"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Self directed Project (smart water bottle)

Final Poster: 

Water bottle (42 × 67.4 cm) (42 × 78 cm)



Presentation drawings of design:

During this project, I have chosen to design a smart water bottle in which keeps user’s daily life organized and maintain a good physical health and positive mood every day.


DI1: Clearly define the design problem including the target audience

Enduring issue:

People are dehydrated by the lack of water drank, people’s daily life is unorganized, both physically (carrying too many things) and mentally (not knowing the daily schedule). Also, people are not aware of the surrounding environment, lack of knowledge about global warming.

Introduction + Definition of problem:

Now days people are busy every day with their business work and schoolwork, and are usually dehydrated and they might not realize it, dehydrations can lead to serious physical health issues without people noticing it. To prevent those issues from happening the smart water bottle will be helping users to stay healthy whilst noticing them their daily schedules. The water bottle will function as a second phone, including all the major elements on phone. Three screen are applied on the front of the water bottle to notice the user main information of the day, the kinds of information displayed will be customized by the user on the big screen on the handle. The main screen is designed to be on the side of the handle so that it best restore the touch of holding a phone. To allow the user to enjoy the product, a glass globe with a plant of the customer’s choice is located near the bottom of the water bottle (more specific information in the final poster above).


Targeted audiences of smart water bottle:

  • People who drinks lack of water, not hydrated (does not like to drink water or too busy)
  • People who are not organized, finding difficulties in keeping up with the schedule
  • People who don’t want to carry so many things with them (carrying their phones all day)
  • middle upper age (in work and at school? Really busy)
  • who want to have an water bottle that they enjoy (making their everyday life better)
  • People who want to be sustainable, using reusable water bottle rather than the single used ones.
  • People who like technology

Success criteria:

  • Create product that targeted audiences/ customers enjoy
  • effectively responds to the enduring issue
  • Product is environmentally friendly, reusable, made from recyclable materials
  • Product makes an positive impact on society
  • Product beneficials user’s daily life
  • Product serves a specific purpose and is unique
  • Product is original
  • Product has an wide range of audiences


DI2: Analyze precedents to inspire and inform solutions to the design problem

Precedents of generated ideas:


Padlet 上的创作



DP1: Apply design thinking practices to generate divergent ideas:

Ideation Process

Design brief 1:

Product: backpack for pet objects

Producing a backpack that efficiently uses space to create both a confutable area for pets but also good designs with places for objects to be attached/ placed, effectively using the limited space.

Design Problem: 

The lack of organization with large number of objects needed to bring with pet when outside.   

User/ Audience:  

  • People with dogs and cats at home
  • People who usually takes pet outside
  • People with multiple pets
  • People who likes to travel with their dogs/cats
  • People with dogs

Purpose of design: 

The purpose of the design is to create an confutable space for small sized pets when carrying them outside. Constructing an efficient usage of space for needed pet products, while also providing multi-functional spaces for targeted audiences. The product designed will be suitable in various environmental conditions, increasing the usage rate.


Week1: design and inquire

Week2: designing and planning

Week3: detailed sketches +producing

Week4: producing

Week5: producing + blog reflection

Success criteria: 

  • Product is environmentally friendly
  • Product creates enjoyable experience for audiences
  • Product enables positive change
  • Product is effectively used
  • Product has an high usage rate
  • Product creates confutable area for pets

Materials/ Resources: 

  • Fabric, Backpack, Glue, Strings, cardboard, etc.
  • Backpack
  • iPad, iPad pencil
  • modeling apps, drawing apps


Product: smart water bottle x Pop Mart  

Design Problem: Unhealthy daily routine and unorganized events leading to inefficient usage of time, causing avoidable problems. Lack of focus on physical surrounding, (large amount of time spent on phone)


User/ Audience:

  • Does sports regularly
  • Does not want to carry phone and other essential objects with them every day
  • Has a pet at home
  • Considers water bottle an essential thing
  • Goes on long hikes

Purpose of design:

The main purpose of this design concept of an smart water bottle, it to make our daily life more easier and sufficient by all the functions that will be included in the smart water bottle. It allows the user to be organized with work and construct an healthy routine for user. This product will enable the user to become a better version of themselves, avoiding various evitable problems, health and daily. The water bottle will have most of the main functions as a phone, picking up calls, be up to date with news, communicate with society around, etc..


Week1: design and inquire

Week2: designing and planning

Week3: detailed sketches +producing

Week4: producing

Week5: producing + blog reflection

Success criteria:

  • User enjoys product
  • Used efficiently
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Makes user’s life more organized and healthier
  • Is multi-functional (has all the basic functions in smart phones)
  • Product makes positive change in society

Materials/ Resources:

  • iPad, iPad pencil
  • drawing apps
  • modeling apps
  • water bottle (cardboard, wooden stick, hot glue, glass, fabric ect.)


Would this be a realistic self-directed project?
Yes, i have chosen to do the per related design as for the self directed project. In this project there will be a big amount of digital design and sketching involved, meaning that the current pandemic situation will not have an huge impact. A benefit of choosing this design is that i could be applying the final model, doing tests and designing with my pets and home. I have knowledge in this design area leading to me designing an more effective design that people are attracted to buy.

How could this project make a positive impact on people and/or the world?
Not having much details yet about the specific design, but when designing for pets my main purpose will be that the pet and audiences enjoys the product, the product positively impacts the pet, convenient for user.

How will you ensure this design is innovative & original? (What solutions already exist to this problem?)
Before I start designing my project I will look at precedents of designs in this area and gain the benefit from each, combining and adding new designs to construct my own original product.

For your chosen project, respond to the following:
What is the design problem I want to address?

Who is affected by this problem?
– pets
– people world wide who has pets
– people who takes their pets to the outside environment
Specifically, what will I be presenting as my final “product”
– i will be presenting the final strongly constructed module on my dog and cat
– detailed modeling online and sketches will also be included (showing the functions that wasn’t sable to be shown on physical model)



DP2: Develop selected ideas into design concepts, applying feedback and/or self-reflection to clearly justify your decisions:

selecting ideas:

the final idea of a smart water bottle was chosen by how I believe that out of all the generated ideas, the smart water bottle is the most unique and is the one that brings most positive impact to our daily lives. I really liked the idea of having a plant in a glass globe embedded in the water bottle to remind people to drink in this creative, fun, and effective way. The smart water bottle solves multiple problems in our everyday life: People are dehydrated by the lack of water drank, people’s daily life is unorganized, both physically (carrying too many things) and mentally (not knowing the daily schedule). Also, people are not aware of the surrounding environment, lack of knowledge about global warming. The design area of product design is something that is different from the last two projects and is something that I haven’t tried before, which is another reason leading to me choosing this idea.


sketches of chosen idea: 





CI1: Apply feedback to iterate and refine your design:

  • Show evidence of gathering and responding to peer and teacher feedback at different stages of your process:
    • What was the feedback you received and how did you respond?

Feedbacks gained:

  • research in to how the plant could survive when in a water bottle, where will the water source be from?
  • have specific drawings for the functions of water bottle
  • having something showing up on the cap
  • how will the water tempreture be maintained when giving the water to the plant?
  • what’s the functions of the three screen

The above are some of the feedback noted during the whole process of designing the smart water bottle. I have responded to each of the feedback stated above. The first feedback was valuable for me since it is what got me to think and design into collaborating a plant to remind and notice people to be hydrated. After gaining the first feedback, I researched all the factors plants need to survive and how it can be achieved through the limited space within the glass globe. For feedback/questions 2,3, and 4, I have responded by drawing functional diagrams of those details and how they change according to diverse circumstances. Feedback 3 is addressed by applying the temperature of the water and the times the water bottle is filled on the cap, which have led the water bottle to have a greater perceived value and function for the user, improving the design.

  • Clearly show the process of refining your chosen design concept – what changes/improvements did you make and why?

diagrams of the specific parts of the water bottle’s function is added and shown in a more direct way. The cap of the water bottle was refined and redesigned.



CI2: Demonstrate growth in technical and design skills:

For this self-directed project, considering the pandemic situation, students were not allowed on campus, so I did more digital drawings rather than physical models. Both sketches and the final presentation drawings were done on my iPad with the app Procreate. I have shown a strong growth though drawing skills from the last wearable project. The dimensions and details were shown through a more direct and clear way. For example, when showing how the glass globe with plant functions within the water bottle, I have drawn how the diverse water levels (different pressure, different amount of water absorbed by the plant) reflects on the plant. I have done an experiment with the two function drawings in project 2 and this self-directed project, and as a result, all the asked people thought that the diagram drawn for this project was more easier to understand. During the ideation process of the water bottle I have tried methods such as drawing down any idea which came in mind, combining two objects to construct a new product, and SWOT in choosing the final idea. A significant growth through my drawing and designing skill is shown since from the fist project. The product designed was serving a greater and longer positive impact, more factors were considered when designing.


RS2: Using the success criteria, explain the strengths & weaknesses of the process & product, including the impact of the design on the audience and environment:

  • What have you learned?What did you do well in this project?What would you improve/do differently next time and why?

During the self-directed project in which I have chosen to design a smart water bottle, I have improved my skills through ideation, sketching, and final presentation. I have also learned how to achieve the purpose of the design more creatively and effectively, solving the problem looking from the targeted audience’s perspective and designing from their interest to address the enduring issue. The smart water bottle design shows this through the glass globe with a customized plant embedded. This unique design of the water bottle attracts targeted audiences, and how the glass globe with plant functions reminds the user to be hydrated because if they are not, then the plant won’t be able to survive (processing photosynthesis and respiration).
For this project, I believed that I did well in presenting the final product (the detailed drawings) and the ideation process. During the ideation process, several diverse areas of design are looked at, and a design brief is created for each plan. I have looked at precedents of designs in various areas, and then by comparing each design using the SWOT method, the idea of a smart water bottle is chosen (changes are made after that). I am delighted with my idea of the plant in a water bottle, which is achieved by all the previous ideation process (better than the last two projects). During the making of the poster for the smart water bottle, drawings from multiple perspectives are shown in color. Zoom in diagrams of specific details and their functions are shown clearly by contrasting the chosen section in different circumstances. The final poster was formatted differently from the projects before, offering more visuals, and the chosen colors were more attractive.
For my next design project, I would be doing more physical modelings without considering the pandemic situation, showing the functions as I was using it. For the ideation and presentation process, I would like to construct a 3D model of the design (which I haven’t done before), which wasn’t done for this self-directed project, considering the time limit, and hard to get help from teachers. I should also improve my skills for making the poster presentation (trying another presentation format?), showing more through visual drawings rather than blocks of words.

  • In what ways is your final design a successful response to the design problem?

The design created based on the success criteria was very effective and successful in responding the design problem of: People are dehydrated by the lack of water drank, people’s daily life is unorganized, both physically (carrying too many things) and mentally (not knowing the daily schedule). Also, people are not aware of the surrounding environment, lack of knowledge about global warming. The screens located on the front of the smart water bottle which is customized my the user keeps the user up to date on the newest information and their daily schedule whilst the main screen on the handle functions as a phone allowing the user to be carrying lesser products, been more organized. For the main part of the design problem (people not having poor physical health due to dehydration everyday), the above is responded by the glass globe with plant inside. By how the plant can only process photosynthesis and respiration with water and sunlight available as reactants user will have to go outside everyday, and have water bottle always filled up to keep the plant alive. In this diverse way, by how of they don’t keep water bottle filled up and not been active outside the plant won’t be able to survive motivates people to understand the importance of drinking water but also brings further joy to their every day life.



overall- best project so far!!! (really enjoyed it)


1 Comment

  1. Hi Annie! Firstly, thank you for all the time and effort you have put into each design project this semester! This has helped build a strong culture in our class and made teaching more enjoyable.

    This is a really fun project, and you have put a lot of thought into your concept. The presentation and fun style of your design drawings is always vibrant, detailed and engaging! For your design, I believe it would achieve even greater success if the screens were not necessarily part of the bottle and instead, the bottle connected to a phone via bluetooth – this would then make the product more practical, durable and affordable. BUT – this would not be as fun as what you have shown here 🙂

    Best of luck for the future, Annie – I hope you continue design, you have such wonderful skill and potential!

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