Friday, May 11, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Desktop Stand/Organiser

A desktop organizer inspired by the humanistic influences, the idea here is to use the 2-dimensionality of the standing position shown of a human to iterate possibilities of organizing the desktop.

Though it's main use is on work tables, possibilities for its use are endless.

I can envisage it being used to just organize about everything else...e.g. placed on the dining table to hold the dining set and napkin, bookshops using them to make the promotional books stand out from the other books on sale, etc.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cardboard Digital Camera by IKEA

Introducing a cardboard-based digital camera by IKEA. No, it's not for sale, but I love the tongue-in-cheek approach to the idea of zooming and image-stabilization functions.

Monday, May 7, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Umbrella-stand

A redesign of the umbrella stand, this idea looks at how the stand can be made to be more adaptable to varying umbrella and any other similarly-sized objects.

The use of a heavy base that acts as a stabilizer and collator/air-blower would enhance the experience of using this stand too.

Friday, May 4, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Modular Traffic Lights

An idea inspired by changes in the traffic directions and conditions near my place, the modular approach to the traffic design above takes its leaf from the idea of Lego-connections. This allows for ease of connecting and reconfiguring.

The programmable nature of each of this cubic units also allows for interchangeability, and minimizes downtime when repairs or maintenance works need to be done.

The Innovator's Cookbook...

This book should probably be one of my next reads. Enjoy the making of the cover page.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Experimenting with Doodlecast Pro app

My initial experiment with the iPad app Doodlecast Pro.

One of the things that I did not realise was its ability to record sound, which was rather a good thing actually!

I envision using this later on for my future lessons and being able to record them and upload to YouTube within the same hour or day.

In the sample clip on the site, there are lots of possibilities, hence I'm kind of excited to see what other possibilities would this app be able to pull off.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Curver blades

Redesigning the blades of a fan, and adding greater curvature to allow for greater coverage angle. The proposed ball-and-socket design aims to give a greater degree of motion capability, for those occasions when it is needed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: 2-way container

Redesigning the humble container access points, to take into account the fact that one would usually do a refill even before the current supply runs out. The use of a 2-way filling-in points enables the user to still access the 'old-stock' of his supplies.

The design also uses a square cross-section for ease of storage, and flushed bottom caps to help with stacking should there be a need to. Definitely something worth considering for those who loves their kitchen to be neat.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Storyboarding and Camera Angle exercise

One of the submissions done by my students on 'Storyboarding' and 'Videography'.

The whole idea of this exercise was to get students to be aware in the use of different camera angles, and understand the intent and purpose of the differing angles.

With the use of storyboards, students were able to visualize their stories better, and henceforth, be able to suggest angles to better tell their stories.

To make the exercise challenging, only the last scene/clip was given to the students, i.e. the picture of a broken pencil. Students, working in pairs or trios, were free to explore the storyline that leads to that final scene/clip.

Above is just one of the storylines done up by the students.

Audio was recorded in post-production, and clip was done using iMovie by yours truly.

An-IDEA-a-DAY: the Holey Chopping Board

The chopping board design takes into account the motion of users chopping on their raw food products, with the idea that the separation of the chopped pieces should be a one-flow motion. The use of the jigsaw-puzzled hole adds to this convenience. With the ability to add an attachment for cups or containers to hold the chopped food items, this will add another layer of convenience to the users.

The detachable nature of the holed section allows the user to vary the hole size, to fit and suit the sizes of the chopped food items that they are working on.

The final touch of using a wood-based material adds a little bit of nostalgia to users, who are more inclined to feel the warmth and earthiness of having a wood-based chopping board, compared to a plastic version.

Friday, April 27, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: the iProcessor

The idea of the iProcessor is to remove the clutter of a regular food processor, and to give it a more minimalistic look and feel. The swinging out aspect of the food bowl gives added space to the food processing experience, with a possible attachment that makes the internal space hemispherical for a more atypical food-processing experience.

The hidden controls and handle also adds to the degree of minimalistic look and feel, with the idea of making the use, operation, wash-up and storage of the entire iProcessor unit more pleasant and a worthwhile experience.

As a final touch to aesthetics, the usual colours are offered, so that users can mix and match the colour of their iProcessor, with those of their other current utensils.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: The Tiltable Umbie

Drawing my bad experiences of using the umbrella during the monsoon rain season, the tiltable umbrella design above takes into account the shifting wind directions in a typical rainy situation, to allow for maximum protection of the user against getting wet.

The off-centred design allows the user, especially those who are tall, to still be able to keep themselves relatively dryer, compared to current designs. The proposed wind/moisture sensor at the tip of the umbrella allows the user to have greater control and knowledge on the shifting wind directions, especially when on the move. It allows for a pre-emptive change of the cover to happen, to offer better protection.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Modular Wardrobe Hanging system

With constraints in space within the wardrobe, the modular hanging system proposed above aims to leverage on the differing sized of clothing items to optimise the space. Using a modular pole-like system that is detachable and can be set up modularly, the redesign allows different users to customise their wardrobe experience by setting up the space within their wardrobe to cater to the usage patterns, or/and the kind of outfits that they have.

The system also takes in to account the use of the depth of the wardrobe space to optimise the usage rate better, allowing the system to be aligned in 2 axes/directions.

The possibilities are endless with a modular system, and if further work could be done on the design of the wardrobe itself, the possibilities are even more wide open for further customisations.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Clipped-on Laundry Pole

Uniting the cloth-peg and the laundry pole usually used in Asian countries to hang laundry, this redesign takes a look at eliminating the pegs, and infusing a clipping action into the pole itself.

By redesigning the cross-section of the pole, and using alternative material, the redesign allows for a more secure clipping action, coupled with a better cross-section area for a more effective handling.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: whiTeboard sTand

A re-modified design of the portable whiteboard/butcher-sheet stand, the design modifies the frame to cater to a landscape and portraiture layout. It also allows for easy placement of butcher sheets via using a magnetic attachment method, versus the current designs that uses clip!

The icing of the design is on the ease of storage. The intent is to allow the user to hand the frame after use, to allow for greater use of the floor space. Hanging allows for a more optimal use of space, especially for those in which space is a premium. With more items 'off' the floor space and left to hang instead, it allows for greater flexibility.

Friday, April 20, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Baby carseat

Inspired by the limitations of the current designs of some baby car-seats, this redesign takes a look at making the infant's experience of being cocooned up in the car seat that much more comfortable, while also allowing the adults ease of using.

The rotatable and retracting handle system makes it easy to use. The angle of choice is also intentional to allow for ease of carrying by the parent/adult user.

Other features are also considered to allow for a better 'cocooning' experience by the infant.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Rehal 2.0

A rethinking of the 'rehal', the small connecting elements usually used by Quran-readers to position their Qurans for ease of reading and page-turning.

The above redesign looks at what more can the 'rehal' be redesigned into, and aims to unite the holy book itself within the folds of the 'rehal'. This gives the users a cleaner look and feel when they hug the rehal and the Quran around, the usual method that Quran readers would carry theirs.

An extension of this redesign would be to relook at in-building a height-adjustable elements to allow for users of varying height and age to use the 'Rehal 2.0' with ease.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Mod-Vase

A modular system of vases, leveraging on the efficient design of the hexagonal shapes. Different heights allows for some degree of configuration. Magnets are used as attachment tools for ease of arrangement.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: the new Cake Slicer

An idea inspired by the recent ceremony that I attended that requires a cake to be cut, the redesign of the cake-cutting knife drew its inspiration from the combination of 2 function that one would usually associate with a birthday 'knife'.

The ability to unfold the knife-blade into another section that is perpendicular allows the user to stabilise the cut cakes before transferring it over to the required plate/s.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Zipper-phones

After observing and experiencing some difficulties with the current designs of earphones and headphones, the above design idea proposes the concept of a zipper to connect and disconnect the earphone wires, a constant bane for music aficionados out there.

The auto coiler, taken from the idea of a carpenter's measuring tape, enhances the functionality of the users by allowing for ease of uncoiling and recoiling, for a quick, clean and efficient user experience.

An optional USB connector/card storage element is proposed for added storage capability, or simply as an added potential for future functionalities.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: the touch pointer

A redesigning of the ubiquitous tool for presenters in boardrooms and meeting rooms, the laser pointer has only recently undergone some changes. But these changes are more to reflect on the ability to control the volume and video output of the said presentation, rather than the interface itself.

The idea above, still in its rough form, takes a look at relooking this user interface. With the pervasiveness of touch-enable surfaces being developed for a variety of applications and uses, the sketch above proposes using the said interface as a means to interact and direct the presentation, versus the use of buttons/knobs. This I think would cut down on the complexity of the design of the buttons, and the corresponding functions that go along with them. Plus having an interface that is just a mere extension of what the users' would have already experienced in their smart phones and tablets, is simply an easy interface development (and evolution) that is just too good not to be taken up!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Wobble-Fan

Inspired by the bladeless Dyson fans, this cylindrical 'wobble-able' fan has 2 air-blowing compartments that would be able to each rotate 270 deg about its vertical axis, enough to cover a great majority of rooms in this humid Singapore.

The wobble-able nature of the fan allows for greater flexibility in deploying the fan, beyond just corners or edges of rooms. This also provides added stability, especially in with a high volume of human traffic.

The icing would be in the design of the remote, which uses a touch screen element to allow the user to set/reset the angle of coverage, as well as the power of the blowing air, using the usual red/green colours.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Rota-Plug

An idea inspired by the need to use 2 sets of actions to work a plug. This design uses a 2-layered plug-head system that would incorporate an idiot-proof alignment pattern, and a continuous rotating action to switch it on and off, which is intended to be a follow-through motion. 

Typical colours are used for the on/off conditions, which would help users to identify in a jiffy the state of the appliances/switches

Monday, April 9, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Baby bathing module

A bathing furniture piece that aims to make the bathing experience of bathing an infant that much simpler.

The quadrant-arc shape eases the work flow of the caregiver as he/she bathes the infant. With the common post-bathing items within easy reach in a arc-like manner (read 'user-centric ergonomics'), the experience itself would also be a pleasant and efficient one for the care-giver.

The extendable concept aims to give users the required space-saving that usually is absent from similar bathing furniture pieces. The built-in changing tub serves as an additional attachment for users who follows through the bathing process with the intended work flow that the tub offers.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: Rotateable Framing Elements (Ro-FL)

The design of the RoFL was inspired by the difficulty faced by people who are in the habit of framing up their photographs and the likes. The whole set up works as a set, with adjustable-length framing elements, and rotatable frames.

The design itself eliminates the need for one to work on nailing/fixing up a few hanging elements at one go. The focus is on the ease of setting up a network of frames at one go.

The modular nature of the framing elements would allow users to change the configuration quite easily, although not at the level of flexibility that one would like to have.

Lastly, the design would also work wonderfully with a set of similarly-sized frames, for those who just wants that added difference to their otherwise plain vanilla walls.

Friday, April 6, 2012

An-IDEA-a-DAY: the Mooo dispenser

Inspired by the need to make the showering experience an even more pleasant one, I embark on an idea of borrowing the milking action to dispense the required amount of soap/shampoo.

I thought this would be a more natural action compared to the press-down motion of current soap/shampoo containers. The idea that you are able to grab the teats and pull out the liquids, in one fluid (pun unintended) motion helps to overcome the discontinuity of the current dispensing motion. It also dispenses with the need for situations where the whole container slips out and falls over, due to the wet slippery nature of most shower environments.

The container options would most likely come in 2 forms, one that is affixed to the wall, and as a refill option, as per what some of the current cleaning liquids option come in.

Lastly, the rubberized/silicone look and feel of the teats would surely endear a lot of users, winning over users who are not only curious, but who would most probably be able to see the functionality of the design, and the beauty of the milking/dispensing action.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some things need not be that clear...

Photo by: id photography
Sometimes things need not be crystal clear for clarity of purpose to be achieved. It is good for things to be made clearer later on...but at times, having an idea of what is the intended picture should suffice. especially so when things are still a little murky.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting lost in the preciseness of GPS

Photo from:
The title of my blog post sounds oxymoronic, but there is a reason for it.

For a couple of years I've been against the idea of getting a GPS system for my car, especially so since I do believe that the roads in this tiny island that I am residing in isn't that really too difficult to navigate. There seems to be a great degree of logic and rationale built into the road network system over here, and so far, barring one or two instances where my judgements were a little off, the journeys that I have undertook have so far been reaching its intended destinations.

But alas, I think I have to forgo that idea of going GPS-less very soon, given the higher propensity for me to drive up north in the immediate future, for both my weekly/monthly groceries shopping, and perhaps to run an errand or two for the family. Yes things are definitely a little cheaper up on the Malaysian side of the border, and it would be stupid of me not to leverage on favourable currency exchange rates to get a good deal...or two.

But it is precisely this dependency on a device that makes me comfortable. Yes, I read somewhere that the current GPS technology is pretty reliable within an accepted level of accuracy, but it is precisely this 'preciseness' that runs counter to my spirit of adventure. I have lost count the number of times that I have made a turn too early (or too late), and have discovered new routes and roads that would prove useful in my latter sojourns. I have also lost count the number of times this has lead me to appreciate the very people who have put in a high degree of logicness in the arrangement of the road networks here, compared to perhaps some other places. My appreciation grew whenever I have opportunities to travel opportunities, when I see what a haphazard road system can contribute to a country and her economy. I've also reflected on the numerous times that an illogical road system (or road naming system) can contribute to. A case in point would be the estates in Punggol and Sengkang. But that would be another point altogether.

But I guess, at the end of my long resistance to having one, I would eventually get one. I do hope that that would not reduce the spirit of adventure within me. In fact who knows, maybe the very preciseness of using a digital tool such as a GPS would open up new possibilities, that perhaps were absent and invisible to me, or that were not made aware to me when I was still a compass-bearing and map-memorizing driver for the last 1.5 decades.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The usability of design...and of (math) education

It's really funny thinking how there is a constant demand for products to be designed not only aesthetically well, but also functionally effective. I thought the argument for good design should also extend to all aspects of things that are man-designed (and man-made). And this includes education. I was particularly disturbed a couple of weeks ago, when local news reports highlighted the various math questions that a regular 10-year old child (Primary 4 in local context) were supposed to be able to solve. 
What got my attention was the realism of the question, and not so much how the questions were posed. In my opinion, such measures that would want to develop the child's innate ability to solve real-world problems, should start with real-world (paper-based) problems too! I would think that the sum total of the test-setters' cognitive abilities should be able to come out with more 'real' and 'usable' problems, that would still test the students' understanding and application of things like heuristics and multiple-level methodologies of mathematical problem solving. I just hope that questions would begin to look more real, and usable, and perhaps, would be able to really, really educate our children in seeing real-problems as what they are....real problems, with perhaps, multiple answers...or no answers!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tragedy of the creatives

It's been a while since I last blogged, and many things have inspired me to start blogging again. It will take a lot more effort on my part to work on my blogging articles nowadays, what with the presence of my twin bundle of joys recently, but I think in order to maintain my sanity, I should continue using this platform as an outlet for some of my professional rants.

I was honoured to be part of the group of educational skunkworks of sorts, that is looking to make some changes in the educational scene, although maybe perhaps, for a start, a rather small one. But it is a good start, and I definitely can see the potential for such a small band of outliers to work on something, that would eventually create a domino effect that would eventually effect the mainstream masses. What I really got out of the first conversations that I had was this idea and potential of creativity, and its implications on leadership. I'm not going to dwell any deeper into what transpired during the discussions, but I thought it was one of those intellectual discourses that freshens my cognitive elements, and sets me thinking, about what it is really like to be creative.

No doubt there have been numerous articles and other collaterals that talk about creativity from different perspectives, but I thought I just like to pick up on the idea of having some degree of structures in place in order to promote creativity. I know this might sound oxymoronic, but the irony of creativity is that we would have to know and understand where our boundaries are, before realising how to work within (or out of) these boundaries, in order to get or be creative.

I came across the term 'straight-jacketing' and I thought the word is perhaps an apt yet beautiful description of what would need to be done, in order to induce creativity. Isn't the existence of barriers and limitations a precursor to the development of creativity? Isn't the understanding of known boundaries, or of knowing what has been done before, a catalyst for one to be creative...and to be creating something new? I guess that's is where the term 'out of the box' come into the picture, when one is talking about creativity.