Brown | RISD HCR Project 1 — Design to Improve Space

In this project, I designed a marker holder for the HCRI lab to increase the usage of the writable wall and encourage people to express their ideas by writing on the wall.

The Brown Humanity Centered Robotic (HCR) class is a class in Brown Science Library 8th floor, the Humanity Centered Robotic Initiative. The 1st project was design to understand the human centered design process, and to apply human factor research methods. Our task for this project is to improve the space of the Science Library 8th floor with our design.

As a Rhode Island School of Design Student (RISD), I am not familiar with this space, my initial impression of this space is that almost all of the wall on the 8th floor are coated with special paint, so that the wall can be used as white board. Those walls are designed to spark people’s creativity; However, with observation and introduction of people from the HCRI, I found out that people were not doing as much writing on those writable walls as expected.

Why people were not using those walls for writing very often? How could I improve this space so people will use the writable wall more often? Through observation I realized some possible causes:

people don’t know with wall are writable

the marker are not very accessible to the users

All the writable walls has a writable stick on them that suggest that those walls have the special coating. Probably, people are not comfortable and are hesitate to write on the wall. The giant writable walls were treated as a giant white board by the designer of the space. All the markers were stored in a metal tray, which is commonly seen on a whiteboard, on one side of the wall.

My idea is to make the makers more accessible to the user, by bringing them closer to the user. I started with the simplest prototype by taping a marker on the wall.

This design has to be non destructive to the space so I decided to use the easily removable 3M tape for small hooks to attach the marker.

I modeled the marker holder with the same shape of the bottom of the marker to connect with the cap. and left a ten degree angle for easier reach.

This design worked well, people in the lab liked it and started using it. The problem with this prototype was when the user takes the marker, depends on the angle that the user takes the marker, the cap sometimes stay with the marker sometimes stays on the holder, this causes some confusion for the user.

I design the second version of the holder to keep the cap with the holder all the time. I designed different mechanism for holding the marker’s cap for test.

The final prototype of this design holds the caps well, but the force of pushing the marker into the cap is so large that the tape was having trouble to stick. Also, the pushing action on one side of the double holder design causes a spinning action, so the marker holder fall off even easier.

this design suggests that the double holder design contribute the falling of the marker holder. the next iteration will take the first design and one hold one marker. I also consider to use suction cup to replace the 3M tape to improve the reusability.

Like what you read? Give George Duan a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.