Monday, September 08, 2008

Infiniti Design Diary

The people behind the Infiniti, Team 5: Matt Wright (design mentor) , Wang Tsunho, Shin Yoo-kyung, Ransome Chua, Wong Wai Lam (myself), Chung Ji Hyun, Holly Yu and Darren D'Cruz.
Thank you all for a wonderful experience. Your signatures on my certificate will be the most treasured souvenir from Hong Kong.

After that, it was party time at the home of Ruth Gee, Director of British Council Hong Kong, sipping red wine while overlooking one of the most beautiful view of Hong Kong.
Then, it was showtime! Click here to view the slideshow of our presentation.

Darren and Ransome rehearsing for the public presentation...

The final design on the user.

(Almost) 48 sleepless hours. Starbucks coffee fueled us throughout the challenge.
Shin, thinking hard.... working hard....

The final design. Above is the design detail which allowed ambient sound to enter even when the speaker is in use.

Occasionally, we had language barriers to overcome, but drawings like these helped communicate ideas across.

The final design direction... inspired by a twisting form which wraps around the user. Wrapping is a symbol of care and protection.

... after which we agreed on one design direction: a voice activated blue-tooth accessory which provides audio navigation and content. GPS maps and lifestyle content are already available on existing mobile phone services, this is just changing the media from visual text and graphics to audio information. The team agreed on using a bluetooth headset, however, the challenge was how to enable ambient sound from the environment to reach Jason and Tam while the information is being relayed.

The next morning started with a war of ideas... this is Chung pitching her idea for children education to raise awareness and instill better treatment to the visual impaired. (Above) Check the the three-legged cane sketch I did. It was a dumb idea, but we all had a good laugh!

Back at the studio at 5pm, and it was brainstorm time.

Tam had a hard time looking for directions to the toilet in the mall. Meanwhile, Jason was equally helpless when dealing with the ignorant waitress at Mcdonalds. However, he was able to navigate to the eatery, guided by the smell of french fries!

We joined Jason and Tam on a field trip to the streets of Hong Kong to observe how they navigated around. Taking notes, videos and photos of their movement, behaviour and surroundings.
Jason is almost 100% visually impaired and Tam has blurred centre vision. When he was a child, he had a habit of staring into bright light sources, causing his sight to deteriorate.
Our Design Partners Tam and Jason who are visually impaired.

I was fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to travel to the 2008 Inclusive Design Challenge in Hong Kong (thanks to British Council Malaysia). This is a design competition whereby designers from different countries are put together to form 6 teams. Every team was paired with a design partner who is also a disabled user. The brief was to design a creative solution (not limited to products, it could even be a graphic campaign) based on the theme “Independant Urban Lives”. All within 48 hours. The team which collected the most votes at the end of a public presentation wins.

*Some images have been reproduced to aid explaination of events

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes Ransome, I had a great time and I certainly hope to work out more project collaborations with all of you. Keep in touch!

+Wai Lam.