It was interesting to listen and watch everybody’s presentations on Monday morning as each group had taken a different approach to carrying out their research and what aspects of camping and the camping market they chose to research into. I definitely learnt a lot from this and have had some ideas and inspiration with regards to what aspects I need to research into further. After always being given a certain way and formula of researching throughout school, it’s nice to have a bit of freedom and explore other ways of research for instance, last week when we went out to Cotswolds to find out what’s on the market already and also ask some of the staff their opinions. Following this, we spent the day learning about research techniques. This really opened my eyes to how many endless techniques there are within the field of research making the subject of research actually quite exciting! We also learned a lot of new words and phrases such as ‘Human Centred Design’. This was really interesting and new to me as I’ve only ever really designed for myself. I’m really looking forward to progressing with the course and project, enhancing and improving my skills in all areas of the subject.
At this point, I decided to swap groups for the reasons discussed in order to move forward with the project.
We were tasked with planning our primary research for the following day. As a group, we created a survey and planned scenarios to carry out. I then typed these up and printed them as well as making name badges to wear when conducting our research the following day.
On Tuesday we quite literally went camping. We all bought one item of camping equipment each with us and were given a tent, blow up bed and deck chair to accompany this. We were then allocated a pitch on the uni grounds and had to set everything up for ourselves and note the problems/experiences while doing this.
Once everything was set up, we encouraged people to come and engage with the equipment (remembering to get them to sign the participant consent forms) while we asked them questions and gave them scenarios to try out. We recorded everything whether it was by taking photos, notes or voice recordings – all contributing to our research and findings. During the second half of the morning, we took our questionnaires around and asked people to answer them anonymously. I really enjoyed getting out and about and hearing peoples responses to what we had to ask and say. This engagement was really valuable!
On Tuesday afternoon, we were back in the studio in order to gather and analyse all of our research. We did this efficiently and quickly by using post it notes and grouping them on the walls discovering what people want, like and dislike. From this, we used the ‘How might we’ method to begin coming up with briefs that would answer people’s needs. Again, this was something completely new to me as I’ve always been given a brief. It was really interesting and useful to go back a step and understand how to create a new, useful, and successful brief. It definitely encouraged me to think outside of the box and adopt the ‘anything is possible’ approach to thinking. After receiving some feedback and giving it further thought, as a group, Ollie, Alisha and I then narrowed these ‘how might we briefs down to 3’;
- How might we make it easier to get out of the tent
- How might we enable wifi to be accessed from the tent
- How might we stop dirt getting into the tent
This week’s workshop followed from last weeks, however, this one was an induction into modelling with blue foam – also something I’ve never done before. After seeing blue foam models by the other year groups around the studio, I was amazed by some of the high fedelity, lifelike outcomes and was eager and excited to learn how to achieve that myself. I definitely found modelling with blue foam a lot easier than the card which surprised me. We learned how to use the hot wire cutter and how to create basic shapes and 3D forms. It was interesting to find that the hot wire cutter can’t cut card and therefore, card templates can be used when cutting the blue foam to achieve a higher quality shape and cut as opposed to cutting freehand. We then went on to learn some of the finishing techniques for blue foam including filing and sanding. I really enjoyed this workshop and look forward to modelling with blue foam in the future and building upon and refining my skills so I can achieve models of the quality I took I’ve been inspired by in the studio. We’ve been tasked to find and choose a handheld product and consider its shape and form in order to model in next week’s session.