The way I am doing this project is as a business style transaction with a friend of mine where he is coming up with a list of requirements and I will be designing a product for him. So far the constraints we have agreed on are:
- Easy to Clean
- it doesn’t make sense to have an intricate design for brewing coffee if it is impossible to clean. this is one of the higher priority items
- my friend brews coffee a lot. It’s not worth the investment if this product will only work a few times. it needs to last.
- Must have easy to operate valves
- His biggest complaint about how he currently brews his coffee is that the process can be messy at times. He wants a simple device that is easy to operate.
- Must brew large batches of coffee at one time
- My friend brews large batches (1 lb or more) at a time. He’ll store the coffee in his fridge and pour a cup when he wants it.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- As functional as this product should be, we’d also like it to look nice as well. It’ll be a great conversational piece for him, and something to admire for years to come.
There is also the constraint of time, money, resources, skills, etc. However I think those are easier to overcome based on the way we have setup the transaction for this project.
[…] Top 5 Constraints […]
I think it is entirely possible to create an aesthetically pleasing coffee brewer that is also durable at the same time. Think of ways you can add aesthetics without compromising the function, be careful you don’t want your brewer to look too flashy because that could actually be detrimental to the whole aesthetic. Think of what you have to work with. You need the glassware, but you also need a frame to hold it all. Most of your aesthetic will come from the frame, which is much easier to accomplish while maintaining durability than to work the aesthetic into the glass. There are plenty of skilled glass blowers out there and I am sure you can buy most of the glass you need. If you really want to work with glass I would focus on the less complicated parts as they will be the more durable ones. There are aesthetic changes you can do to the glass without sacrificing durability, look into frosting and engraving the glass. It looks like you put a lot of thought into this and I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
I’d be careful here with your style of “cater to customer requirements”. It’s a good practice and probably what you’ll end up doing for most of your life, but keep in mind the scope of the class. In my mind, Aesthetics shouldn’t be 5th on the priority list…that’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it? Granted, making a coffee brewer that doesn’t work but looks nice is of less value than an ugly operational one, but I think we’re exploring the other half (think art for art’s sake). I think the transaction aspect of this could be a great exercise for you and your friend but in the scope of this class we have a really unique opportunity to focus specifically and deliberately on appearances, so be careful!
Ben, I think that your constrains accurately reflect the challenges you wrote about in your Design Review report. I am not sure if I am right about this, but I think that there is a trade-off between the aesthetic of your project and its durability. Its good to consider the durability of the coffee maker, but I think this might be in the way aesthetic you are trying to achieve, at the end its your call on how to compromise. Otherwise these constrains are well thought through. Good Luck!