Physical modelling at University of Ulster...
Hand-built example radio for 1st Year Product and Furniture Design students at Ulster University 2015. This was made simply to illustrate the steps involved in making physical prototypes for the 1st year students. Building full-scale models is essential for the purposes of testing the feasibility of ideas, while also learning the steps involved with photographic 'Hero-Shots' to capture the product in context.
The above image was taken at close-range with Macro as a setting to capture the detail of the model with more perspective, while still allowing the background to come through for context.
The below image was taken from a distance with maximum zoom, to flatten out the piture and create good depth-of-field with the focus.
The image below shows a brief example of the steps involved in building the model: Cutting the modelling foam, sanding into form, building filler for surface details, sanding for finish, priming with paint, top coat for colour, and parts and text for final detailing and realism.
Product and Furniture students while setting up the scene for taking the shots. The model can be seen at the base of the image.
Below are examples of 1st Year Product and Furniture students at Ulster University. The project orientation is an evaluation of domestic appliances of Kettles and Toasters for the blind or visually imparied. Students experienced the process of either making a slice of toast, or a cup of tea, blindfolded. This exercise opened up the side of user-empathy, essential for the designer to understand the user, resulting in a flourish of solutions at varying points of intervention!
Students were not only required to build full-scale finished examples of thier work, but also think about the overall communication of their projects. This means that Hero-Shots, Story-Boarding and CAD visuals are employed within the final stages. Being empathic is not just about understanding the user, but also communicating the value of the solutions to the same user group and other potential markets, in a way that can be engaged with and comprehended.
One of the nice things to come out of this years work, was the consistency of the work, over all 35 students. Not bad 1st Yr!