Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
The object that I will focus on is a hard-plastic water bottle with a straw attached to the lid. Whilst brainstorming alternate uses for the object, I stayed within a very safe range of uses. Like a bottle for other cold drinks or a pancake pourer. These uses are quite similar to it’s initial use.
Whilst using the materials around me I began to physically brainstorm the objects hidden or alternate uses. I first used it as a thermal bottle to store either hot or cold drinks and keep them at their temperature. However, after been given some more time I began to think outside the box. I could take away a simple element to the bottle (the lid) and create a completely different use for such a simple product (a vase).
I think the activity allowed me to really expand the way I thought about products. A simple change could go a long way in this design activity. I started coming up with other ideas such as an object that could be filled with heavy items to be used as weights or a shaker as a make-shift musical instrument.
It changed my perspective on simple objects, allowing myself to branch out and be as analytical and creative at the same time. It made me question if I was given this water bottle, not knowing what its use was, what would I use it for/as.
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.
The exercise provided me with a great deal of perspective and sparked a lot of creativity. It made me think outside the box and challenged my thinking, to think about what the product currently does but also what it has the potential to do, with a few changes.
For example, with the Papaw ointment tube, I began exploring it as a soft plastic tube and I wasn’t really sure how to go about exploring its affordances or hidden affordances. After some time of brainstorming and letting go of what I was already familiar with, I realised how many other uses it could have, like being used as a spatula for painting.
Overall this activity inspired me to think outside of what I already know and provided me with the insight to use my creativity to enhance current designs in order to improve them or expand their range of uses.