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  • LifeStraw Intersection

    Poverty, Industrial Design

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    After doing some research, I found out some of the stages the water goes through in the filtering Process as the user sucks up the water in the straw.

    It would be hard for me to criticize this straw that I have never used before. I did see it in the 'Designing for the other 90%' Exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, and it seemed quite light and simple. It really amazed me that this simple object could really improve the lives of so many humans around the world.

    From the information I have collected, and as shown in the diagram, it seems that the water goes through 4 stages of filtration. The first is a mesh that filters dirt, second is a polyester filter (interesting.. why polyester.. is there nothing else that can be used instead? isnt it slightly poisonous?) that filters out bacteria. Following is a chamber of beeds that kills 99.3% of bacteria and viruses. This i honestly do not understand. It would be interesting to know how small these beeds are and how it actually works. this is still a mystery to me. The next is a Granulated Active Carbon, which improves taste, smell and again filters. This stage is also a bit unclear to me. It would be interesting to further look into that.

  • Solar Panels for the Developing World?

    Environment, Industrial Design

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    Every time I tell people about my line of work, they immediately tell me about their idea for a solar powered (insert your gadget here). I know their intentions are good -- generating energy from the sun is a wonderful thing, it's less polluting than harvesting oil and depleting natural resources. However, I question whether or not solar cells are appropriate for the developing world. Yes, I've read a few of the published papers on the benefits of solar and successful solar programs implemented in developing world communities. But if environmentalism is your argument, then you have to consider the full life cycle of the panel and the affect is have on developing world communities. They're likely shipped in from China and once they "break", they're tossed into the street. Almost everything in the developing world is salvaged and re-used for a secondary purpose. Solar panels? Does anyone know what happens to the cheap-o mini panels on store shelves in Africa and India? They're not readily re-used and they're full of toxic materials. There's little to no infrastructure in place to "properly dispose" of used panels. Or anything for that matter.

    There's a fine line between looking out for people in the present vs. looking out for future generations. I think there's a middle ground. In the case of solar, it's alternatives like wind-power, human-power generation, micro-hydro, bio-fuels, etc. Many of these renewable technologies are mechanical systems, which are ...

  • Thesis Project Idea

    Environment

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    For my second thesis project idea, I would like to work on environmental issues. Three years in Parsons, we’ve covered about environmental problems in several classes and I started to notice about what we are going through. And When I was a sophomore, in DRD class, we watched a film The Inconvenient Truth produced by Al Gore. Since then I concern about environmental problems as number one issue that we have to solve. One of the product that addresses this issue was made from NRDC. The cup has image of iceberg on the surface and when hot water is poured into the cup the iceberg disappears from the image. This product reminds people about one of the environmental issue, the melting glacier which cause the rising in sea level. This project will affect all the people in the world. And I would like to interview with any organization deals with environmental issues such as NRDC. For my next step I think I have to organize all the information that I’ve researched about environmental issue and narrow it down.

  • DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy )

    Aid, Industrial Design

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    Muscular dystrophy also called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a Genetic, hereditary muscle disease that cause progressive muscle weakness, teens with this type of disease does not survive past their late teens and early adulthood. One of the problems that they have could be the lack of sociability they have with other people, they usually tend to not interact too much with society because they think they are different from others and depend from others. Scientists besides trying to get the cure for this disease by implementing new types of technologies they are also trying to get the patients to incorporate them to the society with different types of activities. High tables for public places, a new type of computer capable of writing what the user says, a digital pen capable of transferring information wrote on a digital paper to a computer are some of the products that exist in these days for them. One of the reasons I decide to make this project is because my cousin has DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) and I think that there isn’t a variety of products available for them to interact with others. I will try to design interactive furniture or a product to help them feel more independent in their life. My next step will be getting more information about their needs.

    Some videos and information about this disease.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzftMcvplTc&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5zJ9sGtcdE&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWac...

  • Charette

    Arts & Culture, Industrial Design

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    Introduction: “Funcy” is a thesis project by Ilanit Ovadya, parsons’ product design graduate of 2007. The problem this project deals with is furniture packaging waste in urban environments. The designer wanted to find a solution to this specific waste problem by designing a flat-packed work-station and eliminating its packaging aspect by its form and usage. The elements been used for packaging become the product’s accessories after assembly, leaving no waste behinds. The target users are young people with limited living spaces. Non profit organization involved: • Cenyc – Council on the environment of New York City • O2nyc- environmental sustainability through design • Rainforest Relief – protection over world’s tropical rain forests

    Identifying projects’ strengths and weaknesses: Strengths- • Easy mounting / dismounting process • A variety of optional accessories hanging/tying/adding methods. • No use of extra material (without screws, bolts, etc.)

    Weaknesses- • Furniture packaging (usually 2-layer corrugated cardboard) is recyclable, is it really a big waste problem in urban environments? • The product acts as its own packaging – no damage protection over the product different parts (during transportation, moving, etc.) • Product form is dictated (no options to fit personal/space needs) • The product is a “temporary use” product, after its short life time it becomes waste by itself. • The flat-packed concept conflicts any ergonomic and modern d...

  • Purified Water Crisis

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    Because of the shortage of purified water in underdeveloped countries there is a big dilemma about all the diseases this problem is causing. Even in places that have an abundance of water like rivers, lakes or wells would have the same type of problem because of the maladministration of the resources and the lack of technology used in these places. People from the rural zones and suburban zones are the most affected by this problem. If it could be possible to design processed water plant purification adaptable to the areas where these people live it would be possible to resolve this problem.

    Some videos and information to show the real problem about it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iuyaS16-c

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atYjhH3lEmc&feature=related

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mha-net.org/msb/html/papers-n/palo01/pal07.gif&imgrefurl=http://mha-net.org/msb/html/papers-n/palo01/wastewa.htm&h=724&w=600&sz=12&hl=en&start=35&um=1&usg=__4rNJYfidSiwNvKRvDNw03CHDui4=&tbnid=ho-HbKtlPoaVAM:&tbnh=140&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3DShortage%2Bof%2Bwater%2Bpotable%26start%3D18%26ndsp%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

  • Cultural Awareness

    Communication

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    In today’s society, it is inevitable for one culture to influence the other. People from the eastern countries are overwhelmed by the western cultures and after a few generations, they would have neglected their own cultures and have indulged themselves in a different culture. It is rare to learn that people would show appreciation to their own culture. I have no right to comment on this as I belong to the ones who have a slight tinge of understanding of the Chinese culture and heritage. During my summer internship at G.O.D, a Hong Kong based furniture and home-made goods company which focuses on local design and exploration of Chinese heritage. I have never come across with any local designers prior to my internship. In my entire life, I have always developed an admiration for products which are not designed locally. During my internship, I was instructed to design products which could represent our Hong Kong culture but I was totally clueless. I was ashamed of being ignorant, and I believe that this would be a good opportunity for me to learn more about my family background, Chinese culture, traditions and etc. I am hoping to bring these patterns, shapes, prints and forms into my thesis as well as to be able to conduct a thorough research on the Hong Kong culture. I believe this opportunity would enable me to better understand the Chinese culture and to help people to promote their own culture with appreciation. I had a discussion with Len Mayer on how people have less inte...

  • Recycling Furniture

    Environment

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    It has come to my attention that there is a lot of old / damaged furniture lying on the streets. I would collect some of the nice antique furniture on the streets for the purpose of recycling and would consider alternative ways to reuse the old furniture. I decided, in my thesis project, to change the original furniture into something new which allows people to reuse / recycle the old furniture instead of disposing them. We have to ensure things that we recycle. I think the idea of education are essential, to nurture people the right way to recycle unused furniture. From previous projects such as Racey and Ameila’s recycling furniture projects, I think it solves the problem of reusing wooden materials to recreate a new piece of usable and exciting piece of furniture, and to encourage people to recycle furniture. However, the problems raised in the projects, they weren’t easy to construct. A lot of people do not have the skills or ability to do it by themselves. It could be time-consuming and a long hard process to remake the damaged furniture without appropriate facilities, some people would rather dispose the furniture and consume a new piece. Michael Whitney, a very inspirational designer whom collects abandoned objects and furniture, and recreate new functional objects. (http://www.michaelwhitney.com)All in all, I would like to educate the people the idea of recycling furniture with proper instructions on maintenance. Moreover, I want to explore further on the different ty...

  • Intersection 1

    Community, Industrial Design

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    Intersection 1

    Camboo is a really mature thesis project by Vivian Lam. Starting from how she included the community involvement and the whole process of learning and getting the product out into production that will further benefit the local communities. There is nothing that I will further suggest her to improve on the project. What I would like to add on to the project is another new line of product Camboo+ for furniture. By still keeping the weaving technique but challenge the community with building frames for furniture pieces.

  • 2_132_

    The first image, this is a physical idea and concrete approach that a patient who needs wheelchair is able to stand and do something by himself or herself. The point is they can do something beyond disadvantages and be more close to others. The second image is more advanced technology used. This wearable support suit enables a patient do same as other people. However, those items solve just physical disadvantages of them. The true problem is communication between people involves care people and patients. One fact of their issues is miscommunication or no-communication. For example, a wheelchair is one of product that is in between patient and care person. There is a conversation while they are walking, this is good communication to grow their relationship. However, if one of two do not want to talk to anyone or cannot talk, one huge gap would appear between them. Looking into their daily tasks, a care person help patient’s tasks such as wearing, eating, going restroom, and walking around, but basically those tasks do not need conversation, in other words, “just doing their daily job”. This might be no problem for ordinary people, however, this is such a huge problem for those care people and patients. From my previous posting ’one story of my thesis’, one guy who is working mental hospital is claiming this “just doing their daily job”. This is not only for mental hospital, but also other care facilities, miscommunication influences even care people and both of their mental h...

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