In this project we had to take a product that we had a problem with and design it in a way that we believed a certain company would design the item if they did in the market. I found this project very fun actually as it gave us quite an easy concept to play with and allowed us to develop more creative ideas without having to think about what the item would actually look like as the main features of the company had already done that part for us. For this project I decided to redesign a desk chair, as I had never designed one before and because I am currently having problems with the ones that I have to sit on (both in my room and in my studio space). The main problem that I was encountering was the fact that if I put one too many coats or items of clothing on the back on my chair ( in my room) it falls over, like it’s decided that its had enough of me. The other problem that I have with desk chairs is that they are just uncomfortable they don’t support the back where it’s supposed to be it also does not provide the correct position of the spine for a person, and becomes very uncomfortable when sitting at a desk for a look time. The company that I chose to use to help me design the chair was Converse.
For the very beginning of this project we were pushed to be down in the workshop and creating models of every possible idea and design modification that we came up with. This sounded like a lot of busy work but it was actually quite useful as it helped me to get further with my design and allowed me to create a product that I would be happy to continue with. By drawing coming up with a very basic idea then making a model, and repeat and repeat and repeat ect. it meant that we could see our design in 3D with when we went back to sketching more ideas we could make a reference to the first model to see if it would be suitable or not. This was a really good way of working and I will defiantly be using it in future projects. Another great thing about having to make so many models, was not looking like I had just walked through a blizzard but the fact that once we had a pretty solid design we were able to use other more structured materials to create textures and certain looks on the piece that we wanted. For example I used blue foam covered in a layer of clay to allow me to create a stitched look on the outside of the model this also allowed me to figure out the amount and detail that was necessary for my product. As on some of the models it was a very simple design only using the 2 line stitch that is used by Converse, while others were very detailed with laces and logos with everything that would be on a shoe made by Converse.
My final design was loosely based on most of the spine support chairs that are currently in the market. They are basically a blow up rubber ball on wheels, an ugly design and big and bulky with nothing really good about the size. So what I decided to do was use the design of a comfy soft rounded surface for the actually seat then have an almost completely hollowed out cylinder underneath the seat. This would allow there to be the development of the design which allowed me to have a storage system in the bottom of the seat. This solved both of my problems that I mentioned in the first paragraph. As there was now storage in the bottom of the seat in the form of 4 triangle-shaped draws which pulled out of the seat, it would allow my target market (students) to have much-needed storage in another area of their room. As all students know there is not a lot of places to put things in a typical student room and I am having to keep quite a lot of stuff out on my desk which would be better in draws and boxes that I just have to keep under my desk as there is no where else for them to go. So this aspect of the desk chair would defiantly help with clutter and the odd bits and bobs we seem to pick up as students.