Project 2 — Special Carriers

Part 1: Experimentation

Having carefully come out of the last project injury-free from using Xacto knives, never would I have thought that my first injury at CMU would be from holding cardboard — not even cutting it. Putting the cardboard down by my desk, the paper sliced through my finger, leaving my first battle scar as a designer.

Sketches exploring folds on mask boxes
Three flaps of different sizes
Bigger the flap, better cardboard sticks together
Sketches for more secure joints
Tabs and hooks
Sophia holding the handle

Part 2 : Form and function

Thinking about some of the annoying things I have had to face while moving in and out of the studio, I quickly thought about my issue of holding too many bottles — my backpack could only hold one since one of the two cup holders is constantly occupied by an umbrella, and when carrying drinks for friends from La Prima, my hands are filled with drinks, awkwardly having to put them down to open the door or wait for a stranger to help.

Different way of creating “blossoming” mechanism
Mechanisms when being held and put down
How slider works when being held and put down
Full view of carrier when put on table and being held

Part 3: Messing with Function

Moving forward with enlarging the carrier and working with four latches, I started to understand some of the problems that came about as a result of the nature of cardboard. Although it would work for the first few times, after a while, cardboard is prone to soften and rip and tear, creating a variety of problems in the meticulous measurements needed for the latches to work.

Iteration 02
Iteration 03

Part 4: Taking a step backward

After a meeting with Steve and Stacie, I realized that I was pooling my efforts into the wrong thing. Sure, the idea of using a function for the purpose of exhibiting was interesting, however, it did nothing for the objects in the process of transporting. Exhibiting should come second after how to carry the objects, and the flaps of a carrying falling to create surprise did not help protect or secure the objects in the process of moving from point A to the studio.

Can after falling

Part 5 —expanding sheathing function

Iteration 4.5

Part 6: Reflection

Part 6.5—Creating Iteration 5

Iteration 05 Sketches
Iteration 05—unsheathed and sheathed
Mechanism in action

Part 7—Finalization

An issue with iteration 5 that was overlooked was that there was no way to carry the carrier unbalanced — if there were only 1 or 3 cans, the carrier would lean to the side with more cans, obliterating and folding the handle.

Sketches for Iteration 06
Iteration 06 — Final Carrier
Close up of handle


Throughout the process of going about this project, there were many things that I learned about my design process. I can visualize things in 3D a lot better than I expected, as imagining the mechanisms working on paper and transferring them to actual cardboard ended up working the way I envisioned. I also understood the importance of stopping, reflecting on the purpose of your actions, and looking at the bigger picture rather than focusing on the small details.

Mechanism in action
Project deconstructed
Carrier in use



Design Student @ Carnegie Mellon University

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