This week we began by focusing on ergonomics and human factors. I definitely never realised how many subsections and additional things to consider there were within this category. For instance, I’ve only ever been taught about, and considered, physical ergonomics and anthropometrics. Today, I’ve learned that there’s such thing as cognitive ergonomics and human factors. I found learning about these very interesting, my understanding and meaning/job of a product designer is continuing to expand. I also learned that product designers typically design for the 5th to the 95th percentile in order to design for the average majority of people unless they’re designing for inclusive design for example then perhaps this percentile will change. This could have been something we considered during our Camping Time project as we were designing for the immobile. Something else I learned was what a Product Design Specification is and the breadth of information it includes/covers (32 key points in total) I now understand how useful this information will be when designing the right sort of solution for the target market/client. We then moved on to focus on, and map out the types of lighting the target market has in different rooms of the home, planning which spaces they’d be put and used in.

We were lucky to have a talk off Martin from the Fab lab who spoke about his growing lighting business that he runs from the university itself. It was really insightful and useful given our current lighting brief. It opened my eyes to how impacting simple design can be, our lighting solution doesn’t need to be anything over complex to have an effect. It also opened my eyes to rules and regulations involved when working with electrics for example PAT testing. I certainly ended the day with an even deeper understanding of the lighting market along with who and where I’ll be designing for.

On Tuesday, we began with a Solidworks workshop taught by Joe. I was very apprehensive about this workshop beforehand due to never working with CAD before and missing the previous sessions due to ill health and a hospital appointment. So, I definitely jumped in the deep end with this and certainly struggled as a result. I was very frustrated and confused, the smallest mistake made the biggest change. There are so many functions and buttons, I was struggling to keep up and remember what each did. As aa result, I didn’t get very far with the CAD model. Over the Christmas break I plan to continue practicing and learning how to use and navigate Solidworks along with watching some YouTube tutorials.

In the afternoon, we got hands on, experimenting with a range of shapes and materials, testing how they reacted and worked with the light given. It was interesting to see how the maker student had experimented with light and material during her project. The way that the light reflected and changed when paired with the certain type of plastic she’d used was fascinating and definitely inspiring to experiment as much as possible with our own ideas!

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