Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Day 357, on which John finally breaks up from school [21.12.10]

Dag tre hundrede syvoghalvtreds. Yup, you read correctly - I'm off school, at long unholy last. It's been one heckuva term, that's for sure. And I'm tireder than a worn tire in a tire factory. And yes, 'tireder' is now a word. This evening is one of those times when I'm just too tired to do anything productive, so I just sit around fiddling. I tried to build a mech, and I had a bunch of pieces but I couldn't get started on anything so I gave up. I didn't even bother carrying on with the buttload of stuff I need to do on Illustrator, because I know I'll do a half-assed job this evening. Even You, Me and Everyone We Know songs don't sound as good. It'll be a good few days before I get myself out of this rut, that's for sure. And my internet connection is screwing with me. Dang.

Which means today's post won't be very good at all. Annoying, I know, especially this close to the end of the project, but that's just the way it has to be.

Today I thought I'd chat for a little bit about that clock idea I was so obsessed with a few weeks ago. Remember that one? That kept me up late into the night? It was for a competition up at the Design Museum in London and my group lost at the first round and I was pissed and ranted on about the stupidity of eco-friendly yet ugly and unfunctional design prevailing over good, solid, Scandinavian design. Well that group that beat us got into the top ten in the country, which just goes to show how dumb that contest was and how much they'd be nattering on to use about the goddamn environment if we did get through that first round. I don't care much more now; if the contest was for eco-design they I want no part of it. Bloody environment.

© John 2010. Do not use without permission
Here's a board I created for our project, named KLOK. KLOK was to be a modernist clock concept inspired by Scandinavian design and packaged stylishly (and, may I add, efficiently) and the evening before the presentation I had a total inspiration drive and created this sheet, which is meant to be in grayscale. It shows the system of opening the packaging, how the packaging would appear on the shelf, and what comes inside each box.

The KLOK's shape is pretty basic - it's just a squashed cylinder for the clock face, and behind that a smaller cylinder. For the packaging (which I designed, might I add) I wanted to try something different and abstract, and the easiest place to start was to encase the KLOK as tightly as possible in the packaging, so much so that in this final design the walls of the box squeeze in on the KLOK and hold it in place. The front is square, and round the back this geometric shape tapers to a point, a two-angled square-based pyramid. Sure, it may be an odd shape, but what else is going to get our product noticed? Plus, as you can see in the top-left packaging, they stack pretty easily and the angles on the back allow for them to be put almost upright for presentation. Not so crazy after all.

One thing I've noticed recently is that I love systems. I love step-by-steps, things which need a certain order of actions to do something; if you remember my spaceship door lock opening obsession in the summer, that's what it was. Steps to do something. I just LOVE making systems, but I never know when I am. This is one example of this; opening the packaging is a system. You turn it on its face (nice and flat and stable on a tabletop now), remove the safety sticker over a tab on one side of the pyramid then slip the tab out of its slots and the top half of the box (hollow, by the way, I couldn't work out how to draw that in the diagram) opens on one hinged side. You have to take apart the box to get the KLOK out, it's that well packed, and whilst this may remove the use of the box (what? Can't use it again? AHAHAHAHA UP YOURS ECO-FANATICS), it just goes to show how well packed the KLOK is and it's nice and flat so you can use it for flat things (not recycling, of course, pfft).

Also inside the box is two small zig-zag leaflets that contain information about the KLOK. They're squeezed in the corners of the box where there is a gap between the circular form of the KLOK and the square form of the box (I always wanted to make a triangular pyramid box but I just couldn't draw it). Many thanks to the lads at Apple for inspiring this; it's like an iPod with a bunch of leaflets squeezed into the packaging. One leaflet holds the product information (materials, dimensions, care, manufacturing details) and the other is the instruction booklet. Together, they're all you need.

And, after all this effort and thought, it still didn't win. I was going to make the leaflets and print 'em out to scale and everything... luckily I didn't, because it turned out that KLOK's hopes of winning, with its innovative design but foolhardy unrecyclability, were pretty slim. Ah well, I'm over that now. So I can show you all my hard work, at last.

~John

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