A little past midnight Thursday I had a breakthrough with my paper candle holder design thanks to my resistance to using tabs and finding inspiration in an upright paper grocery bag in the corner of my kitchen. ?Ǩ?Wait, that folds flat,?Ǩ I realized (a requirement).

The final design was simple, but elegant, and could go from flat to three-dimensional in about five seconds. I also devised measurements and tools so I could produce them quickly (not a requirement). So I made a few, which are now in the hands of Steve, who was last seen taking photos of our lit products.

I?ǨѢm not sure what Steve is going to do with the photos, but I will take a picture of mine when I get them back and post it here.

It was interesting to see all of the designs together. As a class, we had made noticeable progress since our first attempts. I was very impressed at the diversity and ingenuity of all the designs.

What I Learned

Despite all the nuggets of wisdom that Steve proffered, I didn?ǨѢt take many notes since my hands were often occupied with paper, scissors, tape, and glue. Though I will try to summarize some noteworthy points:

  • To understand what the material you?ǨѢre designing with can do, you must work with it directly. Imagining how the design will work or creating a sketch is useless if it?ǨѢs not possible for the material to do what you want it to do.
  • The more you work with the material, the more likely you will improve your design. Each iteration yields lessons learned and improvement.
  • Instructions are a crutch. Why rely on directions and customer support if you can create a product that works without them? Or: Why create products that require directions and customer support?
  • Designers are the people behind the curtain. That?ǨѢs what we are going to become. Most designs are not created by the companies that use them.

Happy Hours

Both to celebrate the end of our week and to introduce my out-of-town peers to Pittsburgh, many of us headed over to Mad Mex for margaritas, beer, and food. We got there around 3 p.m., and I didn?ǨѢt get home until 12:30 p.m., which is why I didn?ǨѢt post this yesterday.