bunnyfish adventures

cool design stuff
February 3, 2009, 12:10 am
Filed under: design, school | Tags: , ,

aquarium sink!

aquarium sink!

While I’m on a posting spree, this one was delayed from the early days of the second quarter, when I was doing research on existing products for Domestic Appliances in the vague direction of keeping food fresh.

Not all of the things here are related, but that’s how internet surfing goes. Strangely, that’s something I don’t really do too often. Does this have to do with lack of involvement with Web 2.0 again?

Some products were found on a site called popgadget, a personal technology site devoted to women, but many seem good for either sex.

foldable tableware!

foldable tableware!

pins make stained shirts wearable again

pins make stained shirts wearable again

a different sort of fruit holder

a different sort of fruit holder

a sleek vacuum packaging device

a sleek vacuum packaging device that is better designed than anything I would have thought of


academic update
January 27, 2009, 1:07 am
Filed under: Delft, school | Tags: ,

For those who know that I’m in the Netherlands, but don’t really know what I’m doing.

Wait, I don’t know what I’m doing either.  Classes haven’t been nailed down yet for next quarter, that starts next week, and I’m on the reserve list for drawing classes I wanted to take.

Required classes for the semester: Applied Research Methods & Techniques in Design, Life Cycle Engineering and Design, Advanced Design Support, and Project Advanced Products.

Unfortunately, I am more interested in my electives (I’m on the reserve list for some of these): Modeling and prototyping free product shapes, SolidWorks, Multisensory Design, Anatomy and Surgical Techniques for Engineers, Basic Colour Skills, Drawing the Human Figure, Visual Communication Design, Diverse Drawing Techniques, and Environment and Design in Business.

And I will officially start trying to learn Dutch as of tomorrow for my Dutch conversation class.

And on a bright side, Philips ranked my concept 2nd in my category (so… out of 15 or so) for Domestic Appliances, so maybe it means they’ll pick up my idea and make it.  We’ll see how things go in the next few months.

whistle while you work

Work has been all I’ve been up to since I got back to Delft last Sunday.  The semester doesn’t end until the end of the month, and I took an extra week of break to be at home.

It was great!  I had an awesome break.  I took a crapload of pictures and my net luggage was one 42-pound check-in.  (Granted, I was carrying some things back from the US as a favor to some friends.)  So far I just have pictures of my trip to the Creation Museum.

Creation Museum

Regarding the new year, I had three mental resolutions while on the flight back:
1) Don’t be lazy.
2) Be less self-conscious and shy.
3) Be less negative.

Shit.  Let me start over.

1) Do more!
2) Be more confident!
3) Be more positive!

That’s the spirit.  They’re resolutions that aren’t really new, but it’s nice to actually make them.

I haven’t been sharing a lot of schoolwork on here because there wasn’t much to show visually.  I’m still learning what is expected here, and while classes are starting to wrap up, I need to start making things.  We have a viewing of our Domestic Appliances videos on Wednesday, where there will be prizes and voting and all that fun stuff.  More updates to come.

unproductive productivity
November 24, 2008, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Delft, design, mini-adventures, school | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I came home last night after watching Cloverfield and went on a cleaning/organizing spree that started with the dishes, then proceeded to the kitchen, and ended with my staying up all night going through all my finances since I got here.  The picture below is just a few receipts from my frequent grocery runs to C1000, one of the three supermarkets in my area.


I also realized that I could also keep track of the cashiers’ names and started a tally of who has served me the most.  (Hallo Seborah.)  Cindy and Jeanne are tied for second.  I started trying to diversify my cashier when I was going there more than three times a week.

And now I can also start keeping rough track of how much I’m spending on what.  Unfortunately I am missing some relevant information, so to reconcile my cash expenses I have a slush expense called “boozin’,” because in the absolute worst case scenario I would have spent all the rest on going out.  (Slightly unrealistic, but seeing it in my statement will be a nice reminder.)

norman 2008.11.20 - 12

DA dinner 2008.11.19 - 08

I also caved and paid for a flickr account so I can show more pictures in a pretty fashion that isn’t facebook-dependent.  Like watching a baby learn to walk, maybe you’ll see some more sophisticated photo management out of me in the future.

I uploaded other photos from the Donald Norman excursion (it was held in the Design Huis of Eindhoven, so there were some exhibits to see), and I also put up pictures from my Domestic Appliances inspirational dinner last Wednesday after a product imaging workshop with Philips.

At this phase of the class, we are developing individual concepts based on the research we did as a group in the first quarter.  To test out and learn more about some of our concepts, my group held a long-due inspirational dinner.  Ivo (glasses) is making a tofu squeezer and marinater, Elliot (plaid shirt) is interested in making steaming more accessible, and Suyanto (last guy) is interested in increasing nutritional knowledge and balanced eating.  We kind of failed to steam anything, but we did make tofu, sushi, noodles, green beans, and ice cream with fruit chunks and pineapple glaze.

Project Update: Heart Smart
October 7, 2008, 8:58 pm
Filed under: school | Tags: ,

So far I’ve just been posting drawing stuff, but this really isn’t the focus of my semester (I wish).  For my Domestic Appliances class I’m working in a group of four to design something for Philips that lets people pamper themselves and eat healthfully.  Basically we’ve been trying to figure out what “healthy” is, how people go about being it, and how that relates to food.

Our hypothesis from our initial questionnaire is that planning is essential to healthy eating.  Time management is needed to some extent to incorporate sleep, exercise, food, etc.  And what you have available to cook when you get back from work is whatever you got at the grocery store beforehand, and while there are staples you always get, you tend to plan your meals to some extent before buying food.  Or you can look at it from the food preparation perspective and see that when you know what you’re doing, the time it takes to cook isn’t that long.

We’re frantically trying to get a focus group prepared, the act being deceptively involved, but I’m curious to know what others feel they need.  What I’ve found so far is that people rely on their gut when it comes to deciding whether something is healthy or not (for instance, picking food in a grocery store or believing family recipes over a scientific study).  And while healthiness can be measured scientifically, positive feelings both emotionally and physically are involved.

There’s a lot of tip-giving media (websites, books, TV shows), but do they get to the core of the problem?  Does a kitchen appliance like a vegetable chopper effect healthier eating?

I’ll learn you good

This past week was my first week of classes, of which I am currently taking 7.

Hand Drawing for International/Exchange Students (M 8:45-12:45)
Since other IDE (Industrial Design Engineering) students had hand drawing in their bachelor program, we are put through a catch-up course to learn technical drawing.  I’m lucky I have markers from 2.744, because they are super expensive over here (but apparently cheaper than in Norway).

Smart Systems and Technologies (M 13:45-15:35, F 10:45-12:45)
We have an electronics professor teaching us about how to make systems smart through signals and controls.  While 2.671 was very much like this class in terms of lecture content, this class has no application until the exam at the end of October.  And there is no reader for the course, just online links – some material is only in Dutch, and today I literally was linked to a Wikipedia article…  This class is typically taken during the second quarter.

Design Theory and Methodology (T 8:45-10:45)
This class goes over how design should be done and how designers interact with one another in groups.  Thus we have two assignments for the term, to be done by me and my Dutch partner to maximize diversity.

Design Manifestation (T 10:45-12:45 + TR studios)
Here we learn about style, how it affects product interaction, and cultural manifestation through the products people use.  We have a semester to come up with a product for a user group that are as polar opposites as possible.  We also have to make appointments on our own during studio time to get guidance.

Applied Ergonomics (W 13:45-15:45)
The research we do in this class regarding physical, cognitive, and organizational ergonomics is linked to our main project class, Domestic Appliances.

Domestic Appliances (W 15:45-17:45)
IPD (Integrated Product Design) students are working with Philips on 8 projects this semester.  We have groups of up to 5 students to do the research, but each of us develops a concept to be presented at the end of the term through a snazzy video.  My project is the develop some sort of kitchen appliance that encourages users to cook healthy meals.

Form Study: Zen (R … mornings?)
This is my only non-mandatory class this term.  Our project is to design a product around a ritual, a la Japanese zen.  I’m not quite sure how this class is going to be run in the future, but so far we’ve only had a half hour introduction.

There is a website on which professor post content and announcements, called Blackboard.  It’s supposed to be a one-stop location to help us organize our classes, but I actually find it rather frustrating to navigate.  They should really put some IDE students to work on it.

I am lucky that I get to take an elective (Form Study), since I don’t have to take the other catch up classes in electronics and ergonomics for exchange students.  How the school came to this conclusion, I’m not sure.

Another thing about classes here that I need to get used to, is that they’re really freaking long (all at least 2 hours), and that at every hour there is a 15 minute coffee break.