Today was my favourite day of taught class of this project so far. Although I've had my idea of designing a survival kit for some time now, I still have been feeling a little intimidated when it comes to thinking and working towards the final design. After today I feel really confident developing certain design aspects and functions like...how can I incorporate a torch/light that can rotate to be used in different directions or as a lantern? what is the best location for a compass? do I want the container/packaging to float/be water proof? what items/tools are essential for this kit? how easy is it to access the content of the kit? how will it be worn on the body?
All of these answers are in the works, but my peers as well as tutors, Simon and Tom, provided me with a lot of ideas and feedback. They offered names of different designers like Hikaru Imamura, as well as looking at TV shows based on survival.
One thing I had been wondering about for awhile was how I would go about making certain aspects to include in my design. Because I'm designing and making a kit certain products like a water canteen, or the mechanics of a lantern were things I wasn't sure how I'd work out. But both assured me that items like this that are already made are often purchased by designers as stock items and modified to their design and needs. For me this could mean purchasing a stock item and working on the packaging of it, and ensuring that the dimensions of it fit into my container/kit perfectly.
When it came to listing the functions of my product, that wasn't too hard, but deciding on the order of importance was a little more difficult. The main function would be provide survival tools to the user. I will prioritize that the design must be accessible, portable, compact and easy to carry.
With the suggestion of Simon, I went over to the pound store and looked to purchase already made products that I want to incorporate in my final design like a flashlight/torch/matches/lantern, compass/GPS, whistle, knife/scissors, water canteen, first-aid kit, and rope. Unfortunately my luck wasn't good and I only walked away with a flashlight head lamp. There was a wide range of flashlights and lanterns, but I went with the one I did because it was circular, compact, and the head has the ability to change angles and shine in different directions. I remembered I had some other useful materials at home and went there to pick up mini scissors, a small camping canteen, a water bottle, a torch, rope, and translucent plastic sheet scraps used in a past project.
I was actually more pleased than I had expected from creating this test model. It was really reassuring that my tutors and peers were also impressed and confident that I created a good starting point for myself, because I have been so unsure with how my project has been progressing because I am so anxious to have all of my research done before working on my designs. A major aesthetic breakthrough was that I used a translucent material for the exterior of the vessel which made the content visible. Simon and Tom also really liked this because it makes it easier for the user to see where each item is inside. I also learnt that I would like to produce an item that encompasses a flashlight and compass on the ends of the container because it will offer easy access to the user. One of the most important things for the design will be to make sure there is no wasted space within the container, that all of the contents are thought out very well and are necessary, as well as that each item has an added function. Aside from aesthetics, the functionality is even more important.
I hope to keep experimenting with different designs for the vessel, as well as for the design inside the vessel and the items within. I will look at different organization systems, and sizing for the parts. I think at this point the help I need most from the tutors is ideas for experimenting with materials and design ideas.
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