Day 1 – Surprise Me

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Howdy, Today was my first day on my new ‘Surprise Me’ project. I was unsure what to expect from this module because my main factor for choosing it was that the lecturer – Steve Thompson, had delivered some interesting lectures to product design last year. My uncertainty wasn’t helped when I realised the theme of the project. Essentially, Surprise Me is about beating the paradigms of our subjects to create unusual and abnormal projects as well as thought experiments. This hit me as something I’m not a massive fan of, especially due to the theoretical connotations. I don’t really like designing for design’s sake, I far prefer designing beneficial products that solve real world problems, not one off pieces to make people question theories…   Both Steve Thompson and Theo Humphries talked us through the first lecture, informing us that this module had no learning outcomes and little structure. There […]

Day 3 – Surprise Me (Again)

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Howdy, Today was our second introduction to the ‘Surprise Me’ module. Theo and Steve basically re-affirmed the concept for our project and gave some interesting examples of surrealism. Surrealism isn’t an area I have much knowledge in, so it was interesting to learn more about it. The idea of surrealism and its dream like perversions of reality are quite bizarre and I have to admit, in my opinion, they were quite surprising. Although surrealism seems to follow a more artistic route, I do find it to be quite amusing and I think it would be interesting to explore its use within design, though I don’t quite know how one would achieve such… When we moved on to surrealist games, I was brought more delight due to absurdity of the humour and the lack of any sense with regards to their structure and rules. We were told to create a new surrealist […]

Day 6 – A few ideas

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Howdy, Well, its been a few days and I have been trying to think of what could possibly be surprising for a product designer to come up with – which I think will be quite a difficult feat. I have been collating a list of ideas which I feel would be areas that had potential to surprise. I have 4 main areas that I feel would fit this; 1. Challenging the Ethics of Product Design 2. Exploring features that consumer wouldn’t want or didn’t know they wanted 3. Exploring products that had no use or solved no problems in any way 4. Creating dangerous products that could cause harm to the user or others   My main idea is based on the idea of  ethics within product design. I want to challenge the ethics of product design within education and create a product which definitely not be expected as a […]

Day 8 – First Tutorial

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Howdy, Today was my first tutorial of the project with Professor Steve Thompson. I discussed my weaponry idea with Steve, who thought it had potential. It was nice to have some feedback as I have been feeling a little uncertain about this whole project. Steve thinks I am definitely heading in the right direction and has told me to keep pushing the boundaries of what is ethical in product design. He thinks that the ethics stance is excellent, especially with regard to product design as it could create some real innovation. Steve was adamant that everything has become so ethically sound now, that most products have become boring giving the example that his phone has to auto focus and go through multiple pieces of software just to take a picture, when in fact he misses the old camera phone images which were blurred and bad quality. I must admit, I did […]

Day 9 – A Further Thought on Weaponry

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Howdy, Since yesterday, I have been thinking about what could maintain the surprise of weaponry without defaulting to the obvious idea of a gun. This triggered a thought that I should focus on the most unethical kind of weapon possible, a weapon so unnecessarily sadistic and so unlawful that it would be sure to instil surprise upon all spectators. As such, I have started thinking about what exactly would make such a weapon design. Ranging from toxic use of chemicals, to sadistic use of torture weapons. This lead me to finally realise that this avenue of design was becoming more and more ridiculous and I would end up simply creating a design proposal for some absurd weapons, which in my opinion, isn’t really that surprising… Since this new revelation, I have decided to scrap the idea of designing a weapon proposal in lieu of designing another kind of unethical product, […]

Day 13 – Paradigms

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Howdy, So since my last post, I have been exploring the many paradigms associated with Product Design as well as furthering my research on ethics. My main finds on the paradigm front have shown me that Product Design relies heavily on a high use of technology, broad ranges of products on a set value scale, new materials and processes, planned obsolescence and consumer co-creation/product customization. Whilst I knew the majority of these already, having them listed makes it far easier to design a product that would invert these paradigms and become surprising. If I were to create a product that clearly challenged then paradigms of Product Design, it would need to be be basic and rudimentary, a single on off product, use older obsolete materials and processes, be long lasting with no direct successor and have no consumer input or customization. Whilst it is true that creating a product such […]

Day 15 – A Slight Turnaround

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Howdy, Over the past few days, I have been thinking about what it is that I would actually create a product for. Though of course this is leading me to think of creating products to solve problems, which does in a way go against one of my ideas of creating a pointless product, however I am finding it difficult as a designer to create something that has no use, as I cannot as a designer, create something that doesn’t solve a problem or help someone with something. This has lead me to create a problem areas sheet. To maintain the idea of ethics in educational design, I decided to mainly focus on military problems, breaking the problem areas into 3 main sections: – Infantry problems such as protection from Injuries, Gunfire, Improvised Explosives and close quarters combat – Vehicular problems such as the fragility of aircraft, Improvised explosives, fuel and […]

Day 17 – Motorized Brace for Wounded Soldiers

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Howdy, After my recent turnaround, I have been looking to design something to aid a soldier in a variety of problems. I have finally decided to focus on the specific problem of when soldiers are injured on the front line and need help to get back to base, which can endanger their comrades an waste a large amount of time and can cause more damage than the injury itself. My design is currently in its early stages, however my idea is to essentially design a modular set of powered exoskeleton parts, which could be attached to the soldier and aid movement of damaged areas such as the shoulder, elbow and knee whilst maintaining a brace over the area to prevent further injury, a painkiller to alleviate the prohibitive effects of pain and a tight bandaging feature to reduce blood loss. This is an area of design I have a huge […]

Day 19 – Further Development

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Howdy, Over the past two days, I have been developing my exoskeleton idea. The biggest problem I have found is being able to provide enough torque to turn the joints on the arms and legs, whilst only using a small motor and power supply. I have the outline shape that I want the design to have and a few ideas about how I could solve some of the design ideas I had when I originally thought of the idea. My main idea is to have a one size fits all armour section, with an inflatable internal pressurising section which would include a bandage and would allow the armour to fit to any arm size and to apply pressure to any wound they may have. The rotation mechanism for the elbow section would be a large cog fixed to the forearm section and a worm screw and motor attached to the upper […]