A 5-In-1 Tool That Could Help Save Your Life

Bezalel student Tamir Niv prototypes a tool to help clear rubble and save people trapped underneath.

Last year, the globe quivered with natural disasters. In addition to the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, tornadoes hit both Alabama and Missouri. Such devastating events remind us of our own fragility, not to mention the growing threat of global warming. They also present opportunities for designers and architects to think up better housing, safety, and rescue solutions. One such idea comes from Bezalel student Tamir Niv: Multitool, a five-in-one instrument for digging survivors out of collapsed buildings.


“Studying these events and seeing pictures in the media, I realized that civilians also take part in the rescue efforts to save their relatives, friends, and neighbors by removing rubble and even saving trapped people under fallen houses,” Niv tells Co.Design. The problem is the lack of tools available to aid them in their efforts. So he designed one that rescuers could tote from site to site and, by adjusting the orientation of its head, employ as a sledge hammer, hoe, crow bar, hook, wire cutter, or nail puller.

Niv’s Multitool prototype, suitable for use on lightweight construction materials, is made of laser-cut and welded steel, with a simple H profile that can be either extruded or assembled from existing parts. Due to its simple assembly and common technologies, the Israeli designer says that it can be manufactured locally in just about any country. Here’s hoping Multitool becomes one of those in-case-of-emergency supplies that are indispensable in times of need but that you’ll never have occasion to use.

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.