Meeting with Erdem, Reevaluating the Design

Sketches by Erdem

Sketches by Erdem Selek

Erdem, my professor, quickly identified my design was getting too complex. Scanning through my sketches and looking at my model, he said the design of the vehicle was distracting and overshadowing the rubber band element of the toy. Thus, Erdem recommended I stick with a simple form, such as the box of my original, cardboard model or a simple cylinder shape. He conveyed he preferred the proportions and feel of my first, cardboard model and that the wooden model was getting too big and complex. He demonstrated the effectiveness of a simpler design through the sketches pictured above, showing that the design put a greater emphasis on the rubber band and its imperative role (whereas the user might look at one of the more complex designs and question, for example, “why use a rubber band?”). With the more basic design, though, Erdem stressed there still must be a sense of direction in the vehicle, that the user should comprehend which side is the front. If done well, a simple vehicle design with relatively nonexistent or hidden mechanics has the potential to spark more interest within the user. That being said, he pointed out I could reveal or hint at the rubber band through a slit on either the top or side of the car. Erdem pointed out these could also function as handles. With a simple vehicle design, as he explained, the vehicle could sit in a room, decoratively, but also serve a functional purpose and, ideally, the user will look at and question the product. What is that box? What does it do? Is it just a box with wheels? What’s inside the hole? Why is there a rubber band? Upon interacting with the box, the user will discover that it is in fact a large wind-up toy.

Based on my model, I’m not sure if I can accomplish my goal of being able to ride on the wind-up vehicle, at least within the product time frame. This is disappointing and unfortunate but, as Erdem expressed, even if the vehicle could not bear a child’s weight, the idea of a large wind-up toy still holds potential for fun. Furthermore, my final product for this project could be the first version, the first prototype, of an eventual model that can transport an adult.

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