REFLECTIVE JOURNAL FOR UNIT 7

04/02/2015

I discussed about the theme with my tutor. The first theme we came out was “spare time and relaxation” which was broad. I was thinking maybe I can narrow it down a little bit, like Indoor and Outdoor.  

I changed my mind at night. When I went through all my sketchbooks, I found out I did all the project always thinking about how functional my design would be. I always forgot the appearance of these products was also really important. I also very interested in emotional design. For example, I liked a product called Ink Calendar designed by Oscar Diaz, which is really interesting. These kinds of products they can give people pleasure, make people happy. I wanted to challenge myself in this project to try some emotional design.  

 

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05/02/2015

I did some research about EMOTIONAL DESIGN. There is a book called ‘Emotional Design’ written by Donald Norman. The question he asked at the beginning of this book really makes me think. “Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac?”—from <Emotional Design>.  New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating book, which has garnered acclaim everywhere from Scientific American to The New Yorker.Emotional Design articulates the profound influence of the feelings that objects evoke, from our willingness to spend thousands of dollars on Gucci bags and Rolex watches, to the impact of emotion on the everyday objects of tomorrow.Norman draws on a wealth of examples and the latest scientific insights to present a bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world. Emotional Design will appeal not only to designers and manufacturers but also to managers, psychologists, and general readers who love to think about their stuff.

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One of my favourite designer named Kenya hara, who held an exhibition called Re-design: daily products of the 21st century. For example, architect shigeru ban was given the subject of toilet paper. known for his use of paper to construct permanent buildings, for his ‘re-design’, he transformed the typically round core of a toilet paper roll into a square. though simple in its approach, the new design offered resistance, reducing the consumption of resources while also sending out a message to economize. When packing the square rolls, they fit together more seamlessly saving space upon transportation and storage. Another design ‘juice skin’ by naoto fukasawa who is a Japanese industrial designer also inspired me. He has created a series of creative fruit juice packages that have the look and feel of the fruit they contain. I think it brought the emotions into this product really well. 

 

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Tutor recommended me go for ‘ emotional design’ or ‘ journey’ these themes. I also really like travelling and interested in this theme. I think nowadays more and more people want to go outside to enjoy their holiday, having different experiences. But, it always really hard for people they live in metropolis having spare time to go travelling with their families. I was thinking maybe I should do more research about the reason why people not prefer go outside to do some outdoor activity like going camping or hiking. Maybe I can design something to encourage them to get involved these things.

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06/02/2015

I went to CSM library and found some books related to my theme ‘travel’, for example <The Outsiders>: the new outdoor creativity / edited by J.Bowman, <the urban girl’s guide to camping and other plays>, <camping and education> and so on. I planed to read these books later in the reading week. 

I went to some sport shops and the stores selling outdoor goods like decathlon, sports direct and Go outdoors. I also did some research on the internet. I was researching what kind of tools or goods we usually need when we plan to go to a journey. And I think I need to narrow my theme journey to more specific area.

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09/02/2015

Today, I talked about my Unit 7 project theme with my tutor. Simon said Journey this tittle is quite broad, so I should narrow it down to 'Camping'. He also recommended some brands selling outdoors equipment called Snow Peak. About the Political and Ethical Context about my theme Camping. We talked about the product people usually use when they are camping are for survival, but people nowadays spent quite a lot of money buying it in the store. I think that is a good point to look at.

I plan to do some research about scouts camping, its culture in western countries. We presented our Unit 7 Proposal in front of our classmate today.

Here's my initial Proposal presentation:

My name is Yaohan. I am interested in BA Product Design Course in CSM. My Unit 7 theme is a bout ‘Camping’, which is one of the most popular outdoor activities people doing nowadays with their families. We are living in a quite stressful society now, so it is really important for us to spend some time having fun with our families. My project aim is to help people get rid of pressure, encourage them go outdoors to enjoy the nature. I want to design a product can make people feel more enjoyable during the camping and promote the relationship among them. 

For my primary research, I will go camping with my friends, and some shops like go outdoors, the decathlon, and also look at some brands like snow peak.  I will also do some questionnaires and interview people from different age groups. What do they think of camping? What do they need? What product they think need to be improved? How can I make them feel more enjoyable during the journey and so on. 

For my secondary research, I will look at some documentaries and read some books like the Outsiders. And I am going to visit the exhibition called Mapping The City and The London Transport Museum, also research scouts camping to look at the history background.

When I went through all of my sketchbooks I did in Foundation Course, I found out I always focus on how functional my product will be, so this time I want to challenge myself to know more about emotional design and I want to design something can have the emotions and functions at the same time. That’s pretty much, thank you.

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16/02/2015

I went to a large Decathlon shop today. They were selling lots of outdoor equipments. I was looking at the camping equipment, such as different kinds of tents, sleeping bags, tools and so on. When I was observing camping area, I found that camping is a quite popular activity. When I was looking at a sleeping bag, I think it’s way too big for people to use it, which is unnecessary. Especially for female and children, it’s too big for them. And maybe this will be a little bit heavy for camping. But, the advantage of this huge sleeping bag is people can have more space to move when they were sleeping in the tents, maybe kids and their parents sleep in this huge sleeping bag together. 

I think this type of sleeping bag more like the one you used in our family camping, like a family trip, caravan. While tighter one more suitable for survival camping, or people go to some really cold places.

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18/02/2015

Today is Chinese New Year which is a traditional holiday that people gather together and celebrate union. I made dumplings with my friends today. It was my first time to make dumplings and I am interested in the process of making dumplings, rubbing twisting, mixing and folding …etc. I am also attracted by different ways of making dumplings. If you fold the dumplings in different ways, then you can get lots of different dumplings. It is a really interesting experience that inspired me I can go  to do some research about folding.

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19/02/2015

I went to Walton on Thames Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Field Common Lane KT12 3QG with my friend and her family. I took some photos of the environment there, how people cooking, sleeping, spending time with their families or friends there, when they are camping or caravanning. I found that people like sleeping in the tent together especially kids, although sometimes it’s crowed, for example me and my friends we have four people but we chose to crow in a 2 people tents together, because It’s really nice to spend the whole night with friends together. 

When I was using the sleeping bag, I think It is not very comfortable because I do not have enough room for me to move inside the sleeping bag, which made me feel restricted. And when we were making barbecue, the weather was cold, I don't want to get out of my sleeping bag, I want to barbecue and wear the sleeping bag in the same time. 

About the camp cooking, We usually use the camp fire to cook food. But we can also use some cooking equipment. I put the metal boxes on fire, although metal transfer heat really fast, which can make the food cook soon, but It is really hot to touch too and not look very nice.

 

I interview some people during the camping to ask what the biggest problem they have during the camping. I got about twenty five different answers and I am going to design a product to solve these problems.

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20/02/2015

I made some questionnaires to invest people what do they think of camping this outdoor activities. I went to some places like Kings cross station, sport director shop, supermarket and so on. The respondents are five female and three male, they all from different age groups from kids to middle age adult. 

After collecting these questionnaires, I found out most of them had tried camping before and most of them would love to go camping with their friends and families In their spare time. Almost all of them think Sleeping bag is essential for their trips because it is important to keep warm during camping. Some female and children respondents think nowadays products for camping all look the same, sometimes too professional looking, too serious looking. One of the reasons they don't want to buy some camping products also because they are not good-looking. Most of them prefer camping than caravan, but sometimes depend how is the weather. If it is in summer, then camping will be the first choice. Caravan will be better choice in winter. People don't have much spare time, so some of them will camp with their families at home or just in their garden, which also are camping. They said they want some interesting and also functional products to add more fun and convenient to their trip. 

 

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21/02/2015

After doing these primary research, I had an initial idea and I did some test models to experience this initial idea. The camping specific situation of sleeping together in a group really interests me, so I decide it to be my initial concept and starting point to start with. 

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23/02/2015

Today, we are separated into several small groups. We all have the similar theme or the theme has connection with other group mates’. I am in Leisure and Travel Group with Kiki, Marek, Tom and Philip. Today, only Philip and Me came to class, so we just share some of our researches. His aim is to design an airplane chair. 

At the moment, I will be the Team photographer and Philip will be the Spokes person. We need to think about more research activities to go outside together as a group or we can share more research together and then recommend some places for each other to look at as well. 

What did I learn today? I learned that sometimes we may don't have the same project aim, but It is also very important for us to work with other as a group. It will good for collecting more primary research and we can push each other working progress to help each other too. I also learned I need to get into the workshop or test different materials. 

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24/02/2015

We had a quick group talk with tutor today. I showed my research and what I found interests me the most. Georgia said I thought about the Idea too fast, It should just be an initial idea, like a starting point for my Unit 7 project. She said I identified her camping specific situation of sleeping together in a group and I need to develop my I initial Idea more, I need to think of more than 20 Idea, maybe quit the sleeping bag Idea which is too simple. And another point Georgia mentioned that Why I want my sleeping bag’s shape like banana. I said I want to bring something from nature, but she said she did not see any fruit or vegetable will grow in the campsite. That remind me that I really need to think about more Ideas. 

I can look at Festivals, Atelier Van Lieshout or Tents & Small Space that could inspire me. What’s more, I can think about where do people sleep together? E.g. other cultures, prison…etc. I think I have a final I idea too soon, I will go do more research and think about more Ideas and solutions to enhance the Idea development part. 

 

What were the blanks in your speed dating this morning? / Why is this? / How will you address this?

There were lots of blanks in my speed dating such as, Books / journals / magazines, Websites / blogs / online resources, Films / Videos. etc / Designers / Artists and the Experiments / tests at home.  I think it because my classmate they are not very familiar with the camping area. This area didn't have much designer working for it. I will follow the reference I have on my proposal. I will follow my action plan to look for more researches. 

 

What places / sources for your research have you not yet used?

I haven’t have a quite specific and clear Idea or concept right now, so I was going to do more research and then think about an Idea and concept. 

 

How will your project aim developed since you started?

My project aim was quite broad, I was trying to make it more specific. I will did more secondary research to develop my project aim.

 

What have you discovered through your research?

I went to a campsite to look at what people think of camping and how they feel about camping there. And I did some Interviews and questionnaires about camping too. I found out people love sleeping together in the tiny tent include me. I love sleeping with my families and friends in the camp site, or sleepover at home. I also found out people carry quite a lot of stuffs to camp site, which is quite heavy. What’s more, it is quite messy and dirty sometimes, If they are cooking by using camp fire, when people cooking in the camp site. 

 

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26/02/2015

We had a lecture about Narratives in Design, a toolkit to analyse the use of narrative in design, and to help define the use of narrative in the design process today. We were thinking some possible workshops in this morning with Kathleen. We were looking at some quick workshops we did before. For example, 30 ideas in 30 minutes (work quickly, make decisions and then drawing), Surface and Structure ( research, textural quickly and then given key words)…and so on. 

Tutor told us to find 2 key words and each student discussion and select 2 best key words. Our group theme is Leisure & Travel, we were thinking about comfort, safety, function, personal, public, time, shared, movement, freedom, feeling, protection, experience, private, future,quality,speed,budget, timing and adventure. We decided to look at comfort and movement. Then we need to think 15 ideas in 15 minutes (A drawn response not a design), 10 quick drawing to explore our 2 key words. We chose 2 sketches with potential to develop into more refined design ideas. 

About these 2 words, they inspired me of the movement of human body and how to make product fit the human body well. I can look at where is the most supporting point of human body can make people more comfortable. They also reminded me of the freezing sections of movie. Maybe every picture looks similar but they all have some tiny differences and keep changing. I was thinking maybe I can make a portable chair can be change to a bag that can make people feel comfortable and also can be moved to change shape. I did some test models to look at this quick idea.

We were looking at some cards which are designed to help us assess the way narrative is used in existing design examples, as well as help guide our use of narrative during the design process. We should think about who creates the narrative and who is the audience of this narrative? When is narrative present? Is the narrative internal to the object or external to the object? Why is narrative used, to what effect? What type of narrative is present? 

After analysing an example ‘Glenn and Walker’, Rubber Band Gun by using this method, I think I also need to think about my Unit 7 project as well. 

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product design advice to students

02/03/2015

I had a progress tutorial with Kathleen today. She has given me an extensive list of designers to research. I also need to do wide-ranging and in-depth secondary research.

After analysing the research I did before, I decided to focus on researching the specific situation people sleeping in a group. I will see the initial idea I did before as a starting point. I will keep thinking how to design something to promote the relationship among people. 

Maybe It could be let people eat together in a group, for example they have to sit together to have meal or maybe two or three or even more people have to eat in the same plate. Maybe a skewer needed to be used by two people in the same time. Maybe a folk can be used to serve many people at the same time.

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I asked my friend to take some pictures of my different sleeping posture. I want to do some research to look at different sleeping postures people will have.

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09/03/2015

We filled a form about the primary and secondary research we done till now and the intention we  have for The Unit 7 today. And I used some existing materials in our Archway classroom to do some test models. 

The first material I used the paper to do some basic test models to find out whether my initial Idea will work or not. I also cut some little human shape paper scrapes put onto my test models to look at if it is functional. When I was testing this material, I was inspired by variety folding shape. Even I just cut some circle shape paper scrapes and fold it. I can get quite a lot of shapes by folding, twisting the paper.

The second material I tried was fake leather. I think this material is harder than paper, which is great to be a material for people to use if they are going camping, because it is waterproof and strong

Another material I tried was felt, which is stronger than paper, but much softer than leather and more comfortable. It was much easier to make different shape by using felt this material. I think I will try more materials tomorrow to test If it will work.

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10/03/2015

10/03/2015

We were separated into three different groups today. I had a workshop named Adapt / Create with Tom and Simon. 

In order to rapidly develop and test design ideas, designers often create low-tech models from readily available materials and parts. Often ignoring issues of aesthetics, these models help us to identify and solve practical / functional issues.

 

Questions:

-What are your functions and how did you decide on their order in your hierarchy? 

-How did you identify components for your test rigs / low tech models?

-What did you learn from testing your model?

-How could your experiments now progress into a realisable design?

 

I hope my product can promote the relationship among people and it is portable and foldable, light weight and convenience. I am going to test more materials to identify components for my low tech models. After testing my models, I learned that leather is a waterproof material and strong which is nice, but If I stuff the cotton in it and sew them together, then It will be too hard to fold it, and I think It will be not very comfortable for user to use. I think I may need to talk about my Idea with tutor later whether I am on the right track. Because now I am quite confused right now.

I quite liked the Idea of Mathew Ellis, which was a changeable making tools like saw. You can change the handle of that making tools — saw. That can help people who want to change the using way when they are handling the saw.  And I saw Pria want to design a computer table for people to use when they came back home after working whole day. They can use it to help them hold the computer and they can enjoy watching movie without hands.

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12/03/2015

Evaluation Of Progress

Where are you in your project, Are you following your action plan? Does it need revision? 

How has model making applied your design ideas?

I am still making test models now. I am doing slightly different with my action plan. I think I need to revise my action plan a little bit. I used model making to test the function of my initial idea. 

 

What materials have you used? What materials are you planning to use for your next model? Why?

I used faked leather, felt and fabric to make test models. I am going to use the materials tutor suggested for my next model. Maybe thicker felt, because I need to think about whether It will work. 

 

How do you imagine a different material will further your design?

I imagine that maybe I could join two materials together to experience a new material. 

 

Where do you hope to this time next week in your project? How?

I hope I could have a clear Idea next week in my project and start model making of my final Idea.

 

Tutor’s feedback

I can start working on the ‘fixture’ / ‘holder’ part of my design. Maybe I can use a wood with two rubber ring to stick them together. I can explore appropriate materials such as boiled wool, neoprene, rubber, leather (look at tee pee) and Tarpaulin. And I need to work to a larger scale with my test models.

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16/03/2014

We had a small presentation about how to take photos of our final outcome this morning. We looked at some great examples about how to arrange the photography shooting. I learned that sometimes we could put our final outcomes with other relative products to take some photos and also I need to think about where I could put my final outcome and take some photos.

We had a presentation of two students from CSM Product Design Third Year. They talked about their Unit 7 Project to us. The male student chose to use ceramic。He told us sometimes it is hard to control the materials which may change quite a lot during the making process, so we need to leave more time to back up our plan. I should test more variety materials. Another student Pauline, she didn't do well in Unit 7 Project because she ran out of time doing her final outcome. I think time management will be really important for this self-directed project.

I brought my test scale model today to figure out if it will work.

What kind of problems I found from this scale model?

I found out that the soft fabric are not strong enough to hold the construction, maybe I need to change the material to some industrial wool felt or some stronger fabric. Normal fabric is really hard to remain the construction I want because it is too soft.

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17/03/2014

I went to CSM Material Library. I was trying to find the right material. I found out some fabric feels like felt. I also found out some interesting material like Heatset Polyester. It feels like sponge when I squeeze it. I think I can also think about whether I can use it as the outer layer of my design. And maybe it will be interesting If I add some foams into my design, because this kind of material which is soft could make people feel comfortable.

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