Workshop Insight

We had a one day workshop focus on ideation with everyone’s FMP, within the groups, each of us help each other to think of 8 ideas per projects. For my project, I gained insight from their ideas which I think is very useful to my mindset.

What I’ve design so far for the small bedroom space is very practical and functionality base, but through the workshop, my group mates inspired me with some crazy ideas that I can apply to my current design. I thought the walls of my room can be built with all monitors so the person who live in there can always change the environment they view to suit their needs (e.g. a view of the park during exercise).

All monitor room from Black Mirror TV Series
Storyboard during workshop

Modify Design

I reviewed the bedroom design I did from last week, tried to see how I can integrate the crazy idea to my current design. I soon then realised the bedroom contains furnitures that would block the walls from having monitor room, which might affect the experience of changing the whole environment.

I continued to think what else can be the “touch-up” point that can enhance the experience. I later got inspired by the galaxy light, and thought I can include this feature to the design.

Previously, I had an idea of putting a projector in the bedroom so people can either use it as a large screen or mini movie room for entertainment, however due to to lack of space, I couldn’t figure out where to put it. But for now, I had an idea of adding the projector and galaxy light on the ceiling light, this way every feature can be included in the room!

From my last design, I have designed an extendable desk from a default desk set up. Through the workshop, I also got inspired to make the desk foldable in a way that allows it to lay on the wall so as to save more space for exercising or even add a bean bag chair as a reading spot. Thinking of the mechanism of the desk wasn’t easy, I wanted it to be as flexible as it can to suit people’s needs.

This time I added slide rails on the back of the desk, with keep the foldable feature, it allows people to decide whether they want their desk to face the wall or in front of the window.

Sketchup Model

As mentioned from last week’s blog, I realised Homestyler doesn’t include the function of modifying and customising furnitures. Hence I decided to learn another 3D modelling program from scratch again to better illustrate my concept of the bedroom.

The software I used this time is called SketchUp, learning a new software wasn’t easy as it has totally different control than other software and platform. It took me quite a while to get use to it, but I do like how it allows users to customise everything from scratch, and by that it means I had to build everything on my own. Including calculating the precise dimension of each piece of furniture, this SketchUp model took me more than 2 days to complete it. Although the process wasn’t smooth, but I’m glad it is showing my intended design out. The overall presentation is also better than the previous software, at least people don’t have to imagine how it is supposed to look like.

Exercise Mode — Pullable barre and mirror
Social Mode — Cubes can be use as chair and tea table
Work Mode — Extendable desk for bigger workspace
Details of foldable expandable desk
Sleep Mode — Cubes can be taken out for stairs
Cubes in different size that serves different activities

Prepare for Laser Cut

Since we were only allowed to enter the school building 1.5 days per week, I wanted to make use of the time being in the building and decided to work on the laser cutting file for the model. I emailed the 3D Workshop team for some inquiries, then starting drawing out the pieces for the design.

Working on the drawing file was another tough process as it has a totally different dimension from the SketchUp model and paper prototype… The size of the SketchUp model was in real size, and the previous paper prototype was in a ratio of 1:20. This time, the ratio of model would be 1:10. Not to mention I already had a hard time making real measurements for the real size SketchUp model. I can’t count how many time I have messed up the units during the calculation, but I must say this part wasn’t fun at all.

When calculating for laser cut, I had to first decide which materials to use then include the thickness of the material and buffer space in the calculation. For furnitures like the desk and sliding mirror, I even had to change the design a bit just for demonstrating its function on the model. Fortunately, one of my friend who is good at Maths came to give me a hand, so we were able to do the calculation together. But it still took much longer time than I thought to complete it, we spent another 2 days just for it. And during the progress, the desk and mirror were so complex that we both calculated it wrongly a multiple times, I eventually had to draw them out on SketchUp for having the accurate numbers.

Precise calculation for laser cut

Modify Paper Prototype

Since laser cutting isn’t cheap, I didn’t want to cut it without making sure my design works. Hence I decided to make another paper prototype with the most updated dimension. This time I have included everything in the prototype including the dresser, barre, closet, sliding mirror and the projector.

Learning from last week’s experience, I chose a simpler folding method this time to minimise adding additional thickness with the original dimension. The model turned out really nice, the shape of the cubes were precise and sturdy, each of them were able to stand alone without need to lead on one another which really helped to show the concept of being a stairs, and social table.

Making the bar was also another fun part, although I wasn’t able to create the extended function, but seeing how the model barre that I created was able to fit in to the box made the model look a bit more real.

However, there are two parts that I feel unfortunate with the model. The first part is the desk. There are many features of the desk that I would like demonstrate, but due to the ratio of the model, the thickness of the desk is only a piece of paper, it was too light to even stand on its own and maintain the shape for a long time. Hence I had to stick it on the back as a fixed feature.

Another pity part was the projector light feature. I didn’t know how to demonstrate having galaxy light around the room as well as making use of the projector for different usage. What I did at the end was just drawing a rectangle and show where the project can project on the wall.

Reflection

I would say this week is a very fruitful and productive week for me as I have been working and accomplished a lot. I have learnt to use Sketchup from scratch and able to draw out the whole room within 2 days. I have also overcome the difficulty in calculation and model making for laser cut, as well as rebuilding another paper prototype. It is just very fulfilling for me.

One thing that I am worry is that my design is still very practical at the moment. Although I have tried to include some features like inserting projector and galaxy light to the ceiling light, It still doesn’t seem too interesting or unique at all. I feel like what I have done is not completely original. Hopefully I can find a way and move a step further next week.

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