Monday, October 15, 2012

Peer Comments

Stan Darmawan
Henry Treloar
James Chen
Melinda Kingsland
Stephanie Hutcherson


According to the New South Wales state government, in their Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036, Sydney's population is currently, and will continue to be, pushed into higher-density living complexes in the future.

"Sydney will require significantly more medium density, low-medium rise homes in the right locations."
"Good design for higher density housing should focus on increasing densities without compromising the amenity of existing properties and contributing to a high quality urban domain.”

This means that in the future, more Sydneysiders will be living in complexes with high populations but small land areas - but a large number of individual households. Traditionally, a household has or is seen to need its own toolboxes or kits - this situation means that each household has a few number of tools which are rarely used. However this effect, when produced on a large scale, means that there exists a large number of tools that are rarely used and as such are not producing value. Their material is not being utilised.

My PSS aims to reduce materialisation through utilising the concept of shared property through a tool library system.

The benefits of the PSS are that the tools are easily accessible when needed; readily available at your home location at any time of day; and that the tool obviously does the job just as well.

My product is a modular, "buildable", stackable and easily assembled and electronically-automated shelving system. This allows expansion "from scratch" and can be built according to the size of the space that the complex has allocated for the system. As such it is flexible to the needs of the users and the individual circumstances that the product is placed into. It allows gradual expansion as interest grows, perhaps starting small and getting larger.

The PSS is built around the strata complex, PSS provider and user:

  •  strata outsources services to the PSS provider for the user/inhabitants' benefit.
  • the PSS provider provides service, maintenance,  and upkeep to the library, as well as initial installation 
  • the PSS provider takes a fee for each rental occasion, encouraging responsibility for the tool and encouraging careful use.
To summarise: the PSS provider manufactures the product; provides set-up and installation of the product; and organisation, upkeep, maintenance, and service to keep the system going. The system involves a one-off strata payment to the PSS provider, then the library takes a rental fee on each occasion to provide finance for continued maintenance and upkeep costs.

Product Service Systems

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Who Killed the Electric Car is a very interesting documentary-style film about the rise and fall of the wholly-electrically powered automobile.

The film centres around primarily the American (and specifically, Californian) development and eventual quashing of the commercially produced, mass-marketable, consumer market electric car. It begins with the introduction of the Californian state legislation on car manufacturers, which was brought into being in 1990, legislating that automobile manufacturers such as GM and Honda, if they wanted to continue selling cars in California, to produce some zero-emission vehicles for sale.

The film goes on to investigate the results of this initiative - the design, manufacture, success, fightback, and eventual destruction of the electric zero-emissions vehicle.
It specifically chronicles the journey of GM's EV1 vehicle - this was a successful and well-designed vehicle that was seen as the embodiment of the struggle of the electric car to gain commercial traction and support.

I found interesting and also depressing the way various components of industry and commerce seemingly (wittingly or otherwise) conspired to derail the path to success for such a wise and powerful piece of sustainable and forward-looking mass-transport possibility.

As pointed out by a few people in the film itself, I agree that this initiative seemed like a "no-brainer". There seems to be no good reason as to why we should not have embraced the electric car wholeheartedly and done everything at a local and governmental level in order to make these vehicles as successful as possible.

However, this did not occur. The film goes on to investigate what factors may have contributed to the derailing of the electric car - and these causes are diverse, ranging from the obvious (such as the automobile and petroleum industry itself) to the less obvious (such as CARB, the environmental board for California).

I struggle to understand why GM would put so much effort and investment initially into the design and engineering (by all accounts this was a very reliable, well thought-out and well-engineered car) to produce the EV1 and then to only shoot it down not long after. The company was so spiteful towards its final design solution that it crushed nearly all of the working models, just to avoid any interest in the electric car being maintained and perhaps rekindled.

An inspiring aspect of this film is that so many people were ready to become involved in the sustainable car market - there were many willing consumers of the vehicle (even as GM, along with other car manufacturers, insisted that there was not a large or sustainable enough market for these vehicles.) With the large willing consumer base, it was inspiring too to see the passion of various members of the push for EV development. The obvious examples of the marketing lady, the entrepreneurial battery technology developer, and members of the engineering teams that worked on the EV1 stand out, but just as poignant are the scores of unnamed people who protested against GM's moves to eventually remove from the market and then to destroy the EV1.

In closing, I think above all this film shows strongly both the good and bad sides to human nature - the very creative, ingenious and positive moves we can make through individuals, be they in design, engineering, science, technology, or indeed any other avenue of progress - dichotomised against the unprogressive, rigid, and blatantly obstinate constructs of humanity - the fact we have worked ourselves into a situation where such a positive concept for progress can be destroyed by the actions of a few working for self-interest is depressing at best. Self-interest is indeed a powerful motivating force for society - and I might say necessary for progress. However the length and manner of which the large companies went about obstructing progress is, to my mind, perverse in the extreme. I hope not to see a repeat.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Peer Blog Comments, Cormack Packaging

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Design Feedback - Focus Group

Open Discussion - Difficulties
Not clear about form of product packaging.
No product graphics -
Clear views for product, 3D renders - clarification in the form for posters.
Foil covers what's inside - a lot of it is people seeing the toothbrush which is a point of sale - people need to know it's a toothbrush in order to buy it.
Boy version/Girl version - is there a girl's differentiation for the same product/package?
Good understanding of the use of the packaging for packaging life.
Lot of text on page. No actual image of product, which would make people stay to look/catch attention.
Foil looks really sturdy on page. Thin polypropylene instead?? Ripping difficulties in opening package?
Taking toothbrush in and out of the holder itself and how you go about it.
Graphics for exterior of packaging to make clear what the product is.

Graphics make product more obvious what it is.
Solution page remove text and add more graphical representations.
Problem illustration - "pictures tell a thousand words"
Reading is hard!! remove text and replace with images.
Manufacturing detail can illustrate perforations detail
Age group illustration in either packaging problem or exterior graphics
Demonstrate removal/placement