‘Design a product for children between the ages of 4 and 10 to transport their own oxygen cylinder(s), ventilator or food pump.
As well as transporting the above items efficiently your concepts will encourage the child’s independence, enabling them to explore and learn without constant adult help while being the envy of all the other children in school!’
Having really enjoyed the demands of the first live project despite its fast pace, I was really looking forward to participating in another. This excitement grew even more when I discovered the brief as inclusive design is a strong passion and interest of mine so, I was keen to dive right in with this project.
I worked with a team of people that I’ve never worked with before which i understand can sometimes be a challenge in itself however, we bonded well and almost instantly got some ideas flowing within conversation. So, to begin with, we took a step back and allocated a topic of research for each person as apart from the briefing, we didn’t have much knowledge in the subject matter. Something I’ve learned over the past year is that even though it’s tempting to get instantly stuck in with designing and easy to run away with ideas, its good to take a step back and really get to know and understand the brief first so that you can concentrate on designing successfully for the demands of the brief/customer.
After spending a short amount of time doing this, we then collectively shared our findings so that everybody had the same basic knowledge and understandings. We used the brainstorming skills that we’ve developed over the year to organise all of our thoughts and ideas and get them down onto paper concisely.
We began discussing ideas and collaboratively decided that it would be best to begin with some rapid sketching and ideation – putting our developed skills in this field to use. Under knowledge of our time constriction we put an initial time cap on of an hour on this but decided to extend it a little as everybody felt as if they had more to give and get down on paper. Again, following this, we gathered as a group to discuss and present our ideas.
My main concepts were either A) a product in the style of a car that the child could sit on and either power themselves or, when tired, could be pulled or pushed by somebody else. The equipment would be stored in the bonnet or boot of the car for an element of both fun and normality. The car would be in the style of a sports car and would have personalisable elements such as number plate and doors. It would almost be an adaptation/development of Cerebra’s earlier Trunki adaptation. B) A scooter styled design that the child could either pull/push or ride (they could also stand on it and be pushed by an adult when tired) The equipment would be stored/hidden in the main upright body of the scooter so that it isn’t too obvious. The scooter would have a whiteboard/chalkboard style finish so that the wild could personalise it as many times as desired. Both designs could include compartments/elements to store other belongings such as books and toys too.
I really liked both of these concepts as they were practical yet still fun and interactive for the user and don’t differentiate the child from the other children, if anything, other children would be envious! My group liked my ideas and some members presented similar ideas too so we began combining, discussing and developing some of our favourite ideas.
As time was getting on, we decided to introduce a stricter time plan for the afternoon/evening/following morning to ensure that everything was completed on time for our final presentation. We discussed peoples skillets and allocated jobs to each individual in order to complete the final task of presenting. As that I am good at organising and conversing with all members of the group, it was my job to collect and organise all work that we’d done in order to combine and organise this into a final presentation. I was also tasked with naming the product and coming up with a tagline for it; ‘OXYDOC – Carrying more than just your toys’. Examples of other peoples skills/jobs were sketch developments and CAD. I felt as if we worked well as a group for this project – everyone shared equal levels of enthusiasm to work and we had a good spread of skillets within the group which was also useful. Again, because of time, we decided that only a couple of us needed to attend the Q&A so I and Haash went as Haash is good at firing questions and I am good at note taking and listening. We then returned back to the group and presented what we’d found out from the session and suggested any adaptations to our developed design in response and as a result of the Q&A session in order to ensure that we presented what was our best solution to the given brief. I made a group chat including everyone from our group in order to gather everyones work and share any further ideas that evening as well as organising a plan for the morning. Despite the fact that some of our group members were better at public speaking that others, we all agreed that it would be good for everybody to get up and present the final idea as we all worked hard and contributed to the project.
Overall I was really pleased with our final presentation and the product we’d created. Although there were some minor changes that could have been made, I think we did well in the given time scale and produced something creative that answered the briefs requirements. However, i do think we could have made an effort to find extra time to produce a soft model in order to help give a better visual of the product for the final presentation so if it came to doing the project again, I would have planned time or allocated someone a role for doing this. Otherwise, I was pleased with the feedback that we received and pleased that some of the elements of the product that I’d contributed were complimented for example the scooter element and the personalisable element. Many of my skillets were used and improved on during this project such as organisation, leadership, time management, presentation techniques. I also touched on new skills that i hadn’t previously worked on before such as branding and designing in the field of inclusive design for a children’s market. I’m looking forward to being tasked with something similar again and hopefully getting to explore more projects within the field of inclusive design sometime again in the near future as this project definitely confirmed my desire to explore this field further in my future career.