Robert the Robot Shape Sorter
Formal Criteria: The shape sorter is colourful, playful, and friendly – it would definitely appeal to young children. It is made of a thin plastic with several differently shaped holes. The toy is relatively small, probably standing at about twelve inches tall. Functional Criteria: Robert the Robot Sorter is intended for autistic children or younger, typically developing children. It is intended to teach fine motor skills, shape/colour recognition, and hand-eye coordination. Ethical Criteria: The piece is socially conscious in that it educates young children. From an environmental standpoint, the thin-walled design of the toy reduces the amount of plastic used. Cost Criteria: At only $9.99, this toy is relatively affordable to a wide range of income levels.
Formal Criteria: The phone has a fairly standard look – it is definitely not winning any form-related design awards. There are large pictures of each phone contact at the top of the phone, and large, easy-to-read buttons for dialing. Functional Criteria: Functionally, the phone is a lot more successful. It is intended to help those experiencing both the beginning and middle stages of Alzheimer’s cope with their memory loss by relying on visual memory rather than verbal. Ethical Criteria: This device is meant to have a positive social impact, aiding those suffering with Alzheimer’s. It most likely uses the same materials/resources needed to make a regular phone, but with its extra features it helps those in need. Cost Criteria: The phone is priced at $59.99 – a little costly in comparison to a regular phone of similar quality.
Oxo Good Grips Measuring Cup
Formal Criteria: The Oxo Measuring cup is relatively minimal, but very beautiful. Placing the gradations on a diagonal really add an elegant touch to a very functional object. Functional Criteria: To me, this is one of those products that makes you think, “how didn’t I come up with that?” Placing the gradations on the diagonal is such a logical design intervention, and makes measuring much easier. Ethical Criteria: I don’t think this is necessarily an ethical/unethical product, rather just a product. The efforts behind the Oxo line were geared toward those with arthritis/difficulty handing objects, but I don’t really see that as the main draw of this product anymore. Cost Criteria: The measuring cup is relatively affordable at about $6.99 – on par with a traditional glass measuring cup.
Demakersvan Lost and Found Stool
Formal Criteria: I think this stool is beautiful – it’s form has been distilled down from a very traditional form to the bare essentials. It also makes use of stitching techniques used to make saddles hundreds of years ago, an interesting juxtaposition to the very modern form. Functional Criteria: The stool functions well as a stool and conversation piece. There is no real functional novelty in the piece; it is more about the aesthetic. Ethical Criteria: Ethically, the piece is a luxury item, not meant for mass production/consumption. I respect the designers at Demakersvan for creating the piece, although I don’t think it is has much ethical merit aside from exploring the connection between past and present. Cost Criteria: The piece is produced in limited editions, and is most likely very expensive. I could not find an actual price tag for the piece.
LOMAK: Light Operated Mouse & Computer
Formal Criteria: The LOMAK has a very futuristic, medical feel to it. This is due to the predominant colours used (blue, white, and grey), and the very clean graphics. Functional Criteria: The device interfaces with a head-mounted optical device and is meant for those that have difficulty using regular keyboards. Its interface has the user make selections with a beam of light from the headset, and then confirm them to ensure accuracy. Ethical Criteria: This seems like a great product. I like that it addresses a broad range of people with difficulty using keyboards, not just one specific group. I also like that the company completed lots of user research/testing, as seen on the website. Cost Criteria: The LOMAK is priced at $1,495.00. I do not really know if this is expensive in relation to similar products, but it seems like a reasonable price for such a useful product.