For our first Product design unit, we were asked to come up with design that will help reduce and prevent the happening of food waste. We were divided into pairs and small groups of three. I first chose two problems my “client” of this project—Mika—reported to have with her favorite types of food/drink that would possibly lead to the occurrence food waste: fizzy drink no longer fizzy & cold, and rice being too sticky or too hard. After further discussion and seeing my design sketches for each problem, my client chose the first one—the design for soda problem—to be made a prototype for.
Something I learned about myself during this project is that having have been through practices and having the experiences I got from last year’s design class, design skills such as brainstorming a design idea and drawing sketches (showing the different perspectives & including labels) for modeling have become things I am now comfortable with; in other words, they are gradually becoming my areas of strength. I was able to quickly notice this change because during the planning stage of this project, I was able to come up with various ideas with using both mind map and listing in a shorter time range. When searching for inspirations on the internet, I as well knew clearly what I should be looking for and how to “apply” those ideas into my design—with a similar, but new usage as their original function.
Overall, I think my prototype is a success because as you can probably see from the above pictures, my initial design sketch and the final prototype I created are mostly similar in their overall outer appearance; despite there are some changes I’ve made about the details of the original design sketch, such as the where the switch and control panel are placed. Additionally, the final prototype came out being very alike to my initial idea and all the different parts I decided to put onto this design “made sense”—looks reasonable.
Biggest obstacle: However, my biggest obstacle was also in the making part of the final prototype. As I was making the prototype, I realized it wasn’t as easy as my prediction to make out the shapes of the different parts of my design with a completely different material—foam–I designed them to be—mostly steel. Fortunately, I was still able to make out the basic shape of my design by attaching cardboard to it, to give it a stronger support for standing—as you can see in the photo above.
One piece of advice for a future student doing this project: My advice would be, before actually starting the “making” process of this project, brainstorm your idea fully and plan out what you are going to do thoroughly. These two procedures may include coming up with various ideas as alternatives for the one you favors; planning out your time efficiently to ensure that you have enough time to finish what you want to build; and making sure the final idea you choose is one that is “feasible”—possible to make a prototype for in the given time range. I learned this from my own experience in this project, and also from others’. I favored another idea—that isn’t the one I chose—at first, but due to time constrain I didn’t choose that one; at the end, it was proven to be the right decision.