easily removed by two downward pointing integral barbs. The container is free from external detail except for three parallel finger-grip grooves on the lid and four tooling indents at the base.

Production

Notes

Designed by Ruth McDermott and Steve Ward of McDermott Ward Pty Ltd.
Made by ASP Plastics, St Marys, NSW, 1990-1991

Late in 1989 the NSW Department of Health gave Ruth McDermott a complex design brief. They wanted a compact container to hold a supply of clean hypodermic syringes and a way to lock away used ones. This was hard enough, but for drug takers to use it, the container had to look 'anonymous', like a cellular phone or pager.

It had to be cheap and it had to be able to be incinerated without producing poisonous gases. McDermott's answer was the Fitpack. More than 600 000 have been manufactured and distributed since 1991. Her clever design uses a flexible 'wall' to store clean syringes on one side and then lock away used ones in the same, shared space.

In 2005 Fitpack containers were still being produced by ASP Plastics.

Significant organisations :
NSW Department of Health : commissioned the design
AIDS Bureau : identified users
McDermott Ward Pty Ltd : design

Significant persons :
Ruth McDermott : designer, project manager
Steve Ward : designer

Further Reading : 'Habitual protection' Unnamed author Design Ink, no 6, September 1991.

Ruth McDermott talks about the design of the Fitpack here:
Ruth McDermott interview, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Youtube, published November 27, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJoFLGlWb-0, accessed 15 August 2018.

History

Notes

This Fitpack and syringes have not been used.
Gift of the NSW Department of Health AIDS Bureau

Source

Credit Line

Gift of NSW Department of Health AIDS Bureau and McDermott Ward Pty Ltd, 1991

Acquisition Date

19 December 1991

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Fitpack' syringe kit 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/115529>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/115529 |title='Fitpack' syringe kit |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}