Introduction and Inspiration
I was scrolling down on my Facebook timeline one day until I ran into a video of someone recycling old credit/gift cards (traditional plastic card you use every day). The video featured him making keychains, guitar picks and replaced missing remote battery hatches. I thought it was such a creative idea to use these cards because are usually structurally strong and have a nice texture to them. When the upcycling project of the Aesthetics class was announced the first thing that came in mind with this video. I would love to reference the video here, but unfortunately the video was old and it is hard find where was it on Facebook. So I used YouTube to search for it and other similar videos, I was really impressed with all the ideas people came up with for these old cards. One of the most prominent ideas that stood out the most to me was making a phone dock out of a card. I really liked its simplicity and functionality and most importantly I liked to have one of these docks since a while ago (I am a big desk person and I love to have all my gadgets easily accessible on the desk). I adopted one of the designs I saw on the internet and then I started diverting to other designs of phone docks and other desk gadgets. Please join me in my journey of these products:
Inspiration and design credits for some of my work
As I said in the intro I was inspired by one of the videos I saw on Facebook at first. I quickly began searching
- A Facebook video. I still can’t trace this back in my timeline because I saw it 3 years ago.
- Have a website of how to recycle your credit card:
- Have a video of the first Design of dock (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYGWoxy_pII).
- Have a video with the sharp design of the dock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPRaMmijJ3I
- Website for the Dock that stands with one card
- Add setup wars and other setups
- Amazon headphone wrap
- Amazon cable management
Before I show you the products I would like to include what I had in the progress blog because it gives me and the reader an idea of where I was at the start of ideation and what it the project ended looking like: The following is what I had from the progress blog post:
For people who love to step up their game on Desk Setups, Phone and Tablet docks became a big part of this trending aesthetic. Docks are a nice way to hold your phone and/or tablet while charging, watching a movie or Facetiming (video conferencing) and allows you to easily operate and display content from your phone without holding it.
Here are a few of the most popular phone and tablet docks found on the internet:
I have a bunch of old/unused Credit and store membership cards that are sitting in my drawer doing nothing but taking space and occasionally causing a mess. Looking at them I thought I can probably us
e them for a charging dock for my phone and other gadgets.
Credit cards are usually associated with the reputation of bad spending habits. Americans spend more with credit cards than they make. Irresponsible spending results in huge debts to a lot of households. In 2015 “The average household has $129,579 in debt $15,355 of it on credit cards” (Erin El Issa). So I think it will be ironic to some of these cards along with white cards.
Before moving forward in the report, here is a simple diagram which I believe is a nice representation of the some project objective and how it might change. Below is an image adapted from Design SOJOUN: http://designsojourn.com/design-processed-explained/
The map I am showing above is usually the case for projects that are not set in stone. One of these examples in the real world is doing research. This happens a lot in research specially when unanticipated findings reveal more interesting ideas than what was planned for. This happened to me on this project when I planned to have phone docks made out of credit cards. This reveled the trending aesthetic of desk setups, which inspired me to do different accessories
Below is an image of our team design loop:
I think most of the class (including our team) visualized the process as a loop or iterative cycles. But while I was working on my designs for this class and other classes I realized that the process is always dependent on the need or the problem you are trying to solve in the project. I have had over 50 individual and group design projects while still being a student. After all these student projects I am confident to say that every project has its own chart. Not to say that they are different but the order of the processes is very different. Some times its cyclical and other times its organized. Time frame always plays a big role in the decision making as well as many other dominant deciding factors. Added below is a new diagram that I would like to add after the experience I had with their projects
The Diagram I have created centers around the design problem and need. Even though every one thinks of the process as a loop or unorganized I like to think of the process as some tasks that you have to always do and cross check back with the need and the other categories. And now for the design process of the three products I made
I started out with one of the designs I saw on YouTube. I further adapted other designs as I improved on them. My improvements were in the card stability and the aesthetics. Here are the three designs I had for the dock
The cable management device took the most prototyping and iterations. I lost my images for iterative designs for this one but it ended up being great. This is by far the favorite product out of the cards
Once I have learned how to punch holes in the cards correctly I came up with the headphone wrapper pretty quickly
My first vison of the project was to build a phone dock as I saw in one of the videos online. After I actually made one myself I moved to other designs with some improvements in terms of durability and stability. The phone dock worked as I intended. There were some stability issues with the ones I made due to the lack of perfectly straight lines on the edges and the contact points with the phone. I fixed that with some modifications and careful cuts of the cards I had.
My first objective was to make the phone easy to charge and use while on the dock. That actually worked simple. It was ideal in the landscape position. It was a good orientation to watch videos, skyping or with the use some apps on the phone. In addition to having the phone in landscape mode I also wanted to have the phone stand upright. Upright was ideal while navigating through the main windows of the phone. This was a little difficult due to the smaller size of the cards relative to the size of the phones. But I am sure given more time I can or someone else can come up with a smart idea of how to hold the phone upright with these small cards.
I started out with by using old cards I had in my drawer but then I asked the Buff one office for white cards to experiment with the color and maybe add colors to my cards. I found that having the designs out of plain white gave the devices a stylish, simple and clean look. It was initially intended to use white cards for coloring the cards, but whites worked better than expected and I decided to use the color as a final version. Colors can be added later as it will provide a great option for customizing the stands matching with the color of the phone or its case.
While looking at desk setups I was inspired by the great deal of cable management people had in their setup competitions. I really liked cable management devices and wanted to construct one on my own. Even though the need for such a device is easy but it’s a little challenging using a credit card. This took the most iterations until I got it right the last time. I wanted something simple to get wires into and out of. So what I did was punch holes with a paper puncher to look as clean as possible. I also used the hinge system found on the dock in order to hold the cable twice. The cable manager is my favorite device. I think it is a very clean durable device with excellent functionality. It could be modified for cable sized which is great but I think it is definitely a nifty thing to have on the desk to keep the hanging wires organized.
I always had the problem to headphone tangling while you put them in a bag or a pocket. It is a frustrating experience. In the release of the iPhone 5 apple included a headphone wrapper, but it was bulky for anyone to carry around. I researched some methods of keeping these headphones from tangling. I found some kind of plastic loops which you can wrap the cables around. Using the idea of cleanly punching holes in the cable manager I thought it would not be a bad idea to use it for the headphone wrapper. It worked great I am really happy with its durability
I plan on using all three products on my desk. I have a set of improvements below that could drastically make the products highly polished.
- Fix stability issues using better line straightening
- Add upright orientation
- Have the edge finishes cleaner to prevent scraping some phone surfaces (avoid sharp edges in contact points)
- Include the charger in the dock so that the phone plugs as you put it on the dock
- Even though I love the fact that this project is made out of recycled credit card and that they an be found at a low cost I would love to Explore different material like acrylic/wood and shaping them using laser cutters
- I really like the cable manager. I am definitely going to make other cable management devices for a nice gift to some people who love their desks.
- I am currently using the headphone wrapper and I would like to clean those sharp edges off of them.
Please feel free to see my Checkout my presentation and refer to the making video.
Presentation link is: https://prezi.com/qe4paeushgi7/aesthetics-in-design-upcylcing-presentation/