S'up | Innovating to improve lives

S'up Spoon

S’up Products is a new company whose first product is a spoon to help people with shaky hands. The company was set up by 4c Design and Grant Douglas to bring to market the product they developed together through a pro-bono project, part of 4c’s annual internship programme.

The Business Need

Grant came to 4c Design for help with designing a spoon that would enable him to eat without spilling his food. Grant’s cerebral palsy causes his hands to shake and makes it very difficult for him to use conventional cutlery. We quickly realised that a solution to Grant’s problem would also help many others, for example those with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor which also cause uncontrollable hand movements.

Our Activities and Deliverables

4c took on Grant’s problem as a cutlery design project for our summer intern and it quickly grew legs! Our first task was to understand the problem so we carried out ethnographic research. We ate with Grant, took videos and photos, and discussed his needs and ideas. We brainstormed concepts and made initial prototypes which were tested and discussed with Grant. After successfully developing a solution that worked for Grant we decided to try to raise funds to manufacture the spoon so that it could also help others. A Kickstarter campaign generated enormous goodwill and generous donations from Grant’s friends enabled us to proceed with manufacturing the spoon and the launch of S’up Products. In addition to idea generation, business model canvas, product design, prototyping and manufacture we also worked on the branding for the new company and set up its online store.

The Result

Not only has the S’up Spoon revolutionised Grant’s mealtimes, but it is also helping other ‘people with shaky hands’ around the world through growing online sales. The S’up Spoon and our industrial designer Mark Penver have won a number of awards, including Young Designer of the YearGraduate of the Year and the Blackwood Design Award.


The S’up spoon has been recognised internationally as a great piece of design with residence in:

  • Design Museum – London
  • Smithstonian Museum – New York
  • V&A – Dundee

Capabilities Utilised

  • Concept development
  • Industrial design
  • Design for manufacture
  • Manufacturing liaison
  • Brand creation and development
  • Prototyping
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