DJCAD Product Design Honours Project Week 1

I have experienced my first week back at Duncan of Jordanstone and my final year of Product Design which has commenced the beginning of my final module where I am to display my best work to show what I’ve learned over the course of my stay at the university.

Naturally I’ve found the weight of the module somewhat overwhelming but after having time to think it over and break it down, as I always do, I have been able to come up with a handful of concepts for my design:

The first, a chair designed to give the user a full satisfying experience to one of their hobbies that would require a chair. Reading is such an activity that comes to mind so I thought about what aspects besides the book and chair make reading an enjoyable experience for people. Examples include a reading light, a hot beverage, leg room and for some even a bit of soft music can improve the reading experience. So I though to create a chair that could perform those various functions resulting in full satisfying experience. It would have a drawer in its base to store books, speakers for music, secret compartments that would release a reading light or coaster for the hot beverage resulting in a multi-functional piece of furniture designed to improve the experience it was made for.

The second idea was also a piece of furniture. This one would be similar to a bean bag chair. However, this one could be molded into various shapes such a makeshift armchair or even flattened into a single mattress. After the desired shape was chosen, the consumer would attach a vacuum to the outer layer and suck out the air inside the bag which would cause the polystyrene beads to pack together causing the chair to solidify and retain it’s chosen shape until the air be released back into its body. The design was inspired when my Dad and Uncle told me about air splints which also use beads and vacuum compression to mold the bag like splint around the victim’s body to hold broken bones in place. In addition, my Uncle also suggested that the chair could potentially be used to assist and comfort people with back problems as they would be able to mold the chair to a shape that would suit their condition.

The third idea I came up with was one my Uncle and I discussed a few years ago and I decided this would be a good opportunity to perhaps take it forward in development. The design was a type of plastic garden fencing designed to be used in gardens that utilize a type of fencing method that involves slotting panels between large concrete posts. For this design, the fencing would not just be a simple garden wall but in fact a varied, interchangeable product that would incorporate various garden related activities into its form. For example, one fence panel could have flower boxes merged into its face for planting whilst a second would have a bird house an feeding tables attached and a third could have a goal post for the kids to play football. In addition, due to the slotting mechanism, the fences would be swapped around or switched out with others so that the garden could have various layouts and multiple purposes. Especially if the garden itself was small or underused prior to the installation of the fencing.

Unfortunately, due to the large number of students and shortage of time, I was not able to get a session to discuss my ideas with my tutors but I will get another opportunity next week and until then I’ll show and discus my ideas with friends, family and fellow students to gain their insight.

Robbie King, Product Design student signing off.