(Photo: Siew Ming Cheng)
How do you get people to respect your personal space while on the train? I find that having angry arguments with imaginary people tends to do the trick. But it does take work. If you’d rather take a passive approach, you can wear Siew Ming Cheng’s Spike Away vest.
Ms. Cheng made it in college for a class project. Her task was to invent a “chindogu”—a Japanese term for an object that solves one ordinary problem, but is otherwise useless.
In Singapore, where Ms. Cheng lives, trains can get really crowded. People jostle, push and get too close. Ms. Cheng found in a hardware store a material used to keep birds and cats away from plants. She shaped it into a vest so that she can keep human pests away.