My top 5 constraints for my chair design will be:
Size and Weight:
I need to make sure the chair is easily portable around the Engineering Center and easy to set up. This is primarily for being able to show it in class. I may consider adding wheels to it, or potentially start with a flat pad and a frame, like a futon.
I would choose an aesthetic appearance that would incorporate round, plush edges atop a grunge-style frame or base. It should look comfortable and the user should want to try sitting in different positions. I am going for an immersive experience as part of my aesthetic choices, so it’s not just in how it looks, but how it sounds.
I will consider my cost as I have an excruciatingly limited budget right now. I intend to apply for GSF funding once I have fleshed out a design proposal.
The chair will need certain types of fabric, foam filling, sensors, a microcontroller, as well as frame materials like wood or perhaps fibreglass. In addition, I will need an amplifier and speaker cones. I will likely re-use some of the speaker cones from my upcycle project, as I have acquired a large number of them by now.
As much as I’d like to pour a ton of time into this creation, I only have so much of it on top of my other classes. This will cause me to reconsider how I manage my time on the project so I end up with the best outcome. I will need to consider different phases, such as the following:
- Design Phase: I’ve been sketching a multitude of ideas that incorporate my chosen aesthetic with the required materials and enclosures. I will make a 3D model using cardstock paper for a mannequin to sit in. Next comes fleshing out the design in closer detail with SolidWorks or perhaps Rhino.
- Testing Phase: I will order the functional parts of my project to see which sensors will work the best for it. I will also write the code for my project that includes output of MIDI commands when a sensor or set of sensors is activated.
- Building Phase: First I plan to build the cushion with the interactive features on it. Once I’ve tested building a small, hand-sized version of it, I will move on to build the entire cushion. The base with the speakers will be built at this time too. Perhaps I will require my team’s help at this stage.
- Paint and Finishing Touches: Lastly, I will paint or otherwise add the finishing touches to my project.
- Interaction Design: From then on, I would refine the software of the project. I will focus on sound design at this point, perhaps calling on the help of friends or classmates who are musicians.