Friday, July 25, 2008

Design for context - creative techniques

I found this luggage in Chelsea neighborhood the other day and had to take a picture of it. At first, I was thinking - who would leave a bag in the middle of street? Is there a bomb in there? Then I noticed a lock on the bag. Well new york people, you are so practical! It is not about what other people think. Somebody probably had to drag a lot of stuff and needed to go inside a store or something. What a good idea to treat it like a bike and lock it up on the street instead of dragging it around?

The other picture is showing a piece of fabric wrapped around the bumper of a nice car using a couple of paper clips. The car was parked in a nice Chelsea neighborhood. Well again, totally practical attitude.

You have to figure out ways to live in this gigantic city. I, after living in Ohio with a car for 5 years, realized that the way I do things need to change. Dragging groceries via subway is one of them. Naturally, I stopped buying things in bulk, and started making more frequent visits at grocery stores. This means I am constantly thinking about what I need to carry to my forth floor walk up apartment. To support this, in my Williamsburg neighborhood there are grocery stores on every block if not more. (literally!)

Well but if you want to shop for chaper and fresher goods, you have to go through a war. Around 5 pm, Whole Foods and Trader Joe near union square are filled with our warrior commuters buying their groceries and transferring them via Subway. Of course the bulky doubled paper bags get in the way in a crowded subways and annoy others. What does it mean? This is a great example of design which was done by people who does not know their customers. It reminds me of my walking stick prototype that I came up with in my industrial design studio class. I've never camped before back then. I did online research and called it a research. I went to a camping store and called it a compatitive market research. The scary thing is this kind of half ass research happens in a real world!

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