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ZHdK IAD 1. Semester HS 09 Industrial Design Basics Riccardo Lardi Gerhard Buurman Karmen Franinovic
SKETCHING SENSORIAL EXPERIENCE
Description: The goal of this exercise is to study the object as the experience it enables through tactile exploration. Students work in couples: one of them chooses an object to be explored by the colleague. The person exploring the object must not see the object ie. must keep the eyes closed. Without saying the name of the object, the person describes the haptic and tactile sensations caused through manipulation of the artefact. The person who listens tries to sketch the qualities that are being described such as soft, curved, warm, loud etc. After ten or fifteen minutes, the two participants switch roles. After again and again having found myself in trying to find out what object my mate is describing, I finally got to not only sketch the objects form and physical parameters, but also how the it ‚feels‘ and what kind of affordances it offers to different people. To me, that step to find out how to bring those thinkings to paper was a difficult, but surely quite an interesting experience.
The main difficulty I was confronted with was the transition from descriptions of affordances to drawings or sketches on paper. How to sketch ie. ‚the object is squeezy but still made of a hard material‘? Such problems made it hard at first, later on I‘d just sketch more freely and just put on paper what first came into my mind. That way, a broader range of information could be gathered quickly.
The ruler had different characteristics which were equally hard to describe and to sketch by listening to the description.
Other objects had more distinguishable attributes, which made it easier to describe and sketch.
SKETCHING THE OBJECT
Description: Using front and side views, sections, axonometric projection and/or prospective, the students technically represent an object. The sketching of chosen objects was an exciting challenge, as I never really found myself to be an able drawer. I rapidly realized, that sketching objects which are in front of me and so are exposed freely to me, can be sketched in a technical way, so I‘m not bound to be really talented in drawing, I‘d just sketch ‚what I see‘ and that‘s the trick. After a few attempts my sketches became more and more distinctive and pronounced.
This candy case can be opened by sliding the upper deck. While simple in construction, the roundings at the corners still became not all that easy to reproduce. After having just quickly sketched the chassis in a very rudimentary way, details like those roundings were applied one after another.
The sliding mechanics could be represented easily, showing it from different perspectives.
Sometimes perspectitive errors could happen, leaving no other choice than starting a new sketch.
Description: Students sketch the use of the object in a functional way. The human body or its parts (hand or foot) have to be represented. I liked it a lot to experiment with different ways of drawing body parts, namely my hand holding the object. Again, after feeling deep despair caused by underestimation of my drawing skills, I was relieved when I found out that the outcome of my efforts were rather okay compared to what I‘d been expecting before. The presence of the human body suddenly brought life and also movement to the sketches. The objects were not anymore just ‚still life‘ - like drawings or technical treatments of things, they actually became somehow natural.
The anatomy of a hand ie. was easy to reproduce as long as I had an example in front of me, say, me holding that object with the left hand while drawing with the other hand. Otherwise I had problems finding the right proportions, etc. Sometimes finding the starting point of the drawing could become difficult. Like in this sketch, it could lead to space problems and missplacement.
Drawing the object in relation to different usage scenarios could end up in quite funny ways.
The proportions of the object was not always easy to keep the same during the entire sketching process.
Description: Students invent stories of the use or misuse of the object. The temporal aspect of the story and people in it are the core of the exercise - How does one represent cause-effect loops? How do you show emotional states or perceptual experience? How can we represent social dynamics and interaction? For me, this was the hardest excercise. I had a hard time findig out how I could sketch people. Better said, it was difficult finding the most appropriate style for sketching people to show up an experience or an interaction. I then settled on a rather simplistic style. This way, the sketch may seemed ‚too sketchy‘, but it could deliver dynamics and movement better than any other approach I tried.
I tried to show emotions, to give individual appearances to different characters, to show reactions and interaction by using mimics and gestures. I realized how much the shape and size of eyes could affect the shown emotion. The sketching style I used is a fast one, so it should go well in situations when some scenario etc. has to be explained rapidly but surely has its downsides, too.
In some first attemts I didn‘t introduce people, so it was way easier to draw processes for me.
Finding out how to draw faces showing emotions took quite a while.
Description: Build 5 objects out of foam and always start from the cube [10x10x10cm] Express the following affordances through their form: Spin me / Squeeze me / Shake me / Stretch me / Break me With this excercise we were introduced to one of the ZHdK‘s ‚Werkstatt‘. We felt big excitement to start doing something we could actually build up with our bare hands, as we‘ve been since then only working in front of our notebooks, except the sketching excercises. Creating objects which were physical tangible was a nice motivation and made us drastically more aware of what industrial design can be all about.
The ‚shake‘ affordance led me directly to the idea of a box with unknown content, which can be shaken to guess what‘s probably inside. I tried to round the edges as smooth and equal as possible, while trying to retain a square-edged form. Also, the box should give no hint resp. should not suggest any content - so I tried to keep the bonding surface as clean as possible.
I made a propeller to achieve the ‚spin‘ affordance. It could indeed spin, when blown on it.
Very obvious to me was also the ‚break‘ affordance, which I realised by building some very unstable and thin skeleton.
CUT AND PASTE
Description: This exercise is an exploration of patterns, scale and repetition. It‘s composed of three sub-exercises: 1. From a flat paper create a form by cutting, folding, waving and/or gluing it. 2. Using a repetition of the same element create a pattern 3. Scale the same elements and connect them In this excercise flat, empty, boring white paper turned into different interesting forms. By repeating the main element and then scaling it and creating new connections, new and unforeseen models emerged. I found it very impressive how the influence of light and different viewing angles can change the impression you get from the object.
How I already said, the light, viewing angle and also the scene could immensely influence the viewing experience of the model. The dropped shadows would take a big part of the impression one gets when looking at it.
When taking close pictures of the object, depth of field could create quite a nice ‚smoothing-out‘ effect.
Also, making contrast between highlighted and shadowed parts of the model made big impact on the overall impression.
Description: Exploring the relationship between and interaction with form and light. How can you change, shape and affect the light embedded in an object? This was the most interesting excercise to me. I found myself captured entirely by the challenge to invent and create a form which emits light and offers an affordance to interact with it in an interesting way. The hardest part was the finding of an idea to work on. It took me about a whole day to finally come to a satisfying concept. From then on everything went like clockwork. I used some industrial plastic tubes, cut them, sanded them (especially the transparent part, so the light gets diffused by it), lasered the top and bottom covers, glued them and finally soldered the electronics. It‘s about a portable device which emits light either on a spot, like a spotlight, or disperses the light into the ambience. Pull out the upper tube to get more ambience light, push it in to get more spot-on light.
The more the lighting tube gets pulled out of the containing tube, the more light spreads into the ambience. The light switches on, as soon as it gets pulled out, and switches off when pushed back inside. Unfortunately the containing tube isn‘t dense enough and so the light shines a bit through it.
The top should have a lock mechanism to prevent it from being pulled out. At the bottom, one can change the battery.
The overall impression is of an elegant stick which also feels very agreeable because of the sanded surface.
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