Our next task began with a presentation from the Unlimited lab. With values relating to sustainability and reusing materials our task set by them involved creating a product out of reusable materials.
This was the first time we hadn’t immediately had a stream of viable ideas. A dog bowl/food dispenser made from a toilet seat, coat/clothes hangers made from bed springs and flower beds made from the container section of fridges were some of our initial ideas.
We decided to refocus on the two company values we originally selected – 1) the product should be created using reusable materials and 2) we follow the assumption that our users want a customisable product for furniture. This idea of personalization inspired us to think of objects or artefacts already existing in the home which the owner would have an emotional or aesthetical attachment too. This is where the idea of incorporating teddy bears or old toys into new items of furniture developed from.
Most children have a Teddy bear, dolls or some soft toys they feel attached to but as they grow up space for these toys becomes limited. The basic idea is to enable buyers to construct a chair/bean bag of childhood memories. The user would be provided with a kit which enables them to attach and decorate a chair or bean bag with a series of toys that are personal to them.
The bean bag construction kit would come in any colour the user desires – enabling them to match it to the colour to that of their chosen toys. An instructions leaflet and online tutorial would provide a detailed and structured method to creating your bean bag. The filling for the inside would be created from reusable materials (old mattress or material balls).
After we presented the idea to the class, an air of horror settled. Our drawing of the prototyped idea had a series of teddy bear faces placed in various areas. The class appeared to view the bean bag as a massacre of innocent childhood memories. Although our presentation of the idea may have been flawed we believe that the concept of collecting your favourite toys into a sitting space has some merit. The design just needed significant work.
Perhaps after creating a physical prototype on Friday, at the Fab Lab, the idea/presentation will have less morbid connotations.