Sunday, May 12, 2013

INDN 211: Refining & Resolving

Well, now that I've done some research into what my target clientele thinks of the work in progress, it's time to start refining what exactly it should look like. For this project, form has to completely follow function, as the function is absolutely key for this project.

The material choices for this project will be fairly important. Ultimately the project is completely about comfort and ensuring that the hold is as easy and as informative for the muscles as possible. This project is essentially an extremely pure study into ergonomics for a fairly specific group.

One of the things that is rather important is ensuring that the pens have a decent amount of weight to them, as the first few levels of the pen rely on a decent amount of weight being behind the grip. The grip then sits in the hand a little bit better when having more weight.

I'm going to work the forms I want on the wooden lathe, because if I create the pens out of metal, I think I might be pushing the weight of the pens to a bit of an extreme level. To create the edging of the sections for the fingers, I want to vacuum form the plastic and then mould it over the curve of the pen grip itself, so as to ensure it fits well.

Now that I understand how I want to make my objects, I needed to experiment with form a little bit more. After previously drawing the pens as rugby-ball shapes, I realised that for optimum comfort, the pens actually needed to be a little more sophisticatedly formed than that. So I looked into form, ans started to slowly isolate a form that worked and looked sophisticated at the same time.

After isolating the form that I wanted the pens to take, I made some small alterations to the design, including the addition of a weighted back end, so as to lighten the load of the pen at the front, and make the learning to write easier for the user.

The materiality of the design was another important section in this design. The body of the pen is planned to be wood, while the tip and the weighted end are going to be metal, for obvious reasons.

After talking to my tutor, the game plan has changed. Rather significantly, I might add! The idea of options and customisation were suggested, and as I result, I've revisited the design and decided to make it much more customisable for the user. Rather than having one pen for each segment, why not make the tips, weights, and handles interchangeable on a single stem.

Another very important element was the suggestion of the pen set not actually being a pen set, but rather a paintbrush set, which would serve two purposes. First, the user would be forced to eventually graduate from the set into a normal pen, since you can't exactly use a paintbrush for everyday situations. Secondly, it could potentially introduce the user to a new hobby, namely that of calligraphy. Calligraphy is a perfect start for this set, since the pen will be large and heavy, and the forms of calligraphy are an excellent start for someone wanting to relearn to write.

Next, the production begins!

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