Sunday, October 26, 2008

Project 3: Treasuring Time

For this project I have designed something that would enable people to remember their time at live shows and concerts; and is more specifically aimed at fans of rock music.
The project initially started out as being a piece of jewellry that the user would add charms (or something similar) to to represent the different shows they had been to. This was quickly scraped in favor of something that fitted the target market better; an armband. The armband gives the object a military feel and makes the user feel like they are part of an 'elite' group of fans. Ideally, as the fans enter a venue, there would be a heat pressing machine where they could get their armband immediately heat stamped with the location and date of the show.
I chose numbers as a way of identification as it meant I didn't have to resort to creating something either band specific or too commercial in its appearance. The first 3 digits in the number shows the city/country code (specifically the airline flight code) that the gig was held in, with the next 6 digits being the date of the show. Another reason to imprint the country code was that fans could have something to talk about with each other while hanging around in the mosh before a show begins; as if someone sees a code that is not of their city, they would be interested to know where the other person has been to see a gig.
I feel I have done a reasonable job creating a product that could be easily marketed to its target market and captures the essence of time I was aiming for.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Task 5: Video Reflections (Designing Dream machines)

Although lengthy, this video has some useful information in it regarding the eventual outcome of a design. It outlines the importance of the design process overall and shows how each individual step in the process in integral to create a good design that meets the users and clients needs.
Consulting and referring with your target market and/or client is something that struck me as an important concept that designers don't always necessarily do often enough. By doing this more often we ensure that our designs stay focused on their intended uses and the clients needs, as apposed to something that the designer keeps adding to without actually creating a tangible object or product.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Task 4: Bad Design (Sports bag)

I have a sports bag that has attached to it a poorly designed shoulder strap. The issue with it is that the locking mechanism used to attach the strap to the bag itself cannot support a large amount of weight, cause the mechanism to break open when carrying the bag; this also causes unnecessary wear and tear on the bag as a whole as it is dropped. The mechanism used for the attachment is not up to holding weight and is better used simply as a buckle.

A simple solution to this would be to replace it with a more suitable mechanism for a shoulder strap that can support a larger amount of weight without popping or breaking open. Such an example is shown below, found on another sports bag I own.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Project 2: Postal Presents

For this project I have designed a flat pack photo album designed to hold a dozen or so photos. I wanted to make this as simple as possible for the user to interpret on delivery, but I also wanted to create something that was different to ordinary albums already on the market.

Essentially this album is designed as a free standing and self supporting piece that can hold two photos per A5 page; one on each side of each sheet. This allows the album to be opened like a book but in two different directions, and also reduced the overall size and volume of the product. The two colours were chosen for different reasons; the matte black for the main section as it makes the photos stand out against it, while the silver creates a contrast to the black and also draws peoples attention to the product.

The album is made from only 3 pieces; making it fairly simple and quick to assemble, and means the receiver isn't overloaded with complicated bits and pieces on delivery. It uses a simple tab system to keep the photos in place and doesn't add undue pressure to the pictures to reduce risk of damage.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Task 5: Video reflections (Annie Leonard)

This video/animation by Annie Leonard deals with the 'true story' behind production of products and their eventual consumption by us; the users.
This video confused me slightly, as although its obviously trying to reach out to the general public and share a message about how we buy too much and we're destroying the planet, she doesn't really offer any alternatives until the latter parts of the video. Instead, she just seems to focus on what we're doing wrong in the world, and how we're all meant to be contributing to the big golden arrow of consumerism.
Whether this video can be related directly into Industrial Design I'm unsure about, as it seems that us as designers are on the wrong side of the argument, as we are the ones creating the products for overnight obsolescence. Although we can argue we are creating for the long term, in the end a product can almost always be improved upon in some way shape or form.

Friday, September 5, 2008


What is it?

A milk jug in the form of a small milk carton; features a detachable top

What it does:

Stores milk for a limited period.
Pours milk.
Ideally this product is brought out when having guests over fo tea/coffee. Instead of getting milk out from the fridge every time someone wants it for a top-up, milk can be poured into this jug and left on the table.

Who is it for?

Suited for adults of any age who frequently socialise with friends and relatives. Ideal for people who love to drink a cup of coffee or tea at home with guests.

Design features:

Shaped as a small milk carton (metaphorical design)
Detachable top to allow easy pouring of milk into jug
Smooth and neat design
Simplistic in appearance
'Cute' design
Design can be a talking point among guests

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Task 5: Video Reflections (Paul Bennett)

Paul Bennett addresses in this video the notion of designing from the point of view of the user; which is kind of like putting yourself into someone else's shoes to create a product or design. The first thing shown was excepts from a 6 minute video from the point of view of a hospital patient. This video was to show how seemingly dull and lifeless it is lying in a bed all day. Paul then describes the notion of 'small being the new big' and how the smallest things can have massive impacts on the lives of others. In the case of the hospital this meant putting mirrors on the wheelchairs so the patient could have a conversation with the nurses face to face; and giving each patient their own wall in their room where guests could write get well messages. Although very minor things, they have big impacts on the consciousness of the patient and serve to give them a more enjoyable experience.

Looking towards the edges was also new concept that was raised in this video. This is basically looking for the things that people would often discard as being unimportant for a design. Such as a nurse holding a patients hand while in an operation, or having the natural human instinct of placing rubbish in a place where someone else already has. By using these little things we can create objects that talk to the user better and in a more meaningful way; instead of just simply looking nice. This also ties back to the 'little things, big impact' notion.

The overall message in this video is to design with the user in mind first and foremost as apposed to making the design look nice and function to its best. If we consider the user and how they think and act, the design achieves more in the eye of the user than something that does not. He also shows how to create things with huge impact by simply deriving it from small areas of a users day to day life such as emotion and spacial awareness; in essence telling us that 'small is the new big'.