T-Fence Packaging

Year of design: 2019
Client: Harbo

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A containment boom is a temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill. Booms are used to reduce the possibility of polluting shorelines and other resources and to help make recovery easier.

Harbo’s innovative T-fence boom is a game changer in fighting oil spills. In comparison to the massive, bulky equipment and a large team of skilled professionals needed to deploy the existing booms, Harbos’s lightweight and portable system which can be deployed by just two people in less than 30 minutes allows to control oil spills right at the source by quickly stopping the spread of oil, and drastically reducing the consequences of oil spills.

Our studio’s main role was to design the packaging of the boom. This seemingly simple task was in fact a highly complex project that required more than 2 years and hundreds of hours of development.

The packaging, which needed to protect the boom for years in a wet salty environment, had to be sealed, lightweight, resistant to salt and most importantly deploy the boom in an orderly way so that each pull will pull only a few segments of the boom at a time.

To develop this project, we made dozens scaled and 1:1 models evaluating materials, design solution, ergonomics, usage scenarios, mechanical properties and functionality.

Harbo’s boom during its testing at OHMSETT (the National Oil Spill Response & Renewable Energy Test Facility located in the United States). After a week of testing the final verdict was “no losses”. Please note: Our studio designed the packaging and accessories of the boom, not the boom itself, which was developed by Harbo.

One of the key product requirements and design considerations was that the boom’s package would be compact and light so it can be easily carried, maneuvered and transported by one person.

Earlier versions of the boom tested at the Port of Rotterdam, Vancouver area and offshore near Tel Aviv.

During 2021, T-Fence was added to Design Museum Holon’s permanent collection. The product was presented as part of the “Black Box” exhibition, which exhibited the museum’s collection.