The sun rises and the alarm rings. Somehow I open my eyes to slide my finger across my cell phone to shut the noise and go back to sleep, I will wake up in 10 mins I think.
This is the story of many mornings, for many people. But how many notice the beautiful interaction design that switches off the alarm? It is so seamless that we can perform the action in our sleep. This is but one simple instance – in a broader sense there are a number of areas design has touched upon and thus become a necessity of life.
The curiosity, eagerness or design bug, if I may use the word, bit me quite early; from the start as a child I was fascinated by everyday objects and as time went by the desire to instill creativity in common household products became paramount. That I belong to a family running an advertising and communications business consolidated this idea further and it became amply clear that to hone my skills, a graduate course in Industrial Design would be most suitable.
I enrolled for a course in Industrial Design at the MIT Institute of Design in Pune.The institute not only imbibed the requisite technical skills needed to express myself, but also gave me exposure to contemporary global conversations in my field.
My design skills were first put to test during my internship wherein my task was to develop signage systems for Mahindra Composites in Pune. This exercise made it evident that within the great ambit of design, communication design and product design is something I wanted to explore.
I have worked as a freelance designer before my full time position with Webonise Lab as a User Interaction and User Experience Designer. And along the way prestigious laurels in product design events, competitions as well as structured work experience made the journey exciting. The ultimate validation unarguably came from winning the RED DOT award in 2013.
After having won the IIDA Incheon Green Heart Netizens Award in 2010 and Home Review Designquest 3 in 2012 this was another recognition which was worth the time and effort.
I try and design products which can serve as a paradigm of innovation, for example the ‘Acuwake sock’. The Acuwake sock was my group project for the Red Dot Awards.
The sock gives you a rejuvenating wake up call, helping you to gradually and smoothly come out of your deep sleep ready to start your morning fresh and vibrant when you are alone. The sock has micro vibrators which massage your feet at the acupressure points resulting into a healthy heart, strong spine and an efficient intestine.
The Eco-cool bottle earned me a nomination in the IIDA green heart competition. Designed in 3 layers, the innermost copper container of the bottle holds the water. The middle layer consists of sponge made from khus (vetiver) or agricultural fibre waste and the outermost layer is a rubber sleeve. The materials for all the layers are either biodegradable or recyclable and have been chosen keeping in mind their properties.
Being a girl it is but natural to devise a device which will simplify kitchen chores and this led to the inception of ‘Bloom’, from cutting and washing to cooking, Bloom can perform a plethora of functions.
The petals of the product are made of high strength, heat resistant and non-stick material – it can assume multiple positions depending on the application for which the device is being used.
The petals also turn at speeds ranging from 10rpm to 8000rpm depending on the application. A touch sensitive control and display panel on the back of the Bloom’s stem controls the entire device.
Though innovation is necessary for good design it can never serve as a synonym of good design. To drive home this point I would like to point out the example of the ‘Infinity Clip’.
A clip is an object of mass consumption but the design of this clip is what makes it different, a curved take on the usually angular clothes clips, the Infinity clip is smooth and ergonomically safe with no sharp surfaces or edges.
As a designer I believe we have the liberty to not only think but also design out of the box, the Belit bag is an outcome of such wishful design thinking. The LEDs. attached to this bean bag are the surprising element of this product.
The bean bag has a transparent outer casing. The lights are powered through peizo electric cells. Due to movement of a person the pressure on the bean bag changes creating energy for the peizo electric cells to power the LEDs.
The bag can be moulded and kept in the corner of a room making a great piece of conversation when not in use.
Hard work is inevitable for every project I undertake as a designer, but I must add I design because it gives me joy, it may be a product, a graphic, an app or even a small doodle. This is just the beginning for me and to quote Robert Frost quite aptly I have miles to go before I sleep.