By: Gia Marino
Today we start project 2: Constructing Carriers!
I picked wrapped chocolates as my object. I think there a lot of options for carrying this object, maybe too many. I am currently using godiva ganache hearts. They are a little bigger than a quarter so I need to think of the best way to carry multiple tiny objects. They aren’t perfectly square either because they are hearts so that could make things more difficult so I may change the chocolates I use.
During the project overview, I learned that we have to keep in mind not only functionality but also protection and presentation. Carriers are used all the time and there are so many good and bad designs out there. So it is important to keep many factors in mind and to draw from good examples. Like taking examples from nature which has the most complex and efficient designs on earth after MANY years of evolution. Lastly, I am going to allow the idea of ‘gift-giving’ influence my designs for this project. I am going to try and use this concept to draw upon fun and original ideas that will present my object in elegant ways. However, all while making sure my carrier is functional and protective.
I started to explore carrier designs by going on Pinterest and looking at packaging designs. In the photo above to the left I really liked how there are slots to hold the tea bags. It keeps the tea bags secure and protected. I also feel like the design is very clean. The top right carrier really intrigued me. I thought it was very smart that each piece holds one coffee bag and then you can connect them altogether to make one carrier. It is also very sleek and not over complicated which I really enjoy. I feel like it would be very satisfying to use this carrier which is something I strive for in my carrier.
Here I thought these flower carriers were very good carriers to look at even though I am doing chocolates and not flowers, because I think they show how one can do a unique but simple carrier for an object that in my opinion is hard to be original with. I like how they display the flowers while also properly protecting and carrying them. These carriers gave me ideas on avenues I could explore with my own project.
This carrier to the left is such a good example of staying true to the object and capturing the object in the packaging, while also keeping the packaging sleek. It also has a very cool interaction and opening of the package that makes it seem like it would be exciting to open and possibly satisfying.
I think right now my overall goals for my carrier is to be true to my object and have my packaging present it properly. I am thinking it will be hard to make my carrier very reflective of the shape of my object, but I think I could make my carrier stay genuine by somehow displaying my object while it is carried.
Today we did an activity to experiment with cardboard so that we can start getting use to the material. I attempted to make a cylinder with closed ends.
I found from the activity that doing math just slowed me down. I tried to make this cylinder by using math and it turned out with a gap. I think I will do much better by making precise guesses. To make the cardboard curved I used two methods. Part of the cylinder I tore off the back panel of paper so it curved. The other part of the cylinder I put vertical slits in the cardboard. I think both methods worked well but both are messy in their own ways. The slit method is hard to make neat unless I use a ruler. The other method is hard to make neat since it leaves pieces of paper behind. I also found that when you slide the tab into between the cardboard panels then the cardboard starts to become unstable, especially when it was already sliced to be curved. So I may have to find another method to put together the cardboard without tape, but I have no other ideas at the moment.
As I have been thinking about how to store my chocolates, I think the best approach would to be to make individual slots for each piece of chocolate. I think this would help the presentation of the object because it would make each piece of chocolate feel important. I also think it would be obnoxious for the chocolates to be clanking around. I also feel like my carrier can be much smaller than other people’s carriers (like the bread group), since the chocolates are much smaller. The packaging of my chocolates is also something to consider because it’s longer than the actually chocolates, but it can be scrunched easily. So it makes the chocolates seem bigger than they actually are. One thing I am glad I don’t have to worry about is having to protect my object because chocolates can mostly protect themselves, especially since they have wrapping on them. So I think it is okay if my chocolates end up having to move around more than expected. The problem is that I have to make sure they don’t bounce or slide out since they are small and lightweight because I feel like they would easily escape the carrier when they are not supposed too.
For today I had to do sketch models. I did two sketch models to explore some of my ideas and test them out. I was drawn to the idea of a cylinder because it is round like my chocolates and my ideas in my head were originally in cylindrical form so I thought I would try my original idea and then work from there.
I started my process by doing a couple of sketches to get my thoughts figured out and so I can get any bad ideas out of my head. These are just pretty quick sketches but they help me organize my thoughts while I try and think of my ideas.
For both of my ideas I tried to do a more basket like figures because that seemed the most chocolate like carrier other than a classic box of chocolates. Plus, I feel like a basket would display the chocolates nicely. For the first sketch model I was going to try and do slots for the chocolates (which you may be able to tell based off the little windows) but I wasn’t able to do it because I didn’t have an idea on how to attach it to the curved walls, and even if I was able to achieve it, I am not sure how you would do my idea without tape in the future. I think I like the idea of there being windows in my design because then the interaction and present would be cool and fun. I think I may explore the slot idea just maybe not with a round carrier.
I think the other flaws in my basket are caused by the poor craftsmanship of my carrier. One problem was that I had no idea how to use tabs or other non-glue assembly methods when you take the back panel off of cardboard. I think the problem is if you take the back panel off then the card board becomes weaker, so doing tabs is harder. Thus, I am not sure making a cylinder this way is the best solution. The only part I did not tape was the circular bottoms, which I just shoved in the cylinder through the bottom . They did ended up staying very nicely in the cylinder, however, it is not the best design because it is staying in there while only tension, so you can’t open the cylinder without the circle bottoms falling out.
Overall, I think this sketch model is a good idea it just needs lots of renovations. I need to figure out how I could use tabs and other methods that help me not use tape, which I am starting to realize is pretty hard.
This second one is intended to be more modern and abstract than the other. I still couldn’t successfully assemble this one. I tried using tabs but failed since I sliced the cardboard vertically to make it curved. I feel like this design is unstable and is too extra for no purpose because there was really no good reason in making it this asymmetrical and basket carrier. It’s not really well designed or well-made. The supporting side stilts aren’t that sturdy which makes the whole structure unstable, and the round bottoms are again just stuck in there, which makes the structure even less stable. This is also terrible craftsmanship. The two shelves are uneven and it is also taped or glued. This carrier seems hard to do without glue so I probably won’t pursue it any further. I think instead I will try and think of more purposeful and simple designs, while also making the carrier demonstrate the idea of gift giving.
Today during class I learned that gimmicky things aren’t going to help me any. I need to avoid the “low hanging fruit” and get those ideas out so I can look at the ideas with more substance instead. Also I feel like I am seeing I shouldn’t try and over complicate things and that I want deep multi-layered communication, and I feel like that isn’t always achieved with over complicated designs but rather good and straightforward design. Also we were told to not work against the cardboard and instead try and make your design compatible with the cardboard, so this is another thing I am going to try and keep in mind.
My next step is going to be keep exploring and sifting through my ideas. I am going to try and sketch out my ideas so I won’t waste too much time exploring all my bad ideas.
Today I completed another sketch model and explored one of my other ideas.
Here as you see I went with a very different approach. I wanted to try and attempt slots again but I instead took it in a different direction by doing drawers. The drawers slide out but not very well. The drawers do kinda protect the chocolates well when slide in, but the chocolates don’t need THAT much protection. thought the pyramid would present the chocolates in a extravagant way, especially with the drawers. I think in a way it is quite dramatic, but I am not sure the extra material is worth the drama. Downsides of this prototype is that there is no good way to carry it and it may be hard to assemble without tape because of the small drawers. I think I would have to rethink the drawers and make it all one piece of cardboard to be able to assemble it without tape. Lastly, this carrier is very excessive with material. The pyramid is so large for the chocolates being so small.
From class I learned a lot about what I should focus on in my designs. I made a compact hierarchy list that is everything we talked about and mentioned in class. Overall, I learned a lot from the discussion. I found that not everything can be perfect, one has to prioritize while designing, which I honestly did not realize before today. I also did not realize that some of the things were mentioned in class we very important for design. For example, I did not think about ease of assembly in my process of designing thus far. I think after today my line of thinking has really changed. Before I was very focused on good presentation and keeping true to chocolates and making sure my carrier seemed like a chocolate carrier. However, now I am thinking about my excessive material and weather my carrier is well constructed and soon I will have to start thinking about ease of assembly.
I was quite stuck on what sketch model to do next so I decided to build off my previous sketch model and explore other things. Plus, I do like this sketch model and I think I may try and think of a way to improve this into a better design so that it is still extravagant in presentation but more practical. I experimented with handles and found a tab system that would maybe work. Now this carrier is easy to carry, however, it still has an excessive amount of material (which my peers helped point out in my peer review), which I plan to fix later when I rethink this sketch model. Sadly, I still can’t figure out the drawers and did the same drawers as last time. So the only thing tapes in this sketch model is the drawers. My group also said my design seemed a little fragile to carry and the drawers seem fragile, thus I need to consider improving craftsmanship and durability.
I think my next step is to honestly rethink my whole design. I have some aspects I have found I like and characteristics I want to prioritize. Now I just have to find a design that fits my new found criteria. I have decided I won’t stick with the drawer idea because it is just not doable with cardboard and it ends up using a lot of material in the end. Instead I think I will keep exploring this ‘slot idea’ and find a way I can have little pockets for each chocolates while still prioritizing protection, ease of use, craftsmanship and etc.
Lastly, one thing that resonated with me from class today was when Steve pulled out packaging for Ikea silverware. Before today I thought ease of assembly was about making sure your tabs were consistently effective and not super complicated. However, now I see it’s partially about how intuitive it is. For example, if I was going to give someone my carrier would they be able to assemble it without directions? Also, now I am going to keep in mind how pieces there are, because Steve’s example was one piece of cardboard and that seemed to make it so much more simple and intuitive. So I am just now realizing how important assembly will be and that limiting the cardboard could be crucial for a good design.
For today’s class we did peer review. We had to construct our carriers on video and I realize that my 2nd iteration of model 3 takes VERY long to assemble and the assembly process isn’t very intuitive from an outsider’s perspective. So some major changes will need to be done in that department. I would’ve tried to use a different sketch model for today's peer review but my new idea is not coming along smoothly. Luckily today’s peer review still really helped. They talked about how the drawers and craftsmanship takes away from the interaction and gave advice on how to change assembly. They also said a lot of the same things that was pointed out in my last post.
Fortunately, I am working on a new idea that addresses all of these issues.
I first started by sketching out some stuff. This features me trying to process my ideas and work backwards and start from the worst carrier I could think of so I could figure out what would make a bad carrier. Then I tried to work up from there. I also was playing around with ways to open and present my chocolates.
Once I kinda got a good idea for my next sketch model, I used paper models to kinda process how the sketch model would work and be put together. I did this because figuring out how to make a carrier with one piece of cardboard is difficult and was hard for me to conceptualize for me. So I used to paper models to get a sense of whether my idea would fold correctly and do what I wanted it too.
This was my first paper model. This was actually very successful because this would require 3 pieces for assembly instead of one. Also, I don’t think it would be very stable or easy to assemble when made with cardboard. However, this really helped me figure out how the panels would be working and it helped me think of my second iteration of this sketch model idea.
My paper models showed my original way of designing this sketch model wasn’t going to work and had too many separate pieces.
In my 2nd paper model I figured out where I could crease the cardboard and fold it so I could make this rectangle carrier with shelves inside. I got all the tabs figured out too. As long as the cardboard will allow me to fold it how I want to then this should work. I now can use this mini paper template as a guide while making this into a cardboard prototype.
This is how my prototype turned out! It is able to be assembled without tape. It is only one piece of cardboard and it is fast and somewhat easy to assemble. It is also much smaller and uses less material then my last designs. It protects and is easy to carry. I think it has a somewhat unique presentation or at least a presentation that makes the chocolates feel a little more special. Overall, it checks off a lot boxes I wanted to complete.
Some downsides are that it has bad craftsmanship because the shelves are a mess and don't really hold the chocolates well at all. So I will definitely change the shelves. Also, Stacie mentioned that the accessibility seems confusing and weird and this made me realize that it is kinda awkward to actually grab the chocolates. After I went to office hours with Steve I started to question whether displaying the chocolates vertically is good or bad. I think I have come to the conclusion that displaying chocolates vertically is different from the normal “chocolate box” but I think that’s a good thing. Having them displayed vertically in my opinion makes them seem more extravagant and I also think it is fun and unique. So instead I will make the slots to access the chocolates taller and make individual slots for each chocolate on the shelves. Steve also mentioned how the poor packaging of the chocolates may be hindering me, so I think I change my chocolates just so I can make the best display I can.
So I made this prototype and I ran into some issues. The first issue was I made the spins way too thin, especially for the new chocolates I bought (this is marked in the photo of the dissembled carrier). The next issues was not all my tabs were snug enough so I made note of that for my next prototype. Luckily I was able to try out how the shelves would work. After this prototype I have decided the shelves will just be the flap that gets cut out and then it will be pushed down and have the chocolates sit on top in circular slots. So I took the new measurements into accountant and the new shelf method for my next iteration.
This prototype went pretty well but I did make some mistakes. I put a new blade on so when I did the slits into the cardboard for the golds I went through the whole piece of cardboard. That messed up this prototype because I need that cardboard to fold properly to be easy to assemble and sturdy. So I used the model as another time to test out my measurements so I can make the final one next. I played with the shelves and figured out the exact spacing and measurements so that the Ferrero Rocher fit perfectly in the slots and were spaced out nicely. However, I messed up and forgot that I need to store 6 chocolates so I had to change my measurements, but I had them figured out after this prototype. I also figured out how I had to cut the shelves so that they stayed put in the window and didn’t stick out too much. Lastly, I messed the large side tab so it wouldn’t stay put. That m=helped me figured out the final measurement for the tab.
Here is my final product! I am happy I made the shelves so there are distinct place for each chocolate on the shelf that helps hold and protect each chocolate. I am also glad I made the opening much larger and on both sides so that the chocolates would be easier and more intuitive to access. Lastly, I am very happy I switched chocolates because these display much better and look neater when stored. Looking back, I am happy I made my design simple but still fun.
Overall, I think I learned a lot about my process during this project and the important factors in design. I learned that sometimes simple is better in design, and often the best designs can be the simple but well articulated ones. Having a flashy large product isn’t always the most necessary box to check off. I’ve found that over complicated designs are often too busy for everyday users and can be confusing. There are also many things that make a design the most practical and efficient. You have to keep all of them in mind but also know when to prioritize which characteristics would be the most important to the consumer. In the end, the practically and function of the design is very important, but it is also crucial to not forget the interaction and exciting part of your design is what causes people to ‘want’ your product in the end.
This project has also taught me a lot about process and my process. I have learned I need to explore more and push outside the comfort zone in the beginning, then I can allow myself to become meticulous and care about quality. In the beginning of this project I would get stuck on things and want to sit there and evaluate how to make each carrier design better, or I would be trying to find the perfect design right off the bat rather then start with a design that has potential. In the future I am going to keep these considerations in mind and hopefully improve on my process as a designer and hopefully this will cause me to have better and more well thought out designs in the future.