During an introduction course to products, I learned different skills in developing tangible models for my designs. I practiced working with clay, wood, foamcore, and foam to iterate and develop models. In all I developed over 50 models, both large and small. Over the course of the class, I learned about the importance of craft in each and every work created; craft not only conveys how the product is made, but it also ensures that the quality of the physical product does not impede communication. I also began to grasp the importance of drawing through my study in form. Learning that drawing can lead to an in-depth understanding of how your design actually moves and works, was a crucial skill that I gained. Through both orthographic and perspective drawings, I have found drawing to be hugely important to the iterative process.
For the first project of the course, I was tasked with creating both a visual model and a working model that both worked in conjunction to convey one form. The project was left broad; our only instruction was to create a product using rubber bands that would use our hands to create a motion, then create a visual model that represented the form of the rubber band mechanism. This particular project gave me an introduction into working with my hands to create products. (shown in video: 00:00 – 03:08)
The Water Carrier
The second project within this 9 week course was to design a form that carried liquid. Using the idea of a water carrier, it was important to take into account scale, a comprehensive form, and comfort to the user as important factors. Moving through the project, I started out broad, thinking about both my expectations of what a water carrier should look like and how I can break some of those stereotypes to design a both interesting and well functioning form that carries water. The inspiration that gave me the most insight and lead me into my final design was that of an oil dispenser. I was inspired by how these forms are sometimes designed to dispense both large and small amounts of liquid. With this inspiration in mind, I began iterating on how to create a form that would allow for variable amounts of liquid to escape based on its different positions. Moving from a two-sided water carrier to one that uses a button-like form to control the flow of liquid, I worked towards creating a form that was easy to use yet intriguing to look at. (shown in video: 03:09 – 5:42)
Throughout the course, I was able to develop both working and visual models to help give the user a full understanding of how a design not only looks, but also how it functions. The skills that I learned not only taught me how to prototype, but also how to think through a project in a critical way. I found that using sketching and being mindful of a design’s connotative meaning to be very important to understanding how to go about designing anything, whether 3D or not.