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

My chosen household object was a garlic crusher. Initially, the soft grip of the handle is the obvious affordance. This led to speculations of different methods of handling, spinning out a variety of different uses such as a hammering or hitting device, or use as ‘tongs’ for picking up other objects. Over the course of the exercise, and closely examining the object from a number of angles, further affordances became apparent, such as the hanging holes, and the sound of metal upon metal when the tool was reversed. This led to speculated use as a necklace, flail, and musical instrument. Finally, the affordances of the removable metal basket could be extrapolated as a miniature sieve or deep fry basket, as a scalding or branding device or as a shower head.

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.

Wrapping the tool in cling wrap made many of these affordances less apparent. We also found that blindfolding each other greatly increased the difficulty of recognising affordances in most cases. Insights gained from working with affordances as a designer would be the importance of making them apparent to the senses, especially visually and tactilely. It was inspirational to examine the garlic crusher from so many different angles as an exercise in defamiliarisation, which made me realise the extent of possibilities.

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