Archive for the 'Industrial Design' Category


Observation Project – The Mall

For my ID-1 class, we had to do an observation of the mall. Most people would assume that the primary mall ‘user’ is the consumer, but after observing, I really feel the mall is mainly used by the distributor. The whole mall concept is genius – a fun place people go to spend money. You go to the mall to be surrounded by various money suckers – food, clothes, movies, books, toys, makeup…everything! Granted, the mall needs to be pleasant in order to get people inside and stay awhile. It can’t be some nasty flea market. Anyways, I came up with a rough idea for the class. 

It is called Fashion Portal (working title):








Basically, it creatively utilizes ad space in the mall. There aren’t many free fun things to do in the mall, other than window shop. And that isn’t so much fun after a while, just depressing. Fashion Portal is an interactive structure – Two sets of screens advertise store merchandise but also provide a memorable and fun experience for shoppers. With flex screen, touch screen and digital photo technology,  shoppers can take and display a life size image of themselves on a large touch panel. They can dress their virtual selves in store merchandise (price, brand, size options, sale info would pop up) or a selection of wacky fun options. Hopefully, it’d be fun for even the most mall-phobic members of the family! I saw a lot of very bored looking dads walking around. 




The extensive collection of actual mall merchandise in the system would increase store revenue through advertising. The system would also record popular items that users “try on”, helping track trends and interests. A fun collection of backgrounds, costumes and accessories would keep shoppers amused and give parents and youngsters a chance to have some fun together. The Touch Screen interface would allow for easy sizing and placement of clothes and accessories onto a shopper’s digital image. And finally, an e-mail option would send favorite creations back to the user while providing stores with shopper information. 

My concept went over just fine with my professor, but he pointed out the loopholes in my whole idea. The technology is just too complicated. I think it is surely possible, but way too expensive to manufacture at the moment….maybe in like five years. 

The essence of ‘Fashion Portal’ is this, combining a fun interactive experience while increasing revenue for distributors. Whoever plans to purchase ‘Fashion Portal’ has to be convinced it is worth the investment. $$$$$ Isn’t that what the mall is about anyways? 



People have been seeking inspiration from the natural world since the beginning of time (making it through the ice age by covering ourselves with pelts and fur). I think it is safe to say everything anyone has ever made is somehow connected to nature. After all, humans are technically “natural”. 

Anyways, I really love deriving inspiration from nature. Sometimes I feel silly because I am not particularly ‘outdoorsy’, but a lot of my designs seem that way. I guess I practice on a very rudimentary level of biomimicry. According to one of my favorite websites on the topic,, biomimicry considers nature in three ways: model, mentor and measure. Model consists of studying natural forms, systems, processes and strategies and applying them to human solutions. Mentor is more conceptual and relates to a new way of thinking: not using nature for just its physical tangible natural resources, but what it can teach us; ideas to enhance our lives. Finally, measure means designing things that last; valuing sustainability and future generations. 

Anyways, point is I want to get more into biomimicry. I think it is fascinating and very valuable to  modern designers. 

The following is a bathroom organizer I made inspired by the pattern and symmetry of a nautilus shell. I am not consulting nature to solve major global issues or anything, but I like it.





To Style or to Ideate

Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this, but I originally began studying Industrial Design because I wanted to style products. That is what I thought ID was – styling things that already exist a.k.a making things cute. For example:

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Taking a plain teacup and making it into a delightful tinkerbell teacup.

BUT ID is more about ideation. Thankfully, I think I am fairly good at developing new ideas. Inventing new product concepts is much more challenging and mentally stimulating. Coming up with new ideas or improving on an old one is also more admirable in my mind. Take the One Laptop Per child:

olpc-5It is a laptop specifically designed for children in poor countries. The designers have taken a well developed product (laptops) and customized it for a very specific population: screens visible in bright sunlight, very rugged and durable exteriors, extra strong wireless capabilities and a simple kid-friendly interface. They also styled the device to some extent. 

In the end, I wouldn’t mind styling products for huge marketing campaigns but I’d like to think I’m capable of more. Styling is an art in itself. Maybe one day I can style the entire Disney Princess line. How fun would that be?