LoveU

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Personal Responsibilities

  • Form factor exploration and concept creating
  • 3D modeling the product
  • Woodcrafting, laser cutting, binding, staining wood
  • Circuit design & Particle Photon programming
  • Storytelling for the final presentation

Challenge

How might we make personal communications and emotions tangible in a way to overcome time difference and long distance barriers?

 
 

Inspiration

LoveU was a 10 day project in the beginning of Engineering Design & Innovation M.S. program at Northwestern University. The topic was "Into the Wild" for the design bootcamp. The other students focused on tangible products that could make their outdoor experience better. However, for me, who had  just moved to U.S. 3 days prior from bootcamp kick-off, the wild was a new country, with new people at a new institution. I was experiencing 9 hours time difference with my home country for the first time, and communication was so hard. I didn’t have a chance to connect to my home country to show how much I cared about the people I love. I realized that, to solve this, I could create a representation of myself in a designerly way.

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Process

I have undertaken a project that explores different form factors that can be iconic to create an identity for the product for its unique purpose. After deciding on form factor and defining functions of the product, I designed a 3D model of the product to plan the manufacturing. I have used various tools to create the housing, and I have designed a circuit with Particle Photon and programmed it to enable the product to get remote controlled. After assembling every part, I have decided to stain my walnut with a dark cherry colour to represent my emotions for my beloved ones.

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Result

I successfully assembled and presented with live demo on EDI Bootcamp Final Presentation (thanks to my grandparents' prayers). LoveU took a lot of attention of faculties through its unique shape factor and simplicity. Project made me famous relationship saver in the Segal Design Institute and I got requested from a lot of couple to make for them a LoveU that they can give as a present to their beloved ones. In conclusion, I really enjoyed designing and making this project. It was a valuable experience for me to discover what can be designed and created in 10 days! I am proud and happy to be an inventor of the LoveU!

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Main Takeaways

  1. Einstein was right. "If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes to thinking about solution". I used 8 out of 10 days to think, inspire, plan, design and used the last 2 days for building, assembling and polishing the product.
  2. You don't need to be coder to create complex electromechanical products. There are a lot of codes out there and your job is understanding which one is relevant for your aims and how you can revise the code to suit your specific desired action. 
  3. Connecting people through emotions is really valuable and pure happiness for the users leads to pure happiness for the designer of the product as well.
  4. Working with wood material requires a lot of patience. Creating unusual form factors with wood is not suitable for mass production. It is possible to keep wood material's natural look through staining it rather than painting.
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