- How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?
The goal in this exercise was to design a chair for Maggie Simpson, who likes her independency of movement and doesn’t like to be restricted to static positions.
The limited time really got me this time and I struggled to even get the prototypes constructed properly. My best sketch had to be severely simplified in order to get anything ready. Despite that I think I managed to construct a prototype that in some way captured the Maggie’s need to be unrestricted.
When my “rocking tube” went through its three variants made from cardboard, pipe cleaners and tooth picks, I was able to witness the strengths and weaknesses of my idea. My design philosophy in this particular task was “less is more” so I tried to follow that the best way I could.
2) What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?
My favourite material was definitely cardboard. That enabled me to build the best prototype considering the structure of my chair idea. Pipe cleaners couldn’t represent my idea properly, because I had this huge tube in my prototype. Also the tooth picks were quite challenging because of that same reason. It was fun however to see the different versions of the same idea. When constructing a chair choosing the correct materials is one of the key decisions. So it is with prototypes too.
3) What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?
I didn’t actually change anything, because the materials barring cardboard didn’t really depict my vision. The different materials brought forth different notions of the structure of the chair. The most crucial thing in building the prototype was balancing it correctly and creating some kind of a tube.
4) How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?
If there’s room for improvement, then I would certainly try to increase the freedom of movement in some way. Maybe adding wheels or something. For an active baby that likes to move around and experience little challenge my “rocking tube” would satisfy those needs at least partially. The actual chair would include mechanism that would allow the chair to rock from one side to another. Like something from her favourite playground (when she’s old enough to go in one). She’s being one-year-old, the real chair would be very soft and low so accidents wouldn’t happen.