Finding yourself connected with another who has mutual interest yet from a different background is a bliss. Meet mechanical engineer with artistic talent – Pippi.
We began our collaboration with rapid Post-It brainstorming. We shot out as many things we interact with daily, from the second we wake up, leaving the home, doing our work, prepping our meals to kissing goodnight. Picking out our favourites, we discussed thoroughly on them. We talked about how we use, the emotion and secret relationship with the objects. The conversation lead to the frustration we faced and how we wished them to be like otherwise. Here’s our top 3 pick for design thinking has stopped at their utilitarian stage: water tap with its handle positioned away from the tap mouth (always having to clean soapy handles after washing? You think automated taps save more water?); the short life span of toothbrush and its questionable sustainability (average life span of a toothbrush is 3 to 4 months); ubiquity of (food) containers and their neglected lives (specific sizes and taking up shelves space).
It is not about finding faults and solving more problems. It is truly understanding our behaviour and design to the need. Hate it or love it, selfie stick is a prevalent item, which may have become a historical object representing this age of mankind, solely invented out of a cultural phenomenon. We are surrounded by a lot of bad design that do not care enough. Should we say everything around us is design, then many of them are in the body of bluntly serving the functional purpose. Most often we subconsciously accept bad design and live with it albeit they give us unwanted annoyance, assuming that is the norm and how they should be.
Mind mapping our thoughts on containers, we questioned the reason of use, deconstructed the identity of containers, unfolded possible lives as a product and explored the culture of containing. After the first tutorial with our lecturer, our scope is broaden and began to turn a blind eye on seeing containers as functional entity. (At this point, I realized architecture has developed my mind in a more constructive creative thinking process. It is at moment like this that we have to turn off the pragmatic side of the brain and allow the creative side to be expand its potential. Not trying to sound cliché, it is easier said than done but practice makes perfect.)
As we continued our journey in deconstructing containers, we grew even more ecstatic when we discovered potentials and wacky ideas. We looked into the culture of eating (how and what kind of food we consume with our bare hand(s), fork, spoon and chopsticks) and packing our food from home pertaining to the culture of takeaway. Both shares similar concept but driven by opposing ideology. We broke down the scenarios of using a container into stages: before, during and after using it. We also discussed on the importance of materiality and tactility in insinuating positive emotion and perception, thus yielding longevity in product life. In the end, our intention pivoted to taking the container out to the society instead of hiding in the shelves.
We discovered the behavior of having food on the go comes with the wish to eat without getting our hands dirty or avoid touching the food with dirty hands. Another food experience that still remains in us is the manners rule, which is established by our parents when we were young – do not play with your food. So we thought what if we can play with our food while maintaining our hands clean.
Potentially a fun commercial product but we decided to push ourselves further. (Side B) continues with us digging deeper in the connection of pleasurable objects with the culture of eating today.