1. Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?

In the exercise, I chose a small spoon which is made of stainless steel. Its affordances can be easily be understood by its shape through our daily experience. However, as we are so familiar with its uses, it restricts my understanding of its potential affordances. Through the course, as we were encouraged to change its appearance texture, it enables me to explore some more new affordances of this objects.

First is the way to use the spoon, while the spoon itself is shaped smoothly with a flat handle for people to carry, I instinctively wrapped the handle with cling wrap, trying to make it more like a column-shaped and increase the radius of it so it would be more fitted and comfortable when people carry it.

Also, after I did some changes to the handle, I was encouraged to do more on this part, and then I made a ring on the top of it, I thought, though it would not be a perfect way, a way to store it after washed, the spoons can hang on shelf easily which makes it more easily be dried.

The other thing I thought of when I was trying to do some changes on the spoon was that there may be some possibility that while the hollow part of the spoon contains the liquid, the opposite part of it-the raised part can be some other uses like squashing something or uses in other way.

  1. 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

As J.J.Gibson states that the “affordance is a relational property between the creature and its environment in the act of perception”. And also it is very interesting to see the example that the frog regards the lily pad as a platform for it to jump and rest. The understanding of such potential of exploration of different affordances of the certain products is further strengthened through the exercise.

By using the chopsticks in different situation, firstly, by blindfolding my eyes, I can still easily find the chopsticks among all the stuffs on the desk and could carry it as usual, for the shape of them are highly perceptible by the wooden material and the long and thin shape, I could even easily identified the right direction of the chopsticks as one side of it be clear thinner than the opposite side. By doing this, I clearly realized, which I never think seriously before, that the differences of the two sides not only created for picking the food easily, but also easily to identify and carry on the thicker side. However, when wrapped it in a whole by the cling wrap, I might still guess it but could not identify which side I should hold.

Through this exercise, I find out that while designing something, we should consider the need of the product for most people’s benefit, like the spoon, its shape and texture are seem to be carefully designed for its major use, however, the attribute of the certain product can be expanded through slightly changing its existing character and through taking different users’ abilities of using such products. Also taken the spoon as example, while most of the people only use it when they eat, but it might has potential to improve by thinking the people who usually wash or use it in another way. How can it be easily washed and stored is another factor which worth exploring.

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