Sunday, May 16, 2010

Story of Bottled Water

After watching the story of bottled water, I now know why I definitely should not get it. Marketers have brainwashed consumers into believing bottled water is better when the big brands just used tap water anyway. This is very unethical and we as designers must find a way to prevent this from happening. We stop associating ourselves with packaging bottled water, we should design better ways to promote drinking tap water. All the bottles will end up in landfills and will most likely won’t even be recycled back into a sustain system. This growing trend must cease to exist and as it was suggested, bottled water should become a taboo like smoking. If designs such as the tap filter or reusable bottles with filters were more marketed then it will reassure consumers that tap water from home let alone anywhere is safe and drinkable and does no lower your status in the status quo. We must start a new trend saying that bottled water is in fact not good for you at all because the processes in which is used to manufacture the bottled water is doing harm to the environment and is going to end up in our bodies in the end because pollution will take its toll. Also the after life the bottled water is not satisfactory either. They must be properly managed no just shipped over to another country and polluting their environment instead.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010



Disaster Design - Solar Rice Cooker Rationale


Bangladesh is hit by cyclones on occasional basis and Cyclone SIDR was one of the more recent disasters to have taken place there. It killed approximately 3000 people and local authorities were slow to help reconstruct the disaster stricken areas due to the fact that they disallowed foreign aid to come in as soon as possible. This aspect paved way for a design which can allow the local governments to hand out water and rice rations to the desperate people as a RESPONSE EFFORT.

Rice and fishing are the main sources of economy and income in Bangladesh thus a Solar Rice Cooker seemed relevant to the target market. This solar rice cooker was to transform conventional solar food cookers; which consisted of enormous reflectors and a science project appearance, into a simpler, smaller and innovative form. There is an existing heat insulating tyre solar food cooker which uses the tubing of a tyre and a glass lid to insulate
heat into a pot, cooking the food inside in 3 hours.

There is also currently a solar rice cooker in the market which uses double glazed glass to insulate and store heat in the bowl. However the main problem with this design was that it was only a single serve its double glazed lid was flat which means that it won’t capture maximum sunlight. This provided a hole in the market for me to exploit.


Not only does Sun Rice eliminate the need for giant reflectors it can now cook for a Bangladesh family with more efficiency. It has a:

-DOME double glazed glass lid which can capture more sunlight at more angles of the sun.

-Black rubber lid base which prevents users form getting burnt and nests onto the cooking pan which prevents heat loss.

-Split storage pot that holds water and rice which acts as a stabiliser after it has been used.

-Insulated inner rice cooking pot.

-Arms on the outer pot to allow users to use rope to carry from place to place.

Along with these innovations is the typical blackened pot. Even though it does not need reflectors, they can still be applied to further enhance the cooking efficiency hence the spherical form, which is to help capture maximum heat along with he extra height from the stabiliser.


The choices of materials were to provide maximum durability and heat insulation efficiency.

The Base Pot:
The base pot is pressed from aluminium for it is a good conductor of heat and is light weight. It is then blackened with either non toxic paint or burnt with fire. This is to help absorb heat which is then transferred into the inner cooking pan which then cooks the rice.

Cooking Pan:
The cooking pan is also pressed but from steel. This is to allow for a more durable pan which can be easily cleaned.

Rice/Water Storage Pot:
The split storage pot is also made of aluminium for it doesn’t corrode from water. It is lightweight.

Lid Base:
the lid is made from black rubber which is to prevent users from burning their hands when opening the lid. It also allows the lid to nest comfortably on the cooking pan so when it is cooking rice, minimal heat is lost.

The spacer is also made of black rubber to allow for a maximum air tight lid. It is to separate the two glazed glass, which meets with double glazed glass standards.

Inner and Outer Glazed Glass:
The double glazed glass are made from low emissivity glass which allows solar radiation to pass into the cooker. Thus this form of glass reduces heat loss but allows the cooker to be warmed by sunlight.


Sun Rice can cook up to 2kgs of rice, enough to feed a Bangladesh family in poverty; which is the intended market. It will be handed out by local authorities to the masses as a RESPONSE and a contract will be signed also stating that the user will pay off the debt over a period of time. The purpose of this is to ensure that they will not sell their solar rice cooker or even just throw it away; it will make them appreciate the product more.

During the duration of the cyclone disaster, the victims will go back to ration stations and receive rice and water to cook in their Sun Rice cooker. This will be continued until the disaster reconstruction efforts have passed.

After the duration of the disaster the victims will then rely on their own resources to cook with and they will continually pay off the debt. What makes this Sun Rice even more relevant is the fact that Bangladesh has 12 annual festivals and celebrations, each of which consist of the people going back to visit relatives to eat as a family. The solar rice cooker can be taken to help prepare food for those families which lack the financial benefits of affording electricity.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

[DESIGN FOR LIFE] Reflection

The driving force behind Phillipe Starck’s design concepts and methodologies is sustainability. He believes that design is the “door to the FUTURE, CREATIVITY and VISIONS. However what he insisted on reinforcing to the student/contestants is that sustainable design is not just about prolonging humanity’s existence. It is much more beyond the product itself and that it has to dwell in the conceptual way of thinking. For instance products must become:



Starck believes that design must be accessible to the majority of the world population in order to make a real difference and allow “humans to achieve their maximum potential”. In essence, designs must become easily affordable but retaining maximum beauty and functionality. If products were designed for the top end of the Capitalist hierarchy then more and more resources will be banished and wasted for the smaller percentage of the world population which is absurd.


A main issue in the contemporary design world is that too many products are be redone, not improved or enhanced efficiently. Products must evolve to multi task and be as minimal as possible at the same time. Hence knowing all technicalities is essential. For instance one of the students believe that the packaging of cleansers was an effective solution however was criticised by Starck because she did not consider at all the contents and their implications, only the packaging itself. Starck explicitly believes the product as a WHOLE MUST be considered in order to be sustainable. Without sustainable products, humans will never be able to “achieve its potential”

Beneficial to Society

He metaphorically states that design should be GENEROUS and should help humans EMBRACE one another though their sustainable products. If design can provoke a domino effect of generosity and embracement, “achieving [our] potential” seems very likely. Humans must sub consciously help one another buy purchasing products which not only benefit themselves as a functional object but also products whose after lives provide benefits to others. For instance after a product has lasted its functional life it’s afterlife will serve as another material or component for another product or person. Or even better, the product can be used and kept and never thrown out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The 11th Hour

The human’s capacity to survive is solely based on our intellect however it is our intellect which has created a culture which has detached us from nature. This statement is rather contradicting for humans ARE a part of nature. The need for oil is repressing the general population from being fully aware of the consequences of what they are contributing to – global warming. I can’t believe how hard it is to persuade people to do the right thing. It is a common sight to see litter floating around any corner of any street. It’s unbelievable how people cannot make the linkages. It was said that an individual can be intellectual however on the other hand people are stupid. This reflects the 11th Hour’s perception of people.

“Corporations are the weapons of mass destruction” was a statement which hit hard for I had never thought about it that way. Consumerism IS destroying the planet and consumerism is a product of corporations therefore individuals must stand together as people and as people we must turn the hierarchy which holds corporations at the top upside down in order to save the human population. As mentioned earlier it is our INTELLECT which helps us survive, not our dumb witted sheepish behaviours of being sugar coated by corporations’ prime time advertisements. If nature were an economy it would generate $35 trillion worth of in one year, which is a staggering amount. Green power MUST be the source of a new economy.

As industrial designers we must live up to our new role as “culture generators”. We must create a new culture of environmentalism where people ARE aware their actions relative to global warming, and the “waste making system” must be reverted to a “cradle-cradle” system. We must make products last emotionally and discard consumerism.

Charette - Group Design + Refection

The child's toys attachment allow the kids to play with this chair and around it as if it safely without disturbing adults at dinner. While playing it can integrate into their learning through spelling and interaction improving mental awareness. As the child grows it will remember fond times it has spent with its parents setting up the blocks before dinners hence ill create emotional attachments. In the future the blocks can be removed, and the chair can be used normally. If even after growing up the child will be still attached to it, they'll keep it for they're own kids to use and play with.

Polyurethane Foam found in puzzle mats that are an ideal material for it is flexible enough to slot onto the chair. It's also soft soft so:
-it won't hurt children
-won't hurt adults if stepped on
-strong enough to last being continually handled by kids

This task has revealed that it is indeed possible to make all products have a longer life if done correctly. The idea to integrate a new design into an existing one successfully will be challenging however rewarding. It would be much easier if a product were to last on its own without having accessories to go along with it, however it would benefit the products life cycle. Contrary to this is that new tooling systems must be made for the accessories and more logistics must be considered which in turn might even cancel out the fact the original product's life has been extended.
The group collaborative session, I believe was very constructive for it seemed as if it were a scaled down professional design studio. It gave a better atmosphere than working on a project alone.
If I were to design a chair from scratch the most important thing i believe is to know what customers what in their chairs and what they dislike. From this we can derive solutions for these problems and from hence forth a design procedure of ergonomics, market research and further developing can take place.


Charette - Concepts

Psycho-Socio - Attachment
This is a design which will allow the users bottom to gradually create a personal engraving into the silicon clip-on cushion. This will generate emotion for it is an original grooving of the user.

This back and shoulder support is designed to slip on the back of the Stefan chair to provide protection from its hard and harsh surface.
Problem Resolution 1
Create a more flowing, curved design. It would be 3 components which will be slotted and screwed.

Problem Resolution 2
Create a main slot for simpler home assembly. It would be slotted then screwed together.