The Soap Box was designed for a group of homeless people living in Lancaster who are trying to sell this product and merge back into society. My main goal was to raise awareness about who they are and how capable homeless groups could be within our society.
The reason for choosing the name “Soap Box” comes from its’ definition: “a raised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject”. By calling it the Soap Box, I hoped to create a symbolic product for the homeless people to “stand on it” and make a statement.
In my design, I wanted to create a moment in which the box merges together. At this specific moment, two 45 degree lines are created, making a symbol that represents the Chinese character “human”. Not only does this moment symbolize the idea of man-kind but it is also represents two people leaning against each other and thus working together to merge back into the community.
Through this project, I also wanted the homeless people to gain new identities. In order to do so, I engraved some words that could describe both the past and the future of these homeless people. For example, I initially engraved the word “homeless” into the soap to represent the current status of these people. However, the words “home” and “less” are engraved in different levels such that when one uses the soap, the word “less” will disappear faster, eventually leaving only the word “home” engraved on the soap. Other words that I engraved include “careless” and “lifeless”.
As a designer, I hope that this project will be able to last a long time such that the Lancaster people will be able to use this project as a gateway to survive within their societies.