Friday, 25 March 2011

Interior Environmental Design: Elective: Design For User Awareness (week 2)

 Hand in Hand' by Yen Wen Tseng

'Night Night' night light by Vanessa Hordies

This week I've been developing a brief and researching my chosen subject, 'Time'. I'm interested in the way we use our time and the different thresholds of time e.g. work/ relaxation. We don't seem to be very good at separating work time from relaxation time and when we do relax we have a sense of guilt which prevents us from fully relaxing. This cycle is not good for our minds, in order to work productively we need to relax productively. So I've decided to design an environment for someone who works from home. I want the environment to give the user a better sense of time passing so they can make better use of their time.
This week I've been looking into designers who help the user visualise time better.
I love this clock 'Hand in Hand' by Yen Wen Tseng which works much like a normal clock but with two extra arms linking the two common arms together. Each time of day has its own unique shape made by the extra arms. I like how this instantly gives you a visual of a certain time of day immediately making the user directly aware of time itself. I really want to achieve a similar thing in my environment.
Another influential idea is the 'Night Night' night light by Vanessa Hordies which mimics the shape of an hour glass. The sand slowly sifts through, gradually dimming the light and suggests naturally drifting off to sleep mirroring the way the sun does going from day to night.
Next week I plan to develop my knowledge of the way we work, the sort of things that influence our behaviour and are likely to induce relaxation or concentration. Whilst still seeking out examples of this smart design and designs based on the concept of time.
If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Assignment 1

I took the learning style quiz and completely agree with the results. I was shown to be a theorist with a close second activist. Theorists are perfectionists who like things to be tidy and fit into a routine. This sums me up ! I cant function if the environment around me is messy and in my house everything has a place !. Theorists also like to analyses which is not always a good thing. I'm really good at analysing situations and solving problems ahead of time but I can sometimes Analise wrong and end up over complicating things. The activist in me loves to get involved in everything going and tries to remember to enjoy the present and tries to push out the theorist in me that thinks about the future a little too much. I'm not scared to tackle problems and love trying new things. I think the test is extremely accurate in my case.

I tried to guess what the people in my group's result would be.....

Sarah - Reflector
Scarlet - Activist
Ross - Reflector
Francis - Pragmatists
Claire - Theorist
Gillian - Reflector/Activist

In reality they were.......

Sarah - Reflector - She thought this was pretty accurate.
Scarlet - Activist  - She felt this was correct.
Ross - Pragmatists/Activist - Agrees with the findings.
Francis - Reflector  - She thought she would be pragmatists.
Claire - Activist - Thought she was more of a reflector but she can see the activist in her.
Gillian - Theorist

As a group were have a good selection of learning styles which will hopefully work to our advantage. I think knowing the different ways we work is extremely helpful for working together. It should help us be more productive in the future.


Today we had a lecture with Mike Press about the sort of things graduates go on to do after their degree. He pointed out that people from the design and arts discipline take a bit longer to get on their feet. This is because developing the relationships and knowledge to work in the design field takes time. After we graduate we still have to learn the majority of what we need to know to survive in this business. Mike showed us some research he had collected from graduates in the form of a timeline. The timeline showed us what design graduates were really doing after they graduated. Although some seemed to be unemployed they were working on business models, saving and investing in their future still. It was a few years later that the time lines were stuffed full of exiting work and the graduates were finally reaping the financial benefits of a degree in design. I started to wonder what direction my life is going in and what ill be doing when I graduate. I cant possibly know what sort of opportunities will come my way but I decided to make a rough outline of what is likely. Ive begun my timeline right from the end of high school so i can see my process more clearly. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

RSA Updated

Through my research of the elderly I discovered that the main problem they face is not a physical problem (which I had originally assumed) but emotional.
The elderly people I spoke with had a mixed outlook on their life, some were still very much content and saw beauty in the simplest things, like the view out their window or old photographs. Many missed being able to take care of people and pets and longed for responsibility. However all of the people I spoke to
Generally felt as if they had lost their identity to their old age and felt the world had no use for them and made that very clear. So I wanted to design something to give these people a sense of worth and be able to show their communities how important they really are.

The site has a big garden that is designed with mobility in mind. The pathways are wide for disabled access and the flowerbeds are raised to reduce back strain. The flowerbeds are also set at a good height for leaning so resting throughout the garden is not a problem. The garden gives the elderly a chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables making them more self-sufficient and independent whilst keeping them safe. The garden is not just a place of work but a relaxing place you can bring your family and enjoy everything you have created.
The Lounge area is a lovely relaxing space with views over the Tay and gardens. This is a meeting place, somewhere to enjoy a cup of tea and relax with new friends.

Research has shown that animal interaction has a great healing effect on the elderly. It seems returning responsibility to someone in the form of taking care of an animal is extremely beneficial. The introduction of animals in an elderly persons life has been proven to increase mobility and generally boost morale. The animals on the PET site have been chosen as they are generally easy to look after. There will be a couple of chickens that’s eggs can be used by the PET community. A field of goats that love interacting with humans and can also be used for milk and cheese. Rabbits run freely and two ponies inhabit the end field. PET’s goal is to boost morale amongst the elderly community and with the responsibility of looking after the animals give them back a sense of worth.

I believe that giving the elderly back a sense of worth will make them feel more valued members of their town or city. I have designed a community project where elderly people can get together, enjoy and maintain gardens, look after animals and regain some responsibility within their community. Its been proven that animals can have healing effects on elderly people and generally boost morale.
This kind of project can be developed all over the world in all sorts of different communities. This design is for the elderly people of Dundee and is situated on an old rail yard site. I’ve taken inspiration for the design from rail tracks.