Category Archives: Critical Making

ROUSEY-WRAP Imake Project

In our Critical Making Module we were given a brief asking us to design a concept which improves your daily life via exploring traditional design & craft practice and new technologies. For me, waking up in the morning is a real task especially during the winter months, thus, decided to design some kind of alarm clock which assists your waking routine. I had a great time researching all kinds of alarm clocks, like one which wafts a smell of cooking bacon or freshly brewed coffee so you got to get up and replenish your appetite, and another which actually donates your hard-earned money to some charity so getting up is a MUST. Inspired by these quirky designs I started to think of my own.

I came up with a magnetic alarm clock concept. The idea was you would wear pyjamas fitted with small magnets and when the alarm went off the magnets would activate and quite literally pull you out of bed.

I also thought of a duvet which turns extremely cold which makes getting out of bed a relief. HOWEVER, I was a little scared because supposedly magnets can do horrible things to people with pacemakers and my grandpa has one so was against that idea. I decided to go for a safer option and design something that would actually physically shake you awake. In addition, looking into sleeping disorders and treatments helped me with my designs, in particular, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is basically a mood disorder which affects individuals in any season, but most commonly in winter (winter blues). It can cause depression and make getting out of bed extremely difficult. To be honest I think I suffer a bit from this and wanted to keep this in mind when designing.

I thought a designing a special duvet which could gradually brighten and gently vibrate rather than scare you awake with a blaring noise. For inspiration I looked at photographs taken on Guy Fawkes fireworks night and went on creating numerous fabric samples and even investing in Electroluminescent Wire which is amazing stuff! I dyed, melted, grated, sewed and pleated materials to try and achieve an effect I liked for the duvet.

Inspiration

Material Samples

The images above are plastic bags ironed together with metallic foils in between and embellished with sewn circles on the top to echo the circular shapes created by the fireworks in the photos.

Pleated materials to create texture and light effects when the fabric reflects.

The material above has been dyed using a rusty items so the brown rust transfers permanently to the fabric. Pretty cool tie-dye effect but does not really fit in with my project.

During this project I took part in an Arduino workshop run by Ali, Digital Interaction guy, which took a whole day. We were taught how to program LEDs, Light Dependant Resistors (light/dark sensor) and Variable Resistors (dimming/brightening device) through Arduino circuit boards which allowed us to understand how to incorporate technology into design. I got really excited to blend textiles and technology!

I discussed with Ali the types of motors and sensors I required for my duvet. I used Light Dependant Resistors to light up the EL wire when the surrounding area had no or very little light (i.e. sunrise, night, sunset), which were programmed through Lilypad circuit boards (perfect for textiles as they are small and washable).

So my final outcome is a beautiful yet medicinal duvet aimed for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective disorder. The EL wires turns on automatically at sunset before you go to bed so you can fall asleep to an ambient glow and at sunrise (or when it nears the time wanting to waken) it automatically turns on again gradually to act as a sunrise (especially good in winter). When it is time, the blanket will gently vibrate and arouse the sleeper awake. Overall, I believe this Rousey-Wrap can suit any occasion, whether it be for people who suffer from SAD or just as an elegant decorative item for your room.

Above is my first prototype however I thought the EL wires were a bit harsh when on so decided to conceal them with an layer of fabric so the wires would softly glow through.

Sorry but I tried to take photos of the blanket when the EL wires were on but the light was far too dim to catch anything on camera. But it does look very relaxing and ambient, perfect for a gentle glow in your room.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Critical Making: The Body & Technology Team Project – Week 2

INVENTION OF THE MIGHTY POD

In week 2, we narrowed down our ideas and discussed which one was the strongest. We developed our strongest idea, trying to create it for a purpose as originally it seemed to not fill a gap in the market. Thus, we thought of ideas that would be made for a purpose. POD-ED: a place where you can take your child for a worry-free health check up, whilst letting them have a little fun and education. After coming up with this fab idea we worked on different aspects of the design – the interior, exterior etc. This is where all of our different disciplines came into play. Good times.

From left to right: Cara, Judy and Rosalind.

We met up in the Duncan of Jordanstone Library and had a good chat about what could be included and how they contributed to the design as a whole. We had A LOT of fun with this. Designs were drawn and ideas were noted, this is how we seemed to work best. Are possible ways of monitoring different aspects of health without it being obvious? Such as dexterity? Heart-Rate? Weight? Well this is what we investigated. The room would be filled with discrete monitoring devices which will be explained further in the next post.

Pea-pod designs links to Pod name and encourages children to eat vegetables.
Sketch of interior

I made some resin samples during the first week to show the group what nice colours you can get with them – almost gem-like.

On the same day, whilst us textile and jewellery people were busy idea hunting, the IED girls (Shona and Cara) went ahead and made a down-scaled model of the Pod in cardboard. Got to say it was really surprising how great it came out in the small amount of time they had!

Tagged , , ,

Critical Making: The Body & Technology Team Project – Week 1

THE BEGINNING

Yes well, this is me finally posting something after many weeks of working on projects. Every Wednesday morning and Thursday we worked on a project called The Body & Technology Project. The project started with a fascinating slide show introduction presented by, the funny, Jason Nelson. The aims of this course is to:

  • help us to develop a cleared understanding of critical thinking and making.
  • develop understanding of materials, fabrication and construction
  • explore historical and contemporary concepts in making.

STAGE 1, WEEK 1

After our introduction we were put into our allocated groups to get to know one another, they were: Rosalind Crawford from Textiles (who I knew from 1st year – she’s brilliant!), Judy Scott from Textiles (lovely lady with a talent for fabrics), Cara from Interior & Environmental Design (or IED), Shona Cairns from IED and, of course, myself from Jewellery & Metal Work.

Each team were given a subject to base their designs on – our subject was HEALTH. Immediately, my team got excited about the project – even when walking from the lecture theatre to our studios we discussed what we could do and make! It became clear that we were a focussed and hard-working group just from judging from that walk.

We visited each of our studios to give one another an idea of what facilities and spaces were on offer, as well as explaining our strengths which could possibly make our group excel more than others.

STAGE 2

After the tours we sat down and began kicking off the project with some brainstorming. This lasted for the whole day! Working together, I felt, was an excellent way to build confidence in your own ideas and to create stronger ideas as others contribute to them. It blended thoughts from different mind-sets (textiles, jewellery and IED) establishing a fantastic method of realising how broad your own discipline can become! Ideas we brainstormed were having the body in balance – to feel relaxed and mentally at ease. This is what we thought could benefit health and THIS is where our team name came about. Balance relates to the astrological sign LIBRA (balancing scales). However we thought if we translated the word into a different language it would sound memorable and more professional, thus, came up with the Swedish term ‘Vågen‘, meaning scales, however our spelling was VOGEN.

We had a really productive day brainstorming and turning up different solutions to answer our brief – HEALTH. We incorporated smart materials, wearable computers, radio frequencies an 3D printing into some of our ideas. Through this method of group brainstorming it allowed our team VOGEN to really grow, bounce ideas off one another, become motivated and enthusiastic about the project.

Tagged , , , , , ,