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

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Reduce Food Waste–1st Product Design Project Reflection

Client brainstorm paper pdf

Design sketches pdf

prototype photo pdf

Prototype Photo pdf

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.

Design–Using Fake Leather

In this new unit of Product Design, we were asked to design something that solves a problem in our life–by using a piece of fake leather. In the brainstorming process, I thought of ideas in the area of making improvements/repairs.  I looked for ideas of problems that I can solve in the design lab and searched for images of leather products on google.  Finally, I decided to design a scissor sheath that will protect its users from hurting themselves or others with the tip of the scissor–while carrying it around; at the same time, it can protect the scissor from getting dirty when it’s not being used. I got my inspiration from the scissors in the design lab and pictures of knife sheaths.



In this unit, “Our stories make History”, we are creating our own primary sources. We are achieving this goal by recording the experiences, emotions, and thoughts we have during this historical time–the coronavirus outbreak. The projects we’ve done include but are not limited to, writing journals, writing timelines, taking notes from news articles, and creating collages.
This, shown below, is the final project of the unit. As I’ve said, we’ve done many different things in this unit, so in this final project, we are selecting some of them and putting these pieces together.

The elements I selected for this project are a six-word memoir, a collage I made, an emotional timeline(there’s also news articles notes I took), a diary I wrote & a recording of it, pictures of news articles & citations, a screenshot I took(it’s a screenshot of the web page of Baidu), and a song parody I wrote with my friends. I put them in this order for a reason. The six-word memoir is placed on the first page because I think it sums up my experiences during this time, and could kind of lead the reader into the mood(my experiences). The collage, placed after it, then gives a further visual information/explanation of the memoir and my experience.  After that, the timeline and the journal that’s placed on the third and fourth page, could both provide a more detailed and textual version of my experiences. Finally, the rest of the elements are kind of the additional details that are placed in the order of the time I created them.

This primary source could be useful to a historian because I included/provided firsthand descriptions, information, and evidence about this event, which is the coronavirus outbreak, in it.

The thing that went well for me in this unit is that I’m able to finish the projects on time. I am also proud of my journal since I kind of did a good job of keeping this routine every day.
However there are also a few challenges for me in this unit. The major one is that I had some trouble with recording down my thoughts and emotions on my timeline and my journal. This because I was trapped at home, due to the virus, so there’s really not much key moments for me. Yet, at the end, I solved this problem by writing the more daily events and thoughts.

IDK’s Scissoreines

This is my group’s (I Design Knowledge) mug insulator, we named it Scissoreines. The main function of this insulator is to reduce the heat loss of the hot water in the mug, which is to keep the water hot/warm. The way it works is by wrapping it around the mug and then attaching the Velcro on each side together. There is also a cup and a coaster designed with it to prevent heat loss from the top and bottom of the mug.

The thing I’m proud of in this project is how my group manage to finish this project in time and design a cup insulator that well achieves the goal of its function, which again is to reduce heat loss. Evidence that can prove its insulating function is that the temperature of the hot water in the mug only dropped by 10.3 degrees Celsius with the insulator on, after 20MINMUTES.

There’s nothing hard about this project technically, but I believe the challenging part for my group is to make agreements in ideas. Since we always have different ideas and opinions in things, the challenge for us is to cooperate, accept and try different ideas from each other.

If I could redesign this insulator, I would probably use something else instead of a foam sheet and use other things like double-sided tape or staple pins to attach the materials. I want to use something else instead of hot glue because most of the hot glue melted during the test of the insulator.

Overall, I think this is an interesting project for our community and I had a lot of fun.

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