Wednesday, October 29, 2008

designing dream machines

This video is a bit of an eye opener. it made me realise that design in 'real life' isnt just sitting in a studio trying to spin off ideas, doing sketches all day. it showed that there is quite a bit of research and time invested in the process. you have a very specific criteria in your design brief and it is your job to bring it all together in a cohesive package that have never been see before. trying to come up with something that meets the clients criteria and yet is a fresh take, would be very challenging. i think you have to be like anikka's spider willing to make a new web, becuase at times you may have a brilliant concept but, your client may not agree ( would be frustrating). This is why in the video there is a huge emphasis on communication between designer and client, i think to be sucessful in this design industry there has to be freeflowing communication from everyone.

Treasuring Time

For the treasuring time assignment i have made a device which treasures and records times in a ritualistic manner. each week a seven pointed wax star is created, each point representing a day. You rate each day by adjusting how much wax will fill that area:

On a bad day you would slide the stop all the way in, whereas on a good day you leave it further out. i have always been fadcinated with fire and candles, to me there is something mesmerising and tranquil about them. to you my treasuring time device the person would:

1. come home at the ed of the day
2. rate their day ( by sliding the stops in or out)
3. turn the candle tip so it points into the right well/casting
4. light the candle, filling the well/casting with wax

They would repeat this through the week, then at the end of the week they would tip the casting upside down revealing the 7 pointed wax star.
They could then stack these stars on the stand i have provided (shown above) they would be able to look back through time at their growing sculpture and decipher how they rated previous days.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

postal presents

For the postal presents project i made a screwdriver. I thought it would be an interesting challenge if i could make a functioning screwdriver that came in a flat pack.Ii expeimented with a number of different shapes and sizes eventually settleing on my final design. I made four different prototypes to trying to perfect my clearances, and ease of assembly. the entire screwdriver slides and snaps together, because of this, i had to test these snaps on the differing thickness of stainless steel i was using. i had to start this project earlt because i chose to use a laser cutter in northern NSW and the turnaround time was 2 days. Overall i am happy with look, ease of assembly, functionality and feel of the screwdriver.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

annie leonard video

Wow that is a lot of information, twenty minutes seemed to go by in a flash. I have never heard someone speak so broadly yet so succinctly on the subject. Annie Leonard brings up a lot of facts and comparisons that really surprised me. To hear the massive differences from only 30 years ago is amazing. Every now and then you hear a fact, which makes you think "things are pretty bad" with our planet, but it never stays with me for more than a few days.Annie, through her extensive research has pulled the most important facts and laid them out cold for all to see. However, more than that, she explains the far reaching implications and what can be done. When explained so concisely its hard not to notice and consider what you could be doing to help. 
At first i thought,  "oh great, here's a naive greeny" but i was wrong. Annie Leonard comes across as well researched, unbiased and thoughtful. After watching the video i have a lot of questions (she would be a good guest speaker) and i truly want to do more slow the affect we our having on our one and only earth. I wish more people could see this.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Experience Enrichment: Grater

I have redesigned the grater for my experience enrichment project. I decided that my target market would we mid to late age women. I defined this market as women between the age bracket of 35-60 yrs. These women that i have designed for are not short of money, and status is important to them. The first and most important thing they consider when buying is the appearance of the item and second they consider the functionality.
This grater was not made to be folded up and stuffed in a drawer. it has been specifically been made to be a center piece in the kitchen never to be hidden (my target market have spacious kitchens so a lack of counter top space is not an issue). When i designed this grater i wanted to make the monotonous task of grating more enjoyable. Having not done much grating before, i went home and experimented with different graters and grating techniques. I noted what i liked and disliked from each of the graters i trailed. I found that all graters are hard to hold and unstable when you need the stability the most, to combat this i began the design with a wide sturdy base. The next major thing i noticed is that graters are either flat (horizontal) or nearly vertical, neither was comfortable to use. I positioned the face of my grater at an angle (approx 60 deg.) ,which allows the most natural movement of the arm and shoulder, making the grating easier for the operator. I shaped the handle so the user could keep a firm grip at all times, the handle was designed specifically for smaller hands (my my hands it doesn't quite fit), it works for both left and right handers. To avoid slipping the handle is made of rubber.
I was primarily inspired by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, i thought it was intriguing to see his curvaceous and dynamic designs. For the form i wanted the grater to look simple, intriguing and feminine. I wanted my grater to be a sculpture centerpiece first, and a functional grater second.
I think that when people see the grater they are interested. " what is that?", "it's so wild" i think that it is a definite talking piece in the kitchen plus i believe that its is an improvement on the existing grater.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Paul Bennett: Design is in the details

I think the major take home message from Paul Bennett’s talk is how to bring together what the consumer wants and what the organization/ system wants. He suggests the best way to do this is by bringing the consumer into the process of creating things, involving them from the beginning.
I know its so true that good ideas are often so close to you that you often miss them, sometimes reflection and looking at things in perhaps a different shade of light is the best way to unearth these ideas. I have also noticed that the best ideas are usually the simplest.
I thought the of filming the hospital ceiling was a very simple yet effective way of immersing yourself in the your subjects environment to better understand to problem. It wasn’t until the hospital reps saw the video that they realised how boring and unamusing it would be to be a patient. Bennett calls this “a revelation”, which to the hospital reps it surely would have been. Imagine realising that the biggest change/improvement you can make is also very simple.
I like that he mentioned ‘Its not about massive changes it is about tiny things that can make huge differences’ because as a young designer, you want to make a difference, but consequently you normally think to broadly with you head in the clouds, hoping for a grand idea. It is encouraging to know the design process for an experienced designer such as Bennett starts with the basics, the little things.
I thought it was interesting how much positive difference could be made by changing the flooring material from the hallway to the patients room, signifying that this was there ‘personal’ space. From my own experience I know that this actually works, the change of something simple (and relatively cheap) like flooring from room to room creates boundaries and personal sanctuarys.
In the example of the nurses mini-computer, its interesting that, a tiny human gesture (the holding of the patients hand) dictated the design. It wasn’t about how is it going to look and what colours to use. They focused on what was most important (in this case the ability of the nurse to hold the patients hand during the procedure) which in turn, resulted in a successful design of the product.
To me what I take away from this is the importance to put yourself in the position of the consumer to better understand the situation, and then using that insight you have gained to fuel the solution.