Natural disaster shelter conclusion
Its been a while since we finished the natural disaster shelter. Roughly about 8 months. We made a nice scale model as well as a actual size mock-up of the folding mechanism. I’ve taken some time to reflect on the project.
The finished model turned out pretty nice. I think that we could have fixed some of the unanswered questions in our design a bit more. Some things we can consider in the future are the feasibility of having the outer shells stamped aluminum. The outer shell is 8 feet in diameter, which is rather large for stamping. Although it is possible to stamp aluminum that large, I wonder if we could have design a more modular system. Maybe a structure made out of interlinking pieces like a puzzle, or a folding structure similar to origami. I wouldn’t mind revisiting this project from a manufacturing stand-point.
Through our research, we found that safety and portability are large concerns when it comes to the aftermath of a natural disaster. There is looting and stealing. The streets can be covered in debris and unusable for vehicles. Our main focus was to try to solve this by creating a design that was safe, but also easily moved. Creating a hard shell with a functioning door not only gives a more home-like feel, but adds more security than a tent would have. Of course tents are very portable, and we wanted to keep that attribute in our shelter as well. The circular shape can be folded into the disk, which is easily rolled to any destination.
Currently we are working through engineering and technical details.
Natural disasters affect millions of people each year, and many of them lose their homes due to these catastrophic events. Currently, I am working with my group on solving the issue of immediate shelter following a disaster. More updates to come!
Contextual Research Post 6
We have started to design a brief around our observations. We have been doing lots of mind maps and various exercises to slowly converge on our focus.
You can see the progression of my work as well as my team’s. I tidied up our mind map and also added our focus in a nice infographic illustration. The next step in our research on locks is to start to interview people. Our interview questions will stem from our research questions. The research questions drive the whole study and will help us design a better bike lock.
Designing for Sustainability
When thinking of sustainability, most think of bamboo wood and burlap. We need to stop thinking only of materials and this is why.
So many times designers forget what energy goes into making sustainability products. For example, creating biodegradable plastic out of corn involves growing corn as well as processing it for use in plastic. That’s all good and well, the issue lies in the end life of the plastic. Biodegradable materials only degrade in a biodegradable environment. Landfills are not a biodegradable environment because they contain no oxygen for carbon to decompose into CO2. As a result carbon decomposes into a 10 times worse substance for our atmosphere, methane.
Eco friendly isn’t based on biodegradable materials, it’s about using less materials. Less materials equals less energy. When asked in the grocery store “paper or plastic,” choose plastic. It has 20 times less material than paper and does a better job at carrying groceries.
Contextual Research Post 5
Today my group and I worked on refining the research questions as well as the focus of our project. The research questions are vital for moving our team forward, and the questions are also the basis on which we create interview questions. The focus just gives the viewer a general idea of what we are working on. We broke up our research into three groups: perceived security, storage, and ease of use.
Contextual Research Post 4
We were put in groups according to what we focused on when we took photos. My group is focusing locks and security. We went out and took more pictures and sorted them. We also came up with research questions which we will use to drive our research.
Contextual Research Post 3
We have been researching bikes. I decided to focus on bike locks and took pictures of bikes around Savannah. I noticed some oddities and we organized our pictures in class. Some bikers have multiple locks, and sometimes the exact same kind. I saw one bike with two U-locks. Maybe he accidentally lost the key to one of them. I also observed lots of bikes with just a chain and padlock.