Waking up startled to the sound of your alarm, you rub your eyes, get up and turn on your laptop. You start the coffee maker and go freshen up and by the time your coffee is ready, it is time to get to work. Logging on to zoom it seems like every day is the same.
Now imagine yourself in a garden, a secluded little oasis of your own. Full of flowers and leaves, shrubs with berries, overgrown mushrooms and gigantic flowers, a fountain in the background. The sun is shining and youʼre surrounded with the closest of your friends, the people you adore and havenʼt seen for months. Youʼre happy- you laugh and you talk for hours on end. You have no worries in the world. It is exactly what you want life to be but it seems a bit far out of your reach.
There is magic in our everyday life, magic that seems to be taken away from us sometimes. The fact that your coffee is always ready at the perfect moment, waiting for you... itʼs the everyday things. You donʼt need a big, grand, exciting day everyday, but each day has something exciting in it, you just have to look for it.
For my capstone I wanted to design something that would bring a change into our everyday lives. For the past year I have sat on my couch every day and wondered why my back hurts. I wish I had something to mess around and play with, a way to interact with the things that surround me and bring some change to my routine.
So I made bloom.
Bloom is a series of modular stools focused on bringing play into the home.
The collection is made of a system of interchangeable pieces that interconnect to create one or multiple seating options that the user can mix and match to their liking. It is meant to remind adults that we don’t always need to be serious or lose our sense of wonder as we grow up. We just need to look for the wonder in the things that surround us.
With the aim of reducing global carbon emissions caused due to international shipping, the pieces are going to be sustainably produced in small batches. Locally sourced material will be used depending on the country of production, and in a manner that benefits local businesses and communities.
Modular, interactive seating which encourages the user to have fun and stop being so serious.
It is for the everyday human.
You, your neighbor, the coffee shop barista. Anyone and everyone.
The shapes invite the user to be creative and interact with their furniture.
To assemble and reassemble, to break it down or stack it up. It encourages tactility through movement.
Anytime. With family, friends, pets, plants or alone when you’re just tired of your couch.
To take a step back, ground yourself, reconnect and to be present.
To create an object that has an extended life and brings joy to the user, a survey was conduced to know more about the emotional connection between humans and our objects.
This survey allowed me to select some key points of inquiry. I found that in order for there to be a connection between the user and an object there needs to be a memory attached to it. It needs to be interactive, mark a moment or be a prolonged part of someoneʼs life.
Age Range: 13 - 79
I had started out creating table top and other smaller scale objects. Individual pieces that could come together and taken apart using a dowel connecting system.
Creating table top objects and wanting to make a product that the user had an emotional connection with, did not have a common ground to work off of. A deeper look into the survey and additional research helped guide the project into a more promising direction wherein the userʼs interaction with the product had to be more meaningful, more constant.
A subsequent interview with Psychology Professor Ben van Buren at The New School allowed me to further my research into human behavior towards material objects. Some of the key takeaways were as follows:
-People are more attracted to shapes that are curved, symmetrical and familiar.
-Angular shapes tend to trigger fear and therefore aversion and dislike as they suggest threat and injury.
- Factors that influence aesthetic liking based on the paper “A Dual-Process Perspective on Fluency- Based Aesthetics: The Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking” by Laura K. M. Graf and Jan R. Landwehr are:
perceiver's history with the stimulus
increased processing stimuli
This research helped me move away from the smaller scale table top objects I was designing. Taking a step back showed that a change in scale would be beneficial and guided me to create alternative seating structures that would help create mindfulness and new experiences in a domestic space.
ideate, ideate & keeeeeeeeep ideating...
look i know
Time to get your hands dirty!
& your apartment because its covid and access to the workspaces is limited :)
Constructive criticism is KEY!
Using user testing feedback to make essential changes to the design.
always check if your glue up is completely dry and the speed of the lathe before turning it on!!