THE TRAPEZIST DRY RACK

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Project Brief

The industrial design project that lead to the trapezist dry-rack asked to design an expendable/ transformable addition to complement a sink in a small kitchen of a common city dweller. 

The design had to be easy to clean and maintain. 

It would have to have built-in facilities to quicken the rinsing and drying process with minimal wastage of resources. 

It would have to have a large enough surface area to accommodate all sizes of utensils.

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Finding the Problem

The Assignment required to identify and explain problems that occur during a dinner party. Throughout the experience, problem areas were pointed out right from the beginning with grocery shopping, cooking and prepping, heating and boiling, serving, eating and drinking, and finally, cleaning.

These problem areas were then pondered upon to recognise design deficiencies that can be remedied with appropriate design interventions.

The Big Problem

The 6 problems listed included:

1. Trashing oils

2. Transferring Hot contents

3. Grating

4. Water wastage due to washing

5. Carrying multiple dishes to serve

6. Drying Space

Out of the 6 problems, we noticed a bigger problem of space management on the kitchen counter that caused many of the other issues. Thus, the possible porblems that may arise in an average city dweller's kitchen due to lack of space were listed.

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The Big Problem

Having the problem and possible solutions listed made it easier to identify which areas of the kitchen required a design intervention to solve. However, it was pertinent to also establish a target audience that the solutions would most appropriately suit.

User & Use Profiling

The User Profile of a common city Dweller is:

  • Time is always tight. May follow a strict routine. May have less weekly time to spend in the kitchen.

  • Cooking, setting and cleaning may be considered an undesired chore to the 'eating' experience.

  • Space may be a luxury, especially in the kitchen. 

  • May look for options to transform existing furniture to create more flexible and multi-purpose mechanisms. 

  • Kitchen may be shared by more than one people. 

  • A lot of kitchen space may be used up for storage.

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Ideation: 3 Verticals
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Rudimentary sketches divided in 3 concepts:

Concept 1: Caging for extra area.

Concept 2: Air Dispenser for Drying

Concept 3: Padding for cleanliness

 

The best ideas were clubbed into 1 to create the first draft of what could be the final outcome.

Draft 1:  Improvements

Suggested improvements:

  • Storage issues may occur due to size.

  • How does it work as a flatbed?

  • Uncomfortable to stand against the extrusion and work/ wash.

  • Lid takes up too much counter space when open. 

  • Is the rubber needed when extrusion is a part of the design?

  • Too heavy

  • May need an electric connection

  • The hollow for the sink opening will vary as per sink size.

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Revised Concept Aim
Draft 2: Design & Ideation 

Based on what i thought and felt of the experience, a few ideas for the final project were generated. 

Mostly, I wished to focus on the enormity that I felt of the place- 'huge' and 'monumental'. I wished to highlight the way my pattern detached me from the closeness of the bushes, and seemed to double the size and distance of each tree, person and park's element from one another. 

Following the first batch of ideas and selecting the most suitable ones, I tried to focus on the installation's appearance, as well as the way it would interact with its audience. After thorough mindmapping, the shadow lamp was chosen for further work.

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Prototype 1 and 2
Final: Functional Fix

Final few functional changes were made between the 2nd Prototype and the final prototype. These included:

  • Add 2 more columns of pieces to elongate the length for more S/A. 

  • Fix the joints so that structure stays in position when adjusted for new orientations (screws, fixtures, etc.)

  • Increased gap between 2 sticks to suit the thicker plates. 

  • Play with varying lengths of the sticks column-wise. 

  • Increase the thickness of each stick.

  • Removed gap within each stick piece. 

  • Thicken the rod/ thread intersecting the sticks together. 

  • Material needs to be plastic. 

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