Project 10: Communicating your Design Proposal

My final assignment for this unit is to communicate my design proposal. The journey starts with the brief and continues through precedent research, or inspiration, and the factual information about my site – the survey and analysis.

Then the sketch designing, doodles, scribbles, iterative development models, materials samples and all other information that feeds my design. All of this is really important to contextualise my design – to place it physically, within the chosen site or space, and also to place it emotionally.

Exercise 1: Model of Emotion

Emotion is very important when designing. I want the occupant to feel emotion when looking at my design so for the next exercise I have made a 3D physical model that describes the emotional context of my design. When considering the type of feeling that I wanted to evoke with my finished piece I started with researching what demonstrates that feeling.

Visceral Design – is a process that automatically creates an emotional response. It’s intuitive, a feeling that you feel towards something.

Behavioural Design – is how a design influences human behaviour, how the product design is used, it’s function, performance and effectiveness.

Reflective Design – captures the meaning of the design, the impact of thoughts and the cultural impact.

I made a list in my notebook of the materials used for my design; natural wood, plywood, brass hinges and knobs, floral pattern fretwork.

Why did I choose to use natural wood? Because of the colour, warmth and tones in natural wood. The idea of using a preloved piece of furniture fills me with joy, saving a beautiful design, repurposing it and saving it from being dumped or burned, therefore no need for new materials.

Why did I choose to use plywood? I just love the formation of the layers, its really effective, strong material it is also idea for cutting out the floral pattern for the fretwork.

Why did I choose brass hinges and knobs? Knowing that I was using the natural wood together with the plywood fretwork and adding a coloured piece of plywood to the back of the fretwork meant that I needed a pop of colour that complimented all three elements but also stands out and will be very noticeable.

With all this in mind I created a mind map around the key design elements of flower, colour, brass and strength. From that derived feelings connected to those words and above all the word ‘strong’ was evident. Flowers have a delicate but organic strength within them. Colours can symbolise strength whilst brass is know for its strong properties.

Based on this research I chose to create a floral pattern using gold coloured flat wire. I found a website tutorial for creating a sketch style wire leaf, ordered some flat wire from the internet and played around until I created a similar style to the tutorial. The sketch style wire leaf represents strength in the materials I have chosen to use in my bathroom cabinet design, with a nod to the leaf pattern in the fretwork. I had thought that maybe I could create several of these and show strength in numbers but actually on reflection, one wire leaf design is powerful enough to connect with the design emotionally, it shows strength, organic curve connecting to nature, form, texture and colour.

I used pliers to straighten the ends coming out of the circle shape to make a curve shape and then continued bending the wire to create smaller leaf shapes, a stem and two more leaves at the bottom. I then captured the 3D model against different backgrounds to show the scale and depth of the wire, the shadows add dimension and balance to the photograph.

On reflection of this exercise, I believe I have been successful in communicating the emotional context of my furniture design through my 3D physical model. I have created a simple yet effective 3D model that compliments my simple yet effective wooden piece of fitted furniture. There is strength in my wooden furniture design that is layered with elements of texture, pattern and colour. My 3D model has texture, colour and strength, but gently informs you there is harmony between man-made elements and the natural world.

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