Friday, July 23, 2010

Metcash 2010.

Trip to IGA Convention with Creative InStore Solutions.
Exhibition we constructed won best exhibition of the event.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Story of Bottled Water

The story of bottled water is a very interesting short film, which makes you really think and put into perspective the wastage of bottled water. More often then not, city tap water is cleaner then purchased bottled water, which is explained in the video. In a study of the U.S, consumers preferred the taste of tap water, to that of bottled water, and "Bottled water costs almost 2000 times more then normal tap water." "People in the U.S buy 500 Million bottles of water every week," this just makes you think of how many plastic bottles are being thrown out each year. There is a extremely large opportunity for people to set up a system to help minimise the wastage of bottled water, and create a sustainable future for the product.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Drought: Ethiopia: Solar Distillation.

Detailed shot of the joining of the two parts, and the catchment area.

Overall views of the product and its assembly.


The design of a water distillation system (still) was intended to be able to produce clean drinking water for drought-affected areas in Ethiopia. The idea came from the ability to capture condensation as a hygienic drinkable water source, from unhygienic water, and Ethiopia’s vast arid landscape and exposure to the sun provided an excellent opportunity for this product. The instalment of this still allows chemically clean fresh drinkable water to be produced throughout the day, when exposed to sunlight, from unhygienic water.

The process to produce and access the water relies on nature. Contaminated, unhygienic water can be placed in a bucket, or in a watertight hole, and the “Still” system placed over the top. The sunbeams onto the top of the still, this heats up the inside of the still. Condensation is formed on the inside of the roof, which then flows down, being captured in the surround internal guttering system. The guttering system is able to hold up to 20L of water, which needs no support as it is the base of the product, and rests on the dirt mound that is made. This means that land formation is not to much of a limitation in setting up the product. The users are able to dig a hole and level out the surround and place the still where it is convenient. A small tap is located underneath the guttering system, which allows the clean, hygienic water to be dispersed into cups, and water containers.

There were many technical specifications that needed to be taken into consideration when designing this water distillation product (still). Initially, I needed to find out an appropriate size for the still, large enough that it would provide enough water for people to drink from, however not to large that it made it hard to transport or manufacture. Given that the larger the surface area, the greater quantity of water produced, a mathematical, happy medium needed to be reached. As the area size of the still increases, the percentage rate in which chemically fresh water is produced, increases. Community stills, and personal still were all considered when deciding on the size of the product. A still that would provide for a community would obviously have large manufacturing and transportation costs, however, it would provide a much larger amount of water, given the product area exposed to the sun. Although, a community still would possibly increase community conflict, with the participation of water collection and allocation to and from the still. A smaller still would be much easier to manufacture, and much easier to transport, however, given the smaller surface area, there would be a lower percentage in water produced by it. Given that an average person consumes 2.4L of water a day, a still large enough to provide for at least 4 people was needed at the least. Given that cost and transportation was also a big factor into the design, it was decided that this particular still would consist of a surface roof instalment, as well as a guttering system. These are obviously the most important components of the still, and keeping the project minimal yet productive, added components of the product were taken away.

This particular still is very transportable, and can be set up in many locations. Its size and weight make it easy to work with, and the lack on components makes it straight forward to assemble. A small hole, dug in the ground, needs to be constructed, to the diameter of the still, a plastic tarp or bucket can then be placed in the hole, and filled with collected (not chemically fresh), water. The gutter system can then be placed around the top of the hole, and the roof placed in on top of the guttering system.

The overall form of the product was purely functional based, it does stand out in the Ethiopian environment, but in keeping the product simple, yet effective, this was the overall shape and design that was achieved. Ideally, the product would have been smaller, and would have had more of a cultural image into the villages, or huts, but this was not possible in functionality.

After much research into existing still, the still needed specific technical dimensions to increase water quantity produced. A 10 to 20 degree angle was recommended on the slope of the roof. This was to ensure that all condensation produced throughout the day flowed down in sheets across the plastic. A roof to steep would see that the water droplets fall at an inconsistent rate and not flow correctly. A roof to flat would see the water droplets fall back into the contaminated water. The guttering system was initially designed to be stationed on the outside of the still, however, it was redesigned to be on the inside. This was to decrease the opportunity for the fresh water to become contaminated, and remain of out way from other animals, dust, and other pollutants’. the material was also other major aspect of the project. Ideally, glass is the most effective material to use in such a product, however, it is clearly not feasible in a situation such as this. Plastic resins found in above ground pools were also considered, however this was not used as it did not have the same durability as solid plastic such as HDPE, and polyethylene. In the final product, polyethylene would be used, and manufactured using roto-moulding, to easily mass produce the product. A plastic liner would have been much easier to transport, and construct, using framework, however a small scratch caused by an animal or by misuse, and the entire product would not be useable, the heat would escape, and the moisture would not be contained within the product.

Overall, I think a sustainable practical and effective product was established, in fitting this brief. Providing clean fresh water in this drought effected region is obviously the most important problem, and this still uses the natural environment, and natural resources to produce clean drinking water, using a natural ecological system. Proving a sustainable product.


This assignment focused on providing a practical product design for a drought-affected area. The water distillation system is a practical sustainable design that provides drought-affected areas with a clean hygienic water source, given the availability to sunlight.

Given the limitations and design complications that arose throughout the development of the project, I think a practical, sustainable and effective product was established. There was a lot of consideration that needed to be taken into account when designing the overall dimensions of the product, and a desirable medium needed to be concluded from the project, which I think was achieved. Ideally, different materials would have been used in this product to increase effectiveness, and transportation issues, but given the environment, and situation that the product was to be placed in, a much more practical and sustainable alternative was reached.

The overall form of the product was purely functional based, it does stand out in the Ethiopian environment, but in keeping the product simple, yet effective, this was the overall shape and design that was achieved. Ideally, the product would have been much smaller, and would have had more of a cultural image into the villages, or huts, but this was not possible in functionality. A 2m diameter for the product was the smallest margin that this product could be to even make the product useful. Any smaller and the product would be ineffective and not provide sufficient water.

I learnt a lot from this project, it increases my awareness of the struggles that some people face in the world in daily lives. It also stretched my awareness in design, to not only be focused on what it is that I have in my mind and want to achieve, but what the reality of the product is, and designing a product that is specifically designed from the environment and intended use. This project has rechanneled my thinking in design, and my approach in design to be much more attentive to environmental design, and sustainability in design, I think this will play a large factor in the design world in the near future.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Design for Life - Phillipe Starck

This reality series was very interesting, as it made you aware of the direction that design is taking, and made you sit back at put our career into perspective, but it was also interesting to note the differences between his actions and his words. It is extremely important for designers to be able to design products that will have less impact on the environment, but more importantly question the need for designers to design at all. It opens the door to the debate whether we continue to create a need for products we don't need, or to take a different approach, which some designers are doing, and produce products that we do need, but may also be beneficial to the environment.
However, it is interesting to note that Phillipe does indeed identify these problems in the design world, yet he drives around in cars on set that are not necessarily helping the environment in any way, and do certainly don't back up what he has been preaching about throughout the series. If he was standing his ground, and trying to make a point, he would be driving around in Hybrid cars, and riding bikes where he can, in front of the cameras to cement his perception.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

11th Hour.

The opening scenes of this documentary really make you realise the destruction and effects that we are having on ourselves, and really summarises the mistakes we are making to our environment. It is true, "you don"t need to know or learn about the problems that are going on in the world, you just need to look around," the problems on earth are becoming so common that it effects us everyday. Unfortunately, the things that we do that are having these catastrophic effects on earth are just become apart of our daily lives, and is becoming harder to draw the line between daily routine, and damaging the ecosystem. As designers, we are put right in the spotlight for the direction that the world can take. Our job entitles us to create and design new products the consumers don"t really need. We have the opportunity to find a niche market, and build on that to draw more income and design more products. This just leads us down the same road that our lives are already on. Products such as laptops, mobile phones, cars, and so on, are so quickly out dated, that they are being upgraded by consumers to newer and greater products to stay up with technology. All these old products are finding there way into landfill, and daily, causing more damage to our earth. That is just focusing on the end of the product life cycle. The damage that is being caused to initially produce the products is even higher. Not to mention using the products, or keeping the products running or in use. Cars, electricity for phones, lap tops, lamps, they all have large combined effects. If we are able to refocus out design, and design to create products that are sustainable, it will have much less impact on the world, then creating products that are designed to have faults in the near future, to increase consumers to repurchase. As designers, the world is in our hand to create products that have less impact on the world, or can help to reduce the impacts that are being caused. Technology has limited boundaries in todays world, if we are able to channel it in a way that can find new system of manufacturing, or a process that allows parts and products to be re-used, on a regular basis, its all going to contribute to help the worlds ecological problems, on a world-wide scale.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Design Charette

Mind Mapping.

Physio Attachment.

An additional cushion insert would make it much more comfortable to the user to sit in.

Widening the base of the legs, and adjusting the back rest and seat placement, would allow the chairs to become stack-able.

Psycho/Socio Attachment

Adding an area were the user can create there own style and graphics gives the chair significance, it makes the chair much more personal to the user.

Final Design.

Our final design was very simple and practical. We titled the angle of the chair back, by placing wedges at the front legs, and smaller wedges at the rear, this meant that it was more comfortable for the user to sit in. A foot rest was also added at the front of the legs, purely for comfort. A new back rest, which had a larger surface area was put in place. This gave the chair much more comfort and support on the back, the original back support was a small back, which caused problems to the should blades. This was overcome by the new back support. Finally, the base of the seat had an extra compartment added, as a storage space. This was just a simple addition that was practical and assisted in maximising unused space.

This task was interesting, as it made us think about the life of a product, how we as designers are able to adapt concepts to further increase the life span of a particular product. It is pointless to throw out a perfectly good product, and with simple small additions, a product can be transformed into a new design.
This exercise was great fun, and allowed each team member to be as creative as they wanted. It also ment that new ideas were found whilst working with other team members, and we could feed of eachothers ideas. However, it could possible have been a bit easier, communication wise, if the groups were a bit smaller.
Overall, it was great fun and eye opening to new design considerations.