MakeShift By William Lidwell
The Scenario: After a relaxing night of camping in the deep
woods, you return to your car to find that it will not start. The
battery is dead. “Someone” left the parking lights on overnight.
You are 50 miles from the nearest road and have limited food
and water. You try to call for help, but your cellphone is out of
power and out of range. Snowy weather is scheduled to set in
by late evening. The situation is serious.
The Challenge: Create a makeshift solution to recharge the
battery and start the car. Tools and materials at your disposal
include the objects on the supply list listed below (as well as the
car and its components). You have 10 hours. By the way, the car
has an automatic transmission — push-starting won’t work.
2 Sleeping bags
1 Large bag of potato chips
Sterno (stove and fuel)
2 Liters of bottled water
First-aid kit (Aspirin, adhesive
bandages, hydrogen peroxide)
1 Cellular phone
2 Road flares
6 Pack of cola
A variety of tools (screwdrivers,
wrenches, pliers, Swiss Army knife)
1 Dozen limes
Email a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to
email@example.com by March 31. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner
will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible
and most creative solutions will win MAKE T-shirts. Think positive, and include your shirt
size and contact information with your description. Good luck!
William Lidwell is a consultant with Stuff Creators Design Studio and co-author of the book
Universal Principles of Design.
Photograph by Christopher Hujanen
170 Make: Volume 01