1) Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
I chose the cotton bud and my initial understanding was that it serves mostly a cleaning function. That was the perceptible affordance that I could see. Through the course of the exercise, I started to think about other possible uses for the cotton bud as I feel the object with my fingers, such as being a support structure, for painting or spotting, bending, or for tasting and feeling with it. These were some hidden affordances I could think of when I physically interact with the cotton bud and visualised it being used by different people, such as the elderly and disabled.
2) Given that affordances is a relational property between a person and an object, how did the manipulation of the object and the person’s abilities inform your understanding of the concept? Did it give you inspiration or insight for how to work with affordances as a designer? Discuss this through the specific objects you explored in the exercise.
When I manipulated the object, there were some significant changes to its use. I added some foil, cling film and chopsticks to the cotton bud, and it kind of became like a wind vane or a weighting scale. Manipulating my partner’s ability to hold objects made her think of another way to pick up the object, rather than in a way that I was expecting her to pick up. She also had other thoughts about its affordances, as she was holding the object different to how I would hold it. It kind of gives me an insight into how people could perceive an object’s use and as a designer, I should create or design something that would be easy for users to see its affordances.