A SHORT FIRST YEAR REFLECTION AND INCLUSION OF ANY ADDITIONAL PROJECTS / EXPERIENCES

Having submitted all of my work for my first year, I’m feeling very proud and reflective in terms of my achievements and how far my skills have developed over the past year. Despite all medical challenges and health hurdles, I’ve been able to successfully enjoy and complete the whole year which is incredible as its something I’ve always hoped and planned to do but never thought I’d manage. I’m so pleased seeing my final submission, it being a reflection of just how much I’ve learned over the past year – I’ve managed to complete a professional looking end of year show entry demonstrating all of the skills that I’ve developed. I haven’t only developed skills in terms of the completion of professional looking physical work but also skills and developments in terms of my personal skills and professionalism for example, my public speaking skills and ability to get up on the spot and talk through a given subject confidently has developed massively. I feel like as an individual, I am a much more rounded, confident, professional as an individual in the field of product design. My passion for the subject has continued to grow and through both UNI work, and additional work and experiences outside of university, I’ve found a deeper passion for the field of inclusive and medical design through a lot of my charity work, personal experiences and planned work experience with the inclusive design company ‘Ostique’ which lies very closely with my passions. As well as this, in my spare time, I’ve been working on designing and developing my own personal brand which I hope to continue developing and hopefully make a reality over the coming months. I have made so many new friends and contacts within the field too, I have genuinely enjoyed and learned from every experience I’ve encountered thus far and look forward to taking all of the above skills, developments, experiences and lessons in moving forward to returning in the second year with an ambition to continue furthering and bettering all of my abilities in order to become the best version of myself as a product designer possible when entering the professional field.

 

FINAL SUBMISSIONOSTIQUE 2

http://ostique.co.uk/ – I’m going to be a key member of Stephanie’s upcoming project. I will play a key role on the steering panel of the project as well as play a leading role in the user testing and general creation, development and launch of the product/project.

https://www.justgiving.co./fundraising/amberdaviesccuk  – Alex Demain young fundraiser of the year 2018 shortlisted finalist

http://sophie-mayanne.com/ – I have recently been a part of Sophie’s ‘Behind the scars’ project

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/ – I have been working closely with the charity on a number of projects and have participated in multiple research projects

I have also been involved in taking part in and filming with both BBC and ITV Wales – to be aired and linked soon.

https://www.instagram.com/ambersostomy/


 

Other previous experience includes work at:

Office manager at Catalina architecture – http://www.catalinaarchitecture.co.uk/

Experience at Riversimple Design – https://www.riversimple.com/the-design-of-the-rasa/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STUDIO PRACTICE PART 2 – REFLECTING ON FEEDBACK AND USING FEEDBACK IN DEVELOPING AND MOVING FORWARD

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After being so stressed and worried in the final push leading up to this submission, I was rather pleased with the feedback I received as it correlated well with my own self reflection and observations both during and after the project with regards to my CAD work and presentation boards. I’m going to heavily concentrate on resolving this problem and improving this section of my work over the next couple of weeks in the lead up to our final submission so that I can be confident that I present my work to the best of my abilities. I might seek further CAD workshops/help/advice in this field too during this time in order to better my confidence and skills/abilities when it comes to all forms of CAD whether it be Solidworks, Adobe or Keyshot.

One thing that I didn’t realise was that there were issues with the presentation of my blog and its URL address – neither of these things are things that I picked up on myself which is unusual so, I’m going to go back through my entire blog over the coming weeks and work to make it more orderly and ensure that the layout and typeface is constant throughout in order to create a more professionalism.

I’m going to save the audio file that contains the feedback and reference back to this over the coming weeks to ensure that I’m covering all bases for improvement when it comes to the final presentation of my work.

LIVE PROJECT – CEREBRA

 

‘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.

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STUDIO PRACTICE 2 – BRAND ALIGNMENT AUDIO SPEAKER PROJECT

During this project I developed the ability and skill to communicate and externalise design proposals using a range of manual and computerised 2D and 3D graphical techniques in order to present my designs and ideas effectively and proffessionally. Through workshops, tutorials and practice, I have developed the skill to use numerous new software’s and programmes in order to achieve this for example; Solidworks, Photoshop, Keyshot, Adobe illustrator. My skill and knowledge within these software’s has developed hugely over the course of the project and I think it’s quite obvious to identify this timeline in the development of my skills as the project progressed. Combining all of my skills in these different software’s and skills has enabled me to begin creating some really professional looking presentation boards. Hopefully, with some additional work and practice, I can develop these further to a really professional high quality standard that I can be proud to show my work on display.

I’ve further added to and developed my skillset in evaluating 3D form, ergonomic and user interaction issues in a responsible and safe manner through the production of advanced soft models. I’ve used all of my skills in this area to date and further built on them enabling me to make even better, more refined and more useful models for the development process. I’ve further developed my skills and ability to create rapid sketch models enabling me to experiment and test different components and ideas together too as well as use them for testing as part of the user centric design process in product development.

 

I proposed numerous solutions that demonstrate creative thinking whilst acknowledging manufacturing, technical, social and environmental factors during this project. In terms of creative thinking and the proposal of solutions in response to a given brief, I feel like I did really well in this project bringing all of the skills that I’ve learned, adapted and refined over the year to produce a strong portfolio of work that demonstrates the above clearly. As part of this, I created a wide range of aesthetically pleasing and technically feasible design proposals in response to the given brief. And, by using numerous evaluation methods that I’ve learned and picked up over the past year, I evaluated, selected and developed an appropriate design proposal against an established criteria (the brief/project deliverables).

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this project. Seeing all of the skills I’ve developed over the past year all come together to create a final submission that I’m proud to display is extremely rewarding. Of course, there is always room for improvement when it comes to skillsets but I’m really pleased with how far I’ve come. I plan to continue putting everything I’ve learned to practice and to continue adding to and developing my skills over the weeks, moths and years to come.

FIELD : LIGHT

During this project, I creatively engaged with a specific theme which correlated with the given brief;

‘You are tasked with developing an understanding of the home lighting market, and current technology trends. Using this information, you will identify a suitable target market and present an innovative solution that meets the needs of your identified target market.

For this project, you will be taking inspiration from the style and approach to colour and light demonstrate by one of the following artists.

  1. William Turner – Rough Sea with Dolphins
  2. Claude Monet – Waterlilies, 1916-1919
  1. David Hockney – Mulholland Drive
  2. Vincent Van Gough – Plain Near Auvers

Your solution must be:

– Be designed to meet the needs of your identified target market
– Demonstrate an acknowledgment of the approach used by your chosen artist – Be stylised in response to the desires of your target market
– Presents high levels of functionality

As part of your submission you must consider:

  • –  your material choices
  • –  product stylizing
  • –  market trends
  • –  methods of applying surface pattern within your design development process’

The main themes for this project, which I engaged well with were, the home lighting market and current technology trends, Claude Monet’s painting Waterlilies, the collaboration of product design and textiles along with the logistics of combing the two – I applied all of the research methods learned to date in order to gain a good and thorough understanding of all aspects of the current market, trends and our client. I used a range of both primary and secondary research skills including internet searches, shop visits and the creation of questionnaires. I used my learning journal as a hub to note and collect all of my findings as well as making it a key factor to keep up to date with my group/team members and let them know my findings. I analysed all of this information and performed critical thinking in the generation of ideas and/or design solutions in response to the given theme and brief.

The images below are demonstrative of the points made above in terms of different forms of research, experimentation, the beginning of collaboration, technology testing etc. A wider range of images and explination can be found in my posts from the time of the project.

I came up with numerous design solutions individually as well as discussing ideas and creating new ones collaboratively with both product design and textiles group members. My sketching skills improved during this project but more so, my exploration and experimentation with pattern and colour in response to the given painting and the textiles collaboration as demonstrated in some of the ideation below.

 

My skills in both group work but, more importantly, collaborative work have hugely developed and broadened over the course of this project. I am able to understand and adapt/take on the skills needed to work in collaboration with another subject practice.  As a result of this project, I have the ability to work collaboratively with others, engaging in negotiation, prioritising and value forming with others as demonstrated in some of my blog posts during the project when faced with difficulties. I’m able to overcome hurdles when it comes to working in a group and organise/make arrangements so that everybody gets back on the right track of work. I then completed and produced outcomes which demonstrate proficient levels of technical and aesthetic skills as appropriate to the subject area. I was able to create numerous concept ideas and soft models to communicate these in order to evaluate and develop a final idea. Within my work and ideas, i was able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the key principles and possibilities of a subject specific response to a given theme as well as demonstrate an understanding of the complimentary or contrasting approaches different disciplines bring to a given theme. Again, these can be seen and demonstrated in my work throughout the project.

During this project, I also demonstrated confidence in collaborative work, identifying personal strengths within a team for instance in my blog post where i discuss taking on a leadership role in the team. During this project I demonstrated an experimental and interdisciplinary approach to idea generation and development, questioning subject specific orthodoxies. Along side this, I also employed a range of discipline specific strategies to generate and develop ideas, using appropriate academic sources.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this project and gained/developed some really important skills and ideas in both the field of product design and in the field of textiles collaboration. I feel like I am equipped with a good understanding of collaboration, what it requires and how to approach it. I look forward to further collaboration projects in the future.

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STUDIO PRACTICE PART 1 – REFLECTING ON FEEDBACK AND USING FEEDBACK IN DEVELOPING AND MOVING FORWARD

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Camping time feedback:

I’m really pleased with this feedback on the whole in response to my first submission from both an individual and a group submission perspectives. I’m really pleased to read that the content of my blog is on the right track, considering and reflecting on my progress as the weeks go by has certainly been beneficial to my development on the course thus far. I now have the skill of the ability to thoroughly reflect on what exactly I’ve been doing/learning and how this has directly influenced and affected what I’ve done in moving forward with my work and learning. This is certainly a useful skill to have and I plan to continue to build upon and use this as a tool for development over my time on the course. Taking this feedback on board, I will revise the layout, appearance and typeface of my blog and correct this so that it is consistent and flows smoothly in order to increase the quality of appearance and professionalism. I think this has happened purely through accidental error not remembering to change the fonts before posting my blog posts. I will work to remember to change the fonts and keep everything consistent in moving forward while writing future posts.

I’m glad that my research portfolio was successful – I feel as if research is definitely one of my stronger skills at this point, I enjoy it and can always identify a good research plan/method to undertake. Looking back, I agree that some of this could have been carried through and included in the final video , research shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to the final presentation as the research indeed plays a key role in the creation and development of concepts. I’m going to bear this in mind when it comes to creating and putting together future final presentations.

I was nervous about having the role of creating the final video presentation as I had never done something of this sort before so I’m really pleased that it was successful for the most part. Going about creating this video has taught me that I do have the skill of teaching myself how to use new softwares in short time scales when needs be. I also now have the skill and ability to navigate and use iMovie to create video presentations and short films. Having the feedback and perspective of somebody outside of our work group has brought light to the fact that not all outsiders will know and understand your design without any context of use/explanation – something so obvious but something we were obviously oblivious to at the time because we were so familiar with the project. Next time I will definitely remember and consider this not only at the stage of presenting the final design but at other stages throughout the project too. I’ll also consider asking somebody outside of my course group to watch the presentation and give some feedback before presenting next time in order to try and weed out any of these teething problems beforehand.

In terms of the final design sheet being unidentifiable, this is also a needless error that didn’t need to be an issue. Although I wasn’t responsible for creating the final design sheet, as a member of the group I should have taken the time to look over this in order to ensure our group submission was as tight as possible. This is a lesson to be learned as all of the work was there, perhaps we should have taken the time to all sit down together one last time before submitting to ensure that every deliverable was obvious and identifiable to the reader/examiner.

I also received some feedback on some of my sketch work which as I anticipated, wasn’t as good as I would have liked but I know that this is an area/skillset that I need to spend some time focusing and improving on in order to be able to communicate my ideas effectively and successfully in a proffessional manner so, I’m going to buy some of the recommended sketching books as well as watch some further tutorials in order to spend some time over the coming weeks practicing and refining my skills. Instead of being disheartened by this feedback, I’m going to use it constructively in improving and moving forward.

On the whole I’m really pleased with how my first projects and submission have gone as well as how my skills have developed – I look forward to applying all of my new skills and knowledge in future projects.

STUDIO PRACTICE PART 1 – BUZZY CREATIVE

My ability to externalise design proposals using a range of manual sketching, drawing and rendering techniques was build upon during this project. It was very useful and insightful to learn from another perspective during this project when Gareth taught us some of his techniques in the field of manual sketching, drawing and rendering techniques. I feel as if I’m now beginning to develop my own flare and way of designing/presenting/communicating my ideas. I also developed the skill to sketch from a 4 point perspective during this project to create my final design. I also built upon the skill to add detail and refine my orthographic view drawings in order to further use these as a basis for creating an interactive graphic user interface.

During this project, I was able to further build upon my skill to evaluate 3D form and ergonomic issues in a responsible and safe manner through the production of soft models in order to evaluate and develop my ideas. I think this point demonstrates itself well by just seeing some of the models I created during this project in comparison to my models from the last project and, even the models from the beginning of this project. I’m continuously learning new skills and techniques in this field as well as adapting and building upon the ones already learned. I also built upon my ability to create models of mixed mediums for instance, using numerous relevant materials to make different components that all come together to make one model. I also began experimenting with branding and adding elements of brands and their branding features to my models too. I also really developed upon the skill to create sketch models and use these as a tool for testing and experimenting in order to further develop my ideas – I really developed a love for creating different types of sketch models during this project as I find them so useful.

I learned to understand the role of the user centric design process in product development a little differently in this project. During Buzzy Creative, I focused more on developing the skills to understand the role of the user centric design process in product development in terms of the digital interactive graphic user interface of a product. I developed the skills to plan and create a working interactive user interface using powerpoint. I then asked for feedback off everyone who tested the model and observed them interacting with it so that I was able to pick out any gaps for improvement in order to make the experience as simple and as easy going as possible for the user. This is certainly a skill that I hope to improve on and apply in future projects. Below is the link to download and try out the simple digital interactive user interface i created for the Cath Kidston style DAB radio I designed. I wanted to create a very straightforward and simple experience for the user so created a very simplistic touch screen interface for the radio.

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graphic communication interface – DAB final radio

During this project, I used the skills that I’ve developed in order to propose solutions that demonstrate creative thinking whilst acknowledging user centred human factors. Through my sketching, soft modelling and graphic skills (as displayed above) I tested numerous user centred factors when proposing creative solutions. I tested ergonomics and anthropometrics as well as aesthetics and the overall user experience through my development in order to create a high quality outcome. As discussed in one of my blog posts from the project, there came a point that I was running out of creative ideas so took things back a step and began drawing some very fluid shapes and then adapting them into products – I found this method extremely helpful in creating new concepts. I also thought about how I could turn existing day to day products into DAB radios in order to help me think a little more creatively which is how the handbag style radio came about. As the time passes I am definitely developing more skills in terms of unlocking my creativity and gaining inspiration from different places. I was able to create a range of conceptual designs in response to the given brief as well as able to evaluate and select appropriate concepts against established criteria.

 

I enjoyed the change in pace and style of this project. This was also our first individual project so I really got to focus on my own skills and ideas. I enjoyed bringing in and learning some simple CAD during the project and developed an understanding of how producing this can aid my designs and developments as well as user testing. I hope to continue building upon all of the skills that I’ve developed during studio practice part 1 in order to apply and further improve upon them in the next module.

STUDIO PRACTICE PART 1 – CAMPING TIME

Over the course of this project, through workshops, tutorials and additional practice, I have developed a range of manual sketching, drawing and rendering techniques. Although these skills still have room for further improvement, they have improved hugely and I look forward to further bettering these over the course of my degree. The development in these skills can be seen clearly in the difference from my original sketches in my sketchbook/portfolio through to some of my final developments and designs. I now have a range of new knowledge and techniques when it comes to communicating my ideas on paper for instance, perspective drawing, something I’d never previously heard of, I can now apply as a skill in order to improve the visual of my sketches. Render markers and pastels are also tools I’ve never used not to speak of using these as a tool for rendering, something I also previously couldn’t do successfully. I can now use rendering as a skill of giving some 3D form, visual and perspective to my sketches. The images below of some of my work from this project show the development of these skills from the beginning of the project to the end followed by images of my practice work of these skills during both workshop and my spare time.

During this time, I also began learning and developing some other sketching skills and techniques such as drawing both orthographic and exploded views of products as displayed in the images above.

I now have the ability to evaluate 3D form and ergonomic issues in a responsible and safe manner through the production of soft models. Prior to this project, I had never worked with blue foam in a workshop but, after attending relevant workshops and tutorials, I am now able to produce 3D soft models in a responsible and safe manner in order to evaluate form and ergonomic issues having been assessed and had my workshop passport signed off with regards to the relevant knowledge and machinery. I have also attended workshops in terms of working with card too, in order to complete the same skill/task. I was impressed by how well card models can actually look/help evaluate 3D form and ergonomic issues when the correct techniques are applied in a responsible and safe manner.

During this project I also learned the skill of understanding the role of the User Centric Design Process in product development. Some things I was already aware and capable of carrying out for instance some primary and some secondary research methods however, I was unaware of the sheer scale of the host of methods available, I was certainly introduced to a whole new world of research and development methods in terms of understanding the role of the user centric design process in product development.  I now know and understand these methods and am able to apply them when appropriate as part of the product development process.

In this case, I think we thought we had a good idea of the camping market having only done some basic secondary research. However, when it came to undertaking our own primary research, we soon realised that there were a host of things that we wanted to find out for ourselves so, we planned all of this out, and used it as a guide for undertaking our research with the market/target market.

Setting up our own ‘campsite’ was really exciting and interesting as we were able to get hands on and do some primary research for ourselves in order to gain abetter understanding of this process. Not only were we able to gain our own and each others feedback on the products and the scenario we were using, but we were also able to gain feedback from the general public too (demonstrated in the photographs below).

During this phase, I also learned the importance of legistation when it comes to primary research and feedback, I developed the understanding and skill to carry out and undertake any tests and paperwork necessary before carrying out the research. I have the skill to approach members of the public/the target market and not only ask them if they’re willing to be involved but to ask them to/ help them fill out any paperwork necessary too.

During this project, I also developed the skill of demonstrating creative whilst acknowledging human centred factors so, for instance, in the images below we are testing some of our soft models with a group of colleagues to discover how user friendly they are in order for us to critique them and open up any gaps / suggestions for improvement. This stage is really critical as you get to test your product ideas with real users – we gained some really good insights into peoples perceptions and opinions at this stage in order to move forward in our development. I also made it key to continue testing our models and ideas with people throughout the development of the project and continuously ask for feedback to ensure that we didn’t miss anything and were designing the best solution possible to the brief. I was continuously proposing and testing solutions in response to human centred factors for example, in these photos, the anthropometrics and ergonomics of products as well as how people perceive certain products.

During this project, I developed the skills required to create a range of conceptual designs in response to a given brief as previously discussed using a range of different tools and methods. Even over the course of this one project, my skills in this field have developed immensely in comparison to when i first started on the course. But, moreover, I am able to evaluate and select appropriate concepts against established criteria. In this case, the established criteria being the briefs we made as a group, I was able to create designs in response to these briefs and then use methods of evaluation such as matrix evaluations and user feedback in order to evaluate and select appropriate concepts against the established criteria.

Despite being a bit worried when first discovering the brief for our first project, I thoroughly enjoyed and am so pleased with how far my skills have developed in all aspects. As well as all of the skillets discussed above, I have developed skills in many other areas too over these past weeks for example my confidence in my presentation skills and ability to get up on the spot and talk in front of a crowd of a people in order to discuss or present a given topic. My group work and leadership skills have developed hugely too. I wouldn’t believe now that Ollie, Alisha and I had never spoken previous to beginning this project, we gelled and worked so well together as a group over the course of the project, we have not only completed a project successfully together but made friendships too as we’ve helped each other develop different skills along the way. My time management skills have improved in balancing and organising a new style of learning at university as well as a host of other skills and traits that I hope to further apply and improve on as well as add to over the course of the next 3 years and beyond in my future professional career.