- Choose one of the objects you selected and describe how your initial understanding of its affordances changed over the course of the exercise?
I started with my three objects: a potato peeler from the kitchen, a contact lenses case from the bathroom and a decorative stone from the living room. I decided to focus on the potato peeler. The affordances for a peeler are easy to spot at first gaze (it’s a simple and intuitive design) but as the exercise continued I also spotted false affordances and perceptible affordances. For instance, could it be used for self-protection or attacking people? How to grab it correctly and make sure the blade is on the right side? And would it work for shaving, or on the other side, would it peel of your skin? I also thought about how this instrument would appeal or be used by older and short sighted people, or even children, and how the blade with no cover could be harmful or dangerous. So I tried to make a cover with foil and wrote instructions for using it on the handle.
- 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.
Yes definitively. From the physical design, a peeler is not very different from a razor, so my first idea was to use it as that. But right away I understood it would not only be extremely dangerous but also not very practical. Then I thought of different uses like a slingshot or a tea bag holder. For the contact lenses case, it could also be used for holding earrings or even pretended swimming goggles. This exercise was fun and helped me develop creativity, I think it could be very useful for the assignment since it helps create different users scenarios according to the defined affordances.