Week five and finalizing our design was first up on the agenda. Last week we finished of with a handful of similar designs that we all liked, and now it was times to refine these into a final designs. We agreed on our three top ideas and put hem into a matrix to compare and evaluate the different designs up against each other. We completed the matrix as individuals first and later combined the results into a final conclusion. This process saw a favored design emerge and we were all happy with continuing with this chosen concept.

The next step we took was to create a full sized/1:1 scale model of our concept to see what it would look like up against a person and also so we could see how it would look in its environment. This process was really quick and effective as we got to see the actual size of the product and we could see how it would engage with its surroundings and with it’s intended users. Once we had made our full scale model we noticed that the shape was a little bit boring and unadventurous. So we started to think of ways we could improve the shape the front face. We figured out that it was the bottom half of the front panel that was giving us the strange feeling, so we payed around with how we could remodel it in a way that didn’t drastically change the shape of our form. We finally agreed on a form that gave the form more dynamics and added a bit of sexiness to our concept. I think producing a full scale model was a really efficient way of finalizing our idea. If we didn’t complete this task i think we would have been stuck quite some time.

Once we had finalized our idea we sat down and thought about how we were going to tackle manufacturing our final prototype. First we decided on what materials we were going to use. We took in a few different things when deciding on appropriate materials, for example ease of construction, durability, how they would fit in with the surrounding environment. We quite easily came to the decision that the product’s exterior should be a combination of wood and steel which would create strength, nice acoustics and also visually they contrast well together visually. Now we couldn’t afford to make a proper working model, nor did we have the workmanship to pull off bending and cutting steel. So our next hurdle was to plan how we as a group could best execute the model so we could communicate our idea the best that we possibly could. After some quick deliberation we came to the conclusion that we would substitute the steel with MDF, which is easy to manipulate and very cheap, then we decided to use ply instead of hard wood so that it had the appearance of a nice wood grain but was again cheap to produce. Then there came the problem of the actual sound. Now we definitely couldn’t afford as students to get our hands on directional audio technology so we decided we would sacrifice our desktop speakers to put inside the final model.

After we had all our measurements and materials sorted it was time to get into the workshop and bust this thing out. Our first day was reasonably efficient and we were happy with the progress we had made as a group although we noticed that at times working in this situation as a group turned it into a bit of a shituation as we had four dudes all trying help perform one simple task that only required two dudes if not one dude. Another thing I noticed was that a couple of members of our group were a bit more experienced with working in the workshop and found it a little frustrating having to explain everything all the time. But our group was really quick to identify this and quickly adjusted tasks that everyone was comfortable taking on. This proved to be a much more efficient way to work and saw the next day in the workshop to move along very smoothly with very few hiccups.

At the end of this week we found ourselves in a positive position, but we all no we have a lot of work ahead before we can knock this on the head.