Archive for January, 2009

Post Cup

January 26, 2009

An interesting project that explores alternatives to sending a postcard home as a form of communication. What if you could send the message on  a cup instead?

The Post cup is a cup, with a printed message on the front (You can choose between 6 different ones; HI, LOVE YOU, MISS YOU, THINKING OF YOU etc.) On the back there is a personal message, in the form a post card.

I think by limiting what you can write on it, it really makes you think about the personal message you are sending to your loved one.  A lovely approach…very playful



bookcup5By Bailey doesn’t Bark, Via Baekdal

Service Design Isn’t in the Touchpoint

January 26, 2009

A really interesting post from Jeff, Via design for service

“The other day, a friend of mine from grad school was pondering the distinction between product design and service design since many products are part of a service now. Examples like the iPod/iTunes/ITMS start to blur the line.

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I realize that things aren’t as blurry as I initially thought. There are still tons of products that aren’t designed to be part of a service in any way. From kitchen appliances to digital electronics there are plenty of dumb boxes in my apartment. In fact, I only own a handful of products that are connected to a service.

That’s not to say that the products in my home couldn’t be integrated into a service. If I started taking photos professionally with my Nikon D70, it’d suddenly be part of a service. But until then it’s just a beautiful example of product design. Lots of products can be incorporated into services. Think of automobiles. Instead of buying a Crown Vic from the dealer I can rent one from Enterprise, hire one from Yellow Cab or ride in the back of one courtesy of the highway patrol. But that doesn’t mean the people at Ford are service designers.

Even if an interaction designer were to create a touchpoint specifically for a service, something like the digital kiosks for Jet Blue, that wouldn’t necessarily make it service design. Service design isn’t in the touchpoint. It’s in the interconnections between touchpoints and in the behaviors that connect people. Service design lives in the system, not the artifact.

Unless you’re looking at the larger context, you’re doing something other than service design” Jeff howard

Late night working…..00:51am

January 24, 2009

Today and this evening we have been trying to power our motor so it will lift the required weight we need it to. Currently the driver for the motor that we are using is not producing enough current. So with the help from Vinay a new driver is being built  as we speak 🙂

img_2261Soldering some electronics

img_2265Adam writing code.

img_2238Sid mounting the motor

More prototyping

January 24, 2009

Last week we have been working towards building our final prototype. This has involved numerous iterations of prototypes…This is what we have so far.

monday162D foam core model of scale mechanism

monday7Sid working on 3D foamcore scale

monday2completed foamcore scale

monday20hacking a digital scale to get a load cell

moreprototypes8Sid and I Assembling a laser cut acrylic prototype

moreprototypes11Acrylic Prototype

moreprototypes4Completed Acrylic Prototype ready for the electronics

img_2237Mounting the gears and motor into the mechanics

img_2255Hooking up the arduino board and some electronics to power the motor

Fridays Presentation Photos….

January 19, 2009





Dinner Meeting….

January 19, 2009



Last night Adam, Sid  and myself had a night of risotto, america cookies and some project work. Over the course of the evening we discussed the feedback be were given on friday during our crit and refined our idea and tweaked our idea. During our presentation, there were still elements of confusion with the metaphor of the scale we were using…So we also brainstormed ideas that took the visual of the scale away and really simplified the functions of it. Today we will get feedback on whch is the best approach to take and hopefully get down to some more electronics prototyping!!

A trip to the experimentarium

January 19, 2009

Yesterday i took a visit to the experimentarium in Copenhagen to gain some inspiration for our current project and see how the experts do i!! It was such a refreshing experience. All the installations there were concise and to the point, they were not over loaded with features, and they were great fun to use. The highlight of my visit was when i saw an old couple (around 70) playing on a dancing game together! Which goes to prove that places like the experimentarium arn’t only enaging for children! Unfortunately my camera died on me after two photo’s but i took lots of notes of things that really stood out for me!



  • if you can make the installation engaing for children, adults will love it to! I saw so many 20 something’s there and older people having great fun!
  • The instructions were simple and clear, normally using 3 step pictorial illustrations (were also available in different languages)
  • Use hand shapes as indicators of what to do, its very intuitive-you no exactly what to do.
  • Music and sounds works very well for feedback
  • A lot of the installations are over sized and exaggerated…makes it more fun!
  • Each installation has a specific role, and does it simply and well, they are not over loaded with features
  • There were a lot of collaborative games, it was more fun to do it with a friend, although i was by myself and was restricted with some of the things i could do.
  • They used colour and colour intensity very simple to show  impact and effect.
  • All the installation involved you to use your senses
  • Everything!!!! was very hands on, the user became part of the experience, they were necessary for it to happen. You were never just watching or looking at something, it was about physically doing something to learn.
  • Light was used very effectively as indicators of what to do, touch, move next. It was very simple but effective. e.g. the children new that when a square lights up on the floor they have to move to that square!
  • The Aesthetics were very clean cut, with simple use of colour and imagery. The imagery was always relevant to the experience.

Amazing music Video

January 18, 2009

Tobias from my class showed a few of us this music video on Friday…. It is so super cool..Check it out!

Prototyping, Prototyping,Prototyping

January 18, 2009

More prototyping from last week…

Statement of Intent V.2

January 18, 2009

“Meet the Food You Eat

The rise of network and RFID technology and the emergence of products like CueCat and Mir:ror are pointing to a time when everyday objects will be connected to an untold amount of information. We are interested in how people can access this information, especially when connected to consumer products, to make informed decisions and help build a sustainable world.

Our project is a hypothetical grocery store shopping tool in the form of an educational science museum piece. It is a balance scale that allows people to measure the environmental impact behind common food items from the grocery store’s produce section. In the context of a grocery store, it will allow people to find products grown locally or organically or under fair business practices. In the science museum, it will allow people to explore these issues and discover that the ingredients in a simple salad are sometimes better travelled than most people they know.

Our scale is hands-on and educational and will have the most appeal to children. As an educational tool, the intention is not to provide answers about organic agriculture, carbon emissions or the global food economy. We want to raise questions and to let people look at the food they eat in a different way. We believe this is important information and remains hidden to most people, but hopefully for not much longer.

How it works
Our scale works like a traditional analytical balance that compares objects placed on one arm to weights placed on the other arm. Using RFID, the right side arm on our balance will recognize food products placed on it. The balance will download specific data related to that product (i.e. how many miles these bananas traveled  from farm to store). This data will represent weight and the balance will adjust accordingly. To measure this data, the user will place objects that represent weights on the left side arm. A weight sensor on this arm will determine how many objects have been placed there and will adjust the balance accordingly. Once the arms are even, the user will know a relative value of that data.

The user can use the scale to weigh differenterent sets of data for one product (food miles, chemical fertilizers, etc…) and can use the scale to compare different products (different oranges, different fruits, etc…). The data sets will be predefined by us and will have to be mapped to the same values. For example, the values might be a scale of 1-10 that rates the environmental impact of a products food miles.

How we arrived here
Prototyping, user testing and the need to satisfy a particular brief have led us to where we currently are. We originally intended to create a product for the home but found little desire to see the environmental impact of a particular food after it has been purchased. On the other hand, a portable or in store device to compare different products based on these factors was desirable but needed to be compact, efficient and to the point. Through making quick and dirty prototypes we were able to get instantaneous feedback that provided meaningful results especially with understanding the mental model and metaphor of the “scale” Whilst user testing different conceptual elements of our experience, conversations led to a co-design approach were the people testing our ideas were inspired to suggest improvements that could be made.

picture-11screen shot of part of a system flow diagram