Find a problem that calls for new solutions, by researching a specific group of users and their workspace.
We visited a local auto-mechanic and took use of methods from ethnological fieldwork to get beneath the surface of the mechanics and their daily routines in a short time. The methods we use were ‘Shadowing’, where we acted as ‘flies on the wall’ to get a general understanding of the workshop and the mechanics, without disturbing their routines. Then we used ‘Situated Interviews’ and ‘Acting out’ based on our new insights, which consisted of semi-structured interviews at the workshop, that allowed the discussion to involve elements in the use context and to ask the mechanics to perform certain operations, while describing the reasons behind every step.
We wanted to involve the mechanics as much as possible during the design process, as they are the experts and the main users of the final product. We therefore arranged sessions of brain- and
bodystorms in context and used Cultural Probes to explore their tacit knowledge. These methods did not only give us profound knowledge, but created an important bond between us and the auto
mechanics, to make the entire collaboration more
We used the inherent tools of SolidWorks in combination with manual calculations, to support the development of our solution. This included for us
to reach an understanding of plastics and metals in terms of possibilities for construction and production-methods.
A new add-on for an impact wrench - the right hand of the automechanics – and a proposal for a new environment, that will service the mechanics throughout their work.