1) Choose one of the objects you selected and described how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
Firstly, I chose the glass-flower vase. Its material and this object is familiar to use. The material is clear-glass, transparent, and as it is used to put flower inside it, it has a small hole upside. We can fill it with tiny objects such as sands or liquid. The natural capacity of this object is to accommodate tiny-things and it is very stable due its weight and its flat-base. People usually use it for decoration and put it in the livingroom or bedroom. What I thought about using this object for different purpose is that we can use it as salt, sugar, pepper, or powder-based spices’ container and put it in the kitchen. It is based on its natural capacity.
Secondly, I tried another object, which is a fork, and sketched it. It is made with stainless steel material, hard, and shiny on its surface. The shape is very handy and have a sharp tip as we can use it to stab food. I think it can be manipulate more than the glass-vase because of its specific shape.
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.
I tried to explore the glass-vase first. However it doesn’t give any “unique” other function. And the affordance is basically related to the user experience to use an object in their everyday life. So, if I manipulate the glass-vase, it is just giving the similar experience because of the object’s natural capacity to accommodate tiny-thing. Everyone might be have similar understanding about using it, then it becomes very general, not really giving such a new experience.
So, I chose the second object, which is a fork to be manipulated. It’s a simple object, so I tried to manipulated by covering this object with aluminium foil. By covering the “main function” of the object, I found the other function that definitely different with its initial function. Previously it was used for stabbing something (food), but after manipulated the fork-tip to be flat, we can use this “new” object to scoop, to dig small hole (for gardening), to slice something soft (like cake), and the other similar functions.
When tested the objects before or after manipulation, I found that a person who has experience using fork can recognise it easily, even without seeing the object. It is a very familiar and a daily object. After manipulated it and, again, tested it to a person with a blindfold, the object was recognised by touching the material and guessing the function, imagining what kind of activities she can do with this new object. It illustrates that the affordance is relative and might give different inspiration between people. Working with affordance opens possibility to explore various function depend on everyone’s experience.