Onto the second week of our constellation and we have already explored some interesting questions. A quote from the power point i quite liked was “Architecture is a thing of art, a phenomenon of the emotions”. This got to me as I am doing product design and I believe this quote ties in with all levels of design. what I mean by this is that even when designing a product, you will always think of form following function but form can always be created artistically and create emotions in the user.
As the title would suggest, this weeks project was to create something, I believed to be just beautiful and very aesthetically pleasing. The product did not have to have any higher function than that. For this project I looked into sculptures and the natural flowing elements they had. This led me to concept design a product that had multiple levels that were all identical, my idea was to create a flowing sculpture with minimalist forms that were created with levels of identical shapes. I found as i took my design forward it needed to be made from the right materials, to comply with this i used black, glossy acrylic plastic. This was to match up with the minimalist nature of the product. At the end of the week when were all presenting our work, i fond that no one design was identical, many design had similar features but no direct match. This taught me that creating a simply beautiful product is all about a persons perception of beauty. That each person had their own views on the perfect aesthetic, either minimal or maximal, simplistic or complicated even modern or antique.
At first i wasn’t quite sure what the constellation part of the course was for, but after my first session i realized that it was there to teach us about more than just what we intended to learn. In our first session i found there was a lot of interesting information including the founding of futurism and where it came from.
From the first session i have been able to understand why we must branch out into different fields, and that the idea of futurism is quite an interesting concept. I now look forward to our net session.
The outcome for this week, was to use a brand of our choosing to create a product of our choosing that the brand i would not be expected to make. for me the question was, what would a computer mouse look like if it was designed by Fossil. I started off creating mood boards of different Fossil watches and computer mice. This started the visual process, seeing how the two products could match up with one another. When looking at the computer mouse, I saw that each mouse had very similar needs: a left an right button, a scroll-er of some sorts and a variation of buttons on the side of the mouse which had independent functions.
From this i learned that these functions was all my mouse had to incorporate. I then looked at the Fossil mood board, seeing that most of the product have the same distinctive three button control on the side. This told me that to make a real impact i would have to incorporate these buttons into the design to create Fossil look. My initial idea was the basic mouse shape with those three buttons on the side of the mouse to act as the various functions buttons. For the next stage of my design I looked at my Fossil watch as saw this clean sewn leather strap, shaped in a rectangular like structure. I then used this format and incorporated the leather strap into the design as its main feature; making the body of the mouse the same as the leather strap with the sewn aspect on the side of the mouse and giving it’s rectangular shape. This gave me the left and right click buttons on the top of the mouse, leaving me with just the scroll function to be dealt with.
I was able to have a conversation with Gareth about how i should go about this, he told me to think about how the device is used and whether i could change it, so that the user could learn a new way of control the scroll function. I then took the watch itself and placed in to the mouse surface, making me realize the scroll function can be controlled by rotating the edge of the watch clockwise or anti-clockwise. instead of having a vertical scroll. This then completed my design. From this i have learned how to establish a brand and being able to go into any company and spot how they have branded their own products uniquely.
This week was all about critical design, being able to understand was critical design is and how to come up with a product that has been critically designed. At first I found that this concept was all about asking the questions rather than just finding the solution. To design something that makes people think about what they do in their day to day life.
We were instructed to critically design a product based on a subject you thought would be relevant for the task. I went for ‘Selfies’ as my main focus, my thought was that selfies have such an impact on our day to day life now, becoming so popular it was officially named in the Oxford English dictionary. From this, I came up with a device that would make a person taking a selfie, very visible. What I mean by this, is that it was large, with lights and noises that would indicate the type of selfie being taken by the user at the time. The device also allowed the user to take a multiple of selfies at once to create a three dimensional selfie or they could choose the best selfie from them to keep as their favorite. The thought behind this was to make people more aware if how vein they could be; even indicating slight narcissistic tendencies.
What i learned from this weeks brief, was a brand new way of thinking. I learned that sometimes there can be a thin line between a critical design and a political statement. Even some slight elaborations on a design can make the user think differently about the product.
Through this week, we went through a set of different drawing techniques. These included such things as: one, two and three point perspective and rendering. The first task was to draw, using Biro pens, three items of Richards choice (matchbox, sharpener and three point plug). what i learned from this was the way in which i think these items should have been represented. The aim of this task was to develop out drawing skills and be able to draw a much more detailed drawing of these same items at the end of the week. The next task that was set, was to draw different three dimensional shapes using a variation of point perspectives, drawing on the guide lines. as the week progressed i found that i no longer needed to use the guide lines to draw different shapes, going onto drawing items like kettles and hair dryers. later in the week Richard set a task to design a new hair dryer and a new chair. To do this, three full concept sheets were created, for each, showing a variation of designs that would lead to the final products. When a final design idea was formed, we were given a quick tutorial on how to render an image to give the best three dimensional perspective possible. After this i was able to draw a large scale version of my hair dryer an chair designs; also fully rendering them to show the full range of techniques i had developed over the week. At the very end of the week, Richard instructed us to redraw the same three items we drew at the start of the week. i was very pleased to find that all of the drawing had come out much better by comparison; showing a much more detailed finish and better three dimensional perspective.
This was the very first week spent in the product design studio. In this week I learned how to create a quick working hover craft and dragsters (small scale). Taking these on to create a more powerful one of each. The first task we to follow a set of instructions to construct a hover craft. from this I had already picked up ideas on how to improve the design to create a much more efficient vehicle.
We were then instructed to create another hover craft as well as working dragster. We were provided with motors and battery packs to power these vehicles and from this task we were told to team up with other designers to create a final dragster or hovercraft. The team i was in (GTRS) went for a final dragster. To improve the designs we had, we added a more powerful battery pack to improve the motor speed. We connected the motor up using metal rod for the axles between the wheels, a small cog connected to the motor and a larger cog connected to the axle. To strengthen the chassis, small plastic sticks were added to stop the vehicle breaking. Everything was glued exactly into place so that the machinery lined up perfectly so that the vehicle cold run smoothly.
After the first test, small bumpers had to be added to stop the dragster hitting the sides and rubber bands were added to the wheel to improve traction. At the end of the week the vehicles were raced and i was very happy that our vehicle had won a trophy for being the fastest dragster. This week i learned valuable skills in managing a gear system for a small size motor vehicles, at the same time improving my team work skills.