In tech class we have recently finished making our cardboard chairs. Our unit question was What impact can innovation have on our environments? We worked in partners on the assignment, and I was with Aruna. We spent a lot of time working on the planning and drafting of the chair, although not as much on the creation of the final chair itself. Because of this, we did not have enough time to make our chair exactly how we planned it.
Earlier in the unit, we created a product test that consisted of five questions to ask people in our target audience. Below are the questions and answers from each person:
According to these results, our product was quite successful, although I’m not sure if I agree completely with all of the statements that were made. First of all, I do not really think that our chair was very aesthetically pleasing, as it is only made out of cardboard and tape, including a lot of mismatched boxes. The dimensions are not completely consistent, for example with how narrow the back rest is compared to the width of the seat. The chair is actually quite comfortable, because the part that is sat on was stuffed with different pieces of cardboard, providing a cushioning effect. The chair is not the most stable, although we did work hard and add a lot of pieces at the back and base to stabilize the chair. I am, however, quite impressed by the stability of the front part of the seat, as it was only held up by three rolled pieces of cardboard.
Similar to the product test, we created several design specifications to test our chair against. For each of the five sections (general, function, aesthetics, comfort and quality), we had to make three statements about what we wanted our chair to be: a must statement, a desirable statement, and a must not statement. To start off, our chair was obviously made out of cardboard, and we did not use any materials besides the ones we were provided. This means our chair was fine for the general specifications. Our chair was not as stable as we had hoped, although it did not collapse under the weight of an eighth grade girl. The function of our chair was completed to a reasonable standard:
I think that as for aesthetics, we did quite poorly. We had said that our chair must look modern, although it did not turn out that way. We also said that our chair must not look rigid, although it does. This is because we had to put things such as stability first when creating the chair. In our comfort section, we wrote: “The chair must be as comfortable as possible, considering the circumstances.” I think that we did complete this successfully, and our chair was also not in a position that would cause back problems. Lastly, the cardboard was not as strong as it could have been, although the chair did not break. I think that for quality we did reasonably well, although with better resources we could have improved this.
As all the units with the design cycle, there are different phases that we completed. The first was investigate, which I think I did the best at. I think I did very well with the primary research, both on Art Deco and with the survey that we asked members of our target audience. Although the information I found from our research questions was good, I think that other questions would have been more helpful later in the process.
The next stage was the design stage. Here we came up with three different chair designs, listed their pros and cons, chose one, and made a planometric, assembly and Google sketch-up drawing of it. I think that I did quite a good job at the planometric drawing that I was assigned, because all of the dimensions were correct and the drawing was an accurate representation of our original plan. I think that when coming up with our first three designs, Aruna and I should have considered what we were actually capable of doing with the final chair.
In the plan stage, we had to make a parts list and flow map representing everything we would need to construct our final chair. We based this off of the prototype. I think that we did a good job at the parts list, because this was clear and easy to understand, with the correct measurements. However, our flow map had steps that we could have left out considering our lack of time and resources, so we should have been more realistic when making this.
The last stage was create. As I have mentioned, this stage did not go too well. This is because we did not have enough time, and we had not collected enough cardboard to construct our whole chair. I think that we did well at making the chair still functional and stable considering the circumstances, because I would not have been surprised if our chair had collapsed. We really should have considered how complicated we were making the chair before, because we found it too difficult to include the reclining mechanism in our final chair.
The impact innovation has on environments is that it provides new ideas in the community, for better or for worse. I think that peoples’ opinions on this will effect what kind of changes are made to their attitudes. For example in this unit, we re-used all of the cardboard from around the school to make these chairs, instead of simply throwing it away. I think that this unit was a good lesson for the future. Because we had never really done anything practical in tech before, most of us were quite unprepared for the work in this unit. However, our mistakes from this unit will help us in similar tasks in the future.