1) How did working through different materials help you to explore and express potential solutions to a design problem? + 2) What kinds of information and inspiration did the different materials give you? Did you have a favourite material?
Each material made me consider different qualities of a chair.
Working with the cardboard made me think about the flat surfaces and the angle of the sitting and reclining surface. The way I connected the back of the chair allowed the prototype to have an adjustable angle (this was unexpected because I was originally thinking of the angle being fixed). This was my favourite material to work with because it gave the strongest sense to me what the chair would actually look like.
Working with the pipe cleaners made me think more of the frame. Because I wasn’t able to give the same sense of the reclining surface as with the cardboard I was thinking of other ways to make the design more ergonomic. This ended in the idea of having a foot rest which is separate from the chair (this relates my design concept for the task which was ‘adaptability’ for different body types). The bendability of the material made me consider how the legs would be placed. I wanted a design that would be stable on the ground but also allowed the user to lean back on the chair according to his/her preference.
Working with the tooth picks was difficult as the tape I had didn’t stick to them very well. I wasn’t really able to conceive of a design using the ‘adaptability’ theme because of the less flexible nature of the material. This confirmed to me that a comfortable chair was unlikely to be made out of hard lines. Looking at some of the work the other students did with the picks was inspiring (using masking tape and then attaching toothpicks next to each other so the shape comes from the tape rather than the picks themselves)
3) What did you change along the way? What did you learn from your prototypes?
I added the idea of having a separate foot rest which ensures the proper ergonomic seating position for long periods of time.
I learned from the prototypes that it would be very hard to incorporate space for the heavy bag into the chair. Attaching to the chair itself would inhibit the ability for the user to move the chair around and to lean on it. Attaching it to the footrest would limit the ease of access (this may not be a problem if the student only needs to get materials at the start of the class).
4) How well did you address your user needs in the various design models you created?
I feel like I would have better addressed the user needs if I was able to more quickly work with the materials. The various design models I created were incomplete which meant that I got the general shape of the chair but I didn’t focus enough on the design concept of ‘adaptability’. To convey this approach to addressing the user needs it would have been better to focus more on the features that were adaptable (angles of the chair, position of head rest, position of foot rest, position of arm rests etc..