1) How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem?
working with different materials allowed me to visualise different ways to achieve the same/similar outcome using different mediums. My idea was to custom make the chair for grandpa and theoretically, using real world alternatives to the products I had in class would have allowed me to do this. I created a cylinder out of cardboard as a representation for a tree trunk that could be custom carved. I Pretended that the tooth picks were steel tubes that when placed together close enough could behave like a single, totally manipulatable material, and lastly, the pipe cleaners were men to behave like a steel that had been super heated and form fitted to grandpas body.
2) What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?
Creating Grandpa’s chair out of cardboard was my favourite because I was able to manipulate the material better to mimic the outcome of the final chair that I wanted to create. I treated the cardboard as one solid tree trunk and i imagined that I had personally sculpted a chair for grandpa out of one solid piece of wood. I think using some solid timber would entice the buyer to purchase this product as it will incorporate great chair design (based on ergonomics and personal comfort and also brings an environmental aesthetic to the product.
3) What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?
During prototyping I realised that using the pipe cleaners could potentially be as affective as the solid timber structure as the material is more malleable than wood. Using the pipe cleaners i was able to manipulate the chair around my ‘client’ in real time technically, therefore able to easily adjust the dimensions for Grandpa before the final build would be constructed. One limitation to using this product or a similar industry equivalent is that over time the material would create a memory elasticity and could potentially be detrimental to the longevity of the product.
4) How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?
The design brief stated that Grandpa was not as mobile as he used to be, and i would have liked to develop a way to make my chair moveable. I also believe that for this particular situation, interviewing Grandpa and getting to know him personally could aid the creation of a product like this because I want to make it personally for him, allowing him to have maximum comfort and create a product that he feels is just right for him.