In the elevator with a Walleye

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Pugh chart.pdf

In the end I decided to work between three of my ideas from these last weeks. My benchmarking idea was a knit cap with two LED's sewn into the front and back of the hat. It is also the idea that I used for the Scamper activity.
Going up against the cap, I have a helmet liner (as in for a bicycle helmet) that is trimmed with a line of LED's, aiding visibility.
Lastly, from the very beginning of this course, high heel crampons or now what are called minimal crampons. They're simple straps you can place around any shoe, and have stabilizing skins on them.

Through working with my pugh chart, the minimal crampons won. Now I need to work up a product name for them. I want these to be a useful device, but one associated with dressing up. They're meant to be used with more formal or fashionable shoes. I want packaging that emphasizes their light profile, making them easy to slip into a purse or coat pocket. There are some connotations I want to avoid when talking about hiding them in a purse and that they're modeled after crampons (because we all know what that rhymes with). When describing them, I call them minimal crampons and that makes me want to keep the name very simple as well. One word.

names.jpg

I settled on Claws.

I appreciate that the name is incredibly truthful. It has plenty of truthiness. It speaks to their form and function There is a bit of a playful connotation, or possibly a metaphorical (the claws come out) one as well. Are we now allowing people to tap into their animation side?

I played around with spelling Claws' differently. Or translating it into different languages as well. All romance languages spell the word 'claws' with a g in the word. Giffre, garras, artigli...
Scandinavian and dutch tongues are more similar to our word klauwen, kl√łen, karmai, klor...
In the end, what I liked best was the classic english spelling. Everything else quickly became too childish or unpronounceable.

Scampering

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This is the second time I've SCAMPERED in recent history. This time it was much easier because of all those fabulous questions we were given in the slides. I'm still working with winter hats as my sub theme,

For this assignment I used an existing hat or helmet with integrated light components.
LED Knit Caps.jpg
Meet our knit cap with LED in the the front. From what I can tell, this item is not actually sold any longer. This particular version comes in both male and female styles. It's funny, when I went to search for 'hat with integrated light' the first result was from my own blog.

Substitute
1. Substitute the battery pack for an alternative power source-PV panel on the top
2. Substitute the autonomous LED light for a flexible light fabric that is woven into the hat
material
3. Change the colour, currently black-why not radiant orchid?

Combine
1. Combine the hat with a helmet- as a liner
2. Combine the hat with a helmet- with armour gel protecting the head
3. Combine the hat with a hydrophobic windscreen- a car windshield for your face.

Adapt
This was the hardest for me. It took a very long time to come up with anything for this.

Magnify/Minify
1. If it was an integrated light in a hat, not only cyclists would find this useful as I've thought before, but plumbers and spelunkers as well. People who work in dark places where they are likely to hit their head.
2. Magnify the hat to cover the entire face, basically a balaclava.

Biomimicry
I love the natural realm and think about plants and animals often.
1. Musk ox, big horn sheep, yaks: how does the skull shape of these animals protect their brains when exposed to such massive impacts?
2. Beetle exoskeletons: how does the exoskeleton distribute force around the shell and protect the creature with such a thin material?
3. Bioluminescence: that of a firefly, or possibly a glow worm.

Put to Other Use
If there is an integrated light source surrounding your head it could be an ambient light source in any situation.
If set upon an object or stand the hat could become a table lamp.

Eliminate
1.Does it need fabric? could it all the light? or an electric coil providing the heat to warm one's head?

Rearrange
1. Interchangeable lighting elements,
2. Move the light from just the front to all around the head, for greater visibility.

I used the TILMAG matrix to look even further into this issue of a hat with an integrated lighting element.

Brains Alive!

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Fortunately for me I live in a world of creative people, so when I propositioned my friends to come to a brainstorming session that I was hosting there was a resounding cry of 'yes'!
I had six people originally confirm their attendance to my brainstorming session, I only added fresh pie as a sweetener to the deal. I had three architects, a musician, a graphic designer/salesperson, and an English student. We are all creative individuals, with different passions and daily lives. We were all hat wearers, and some of us had distinct problems with hats.
And then the day of brainstorm comes, and goes, without anyone showing up... I played out my frustrations into a plate of corned beef hash instead.
The rescheduled session for Sunday night went much better, I had some people not make it, but a quick invite to our painter of a neighbor meant that our numbers were back to five.

brainstormcouch.jpg

jensenbrain.jpg

I took my problem statements from last round and converted them into how might we statements. 'Caitlin, an avid cyclist, needs a way to keep her head warm while biking because hats don't fit underneath her helmet, and hoods fly off when she is biking' became 'how might we keep our heads warm while biking?' My second identified problem "Anna needs a way to keep her head warm while dealing with any hairstyle she might have, because her current selection of headgear doesn't fit with her hair" became 'how might we keep our head warm without mussing our hair?'

During the session, we warmed up by first dancing to a little Kanye West, and then some Lorde. As a group we have slightly eclectic tastes. Getting down to business, we started with a bad ideas round. We came up with some truly horrible hats. My favorites being a giant hand that squeezes your head until your brains begin to leak, and a hat made out of the best magnet in the world, so large metal objects would just begin to fly towards your head.

bad ideas.jpg

For the next round we tackled the first of the problem statements, asking the group how might we keep our heads warm while biking. The ideas were fairly standard, and quickly divulged from keeping our heads warm to just hats that might be useful while biking. Sherpa lined helmets, hats that read off your text messages to you, hats with built in windshields dominated this round.

During the ethnography assignment I was critiqued for not addressing the concerns of people outside of the young adult demographic, whether they be children or senior citizens.
We looked at the possible needs of senior citizen first, and the ideas were almost all extremely silly. Our brainstorming was kind of based on our pre conceived notions of what being a senior citizen is like, missing your absent children, struck with nostalgia, infeeble, etc...
I think we a better job at coming up with ideas for hats for children. I talked to some parents I met in Nordeast. They voiced concerns with being able to keep hats on their children, often the kids, especially toddlers don't want to wear the hats, and will take them off. We mostly though that if wearing a hat could become more fun, then maybe a kid would wear it without complaint. Lots of animals in this round, and a few hats that moved in the wind or reacted to the wearers movements.

Lastly, we talked about the second how might we statement. We came up with ideas for hats that don't interfere with hairstyle, or accommodate certain hair styles. One of our members voiced concern that her hats alway slipped off her hair, because it was so smooth. Velcro hats, expanding hats, hats made of hair, all different sorts of interesting ideas came forth.

We silently sorted the ideas on the wall. Arranging categories that we could reason through easily.
silent sort.jpg
The final groupings were: Animals and Hats, Hats and technology, Nostalgia in Hats, Hats that Harm, Food Hats, Sensory Experience Hats, Helmet Hats and Hats that Expand or Change Shape. We voted on the ideas on the board and our favorites emerged as following:

1. Dolphin Hat, which waves in the wind over your head.
dolphinhat.jpg

2.Helmet Hat, which protects and warms the head of the wearer by being hat cover for your helmet. By Matt Dooley
helmethat.jpg

3. Armor Gel Hat. Non newtonian gel hardens on impact, protecting the head.
armourgelhat.jpg

4. Kitty Hat, with turn signals
kittyhat.jpg

5. Life Alert Hat, a hat that senses you falling and sends out a life alert should you need it. By Katrina Matejcik.
lifealerthat.jpg

6. Sherpa lined helmet, sort of the inside out version of the helmet hat. By Jensen Enz.
sherpahemet.jpg

7. Not sure how it would work, but the spray on hat. To conform to an hairstyle. By Matt Dooley.sprayonhat.jpg

8. Velcro Hat, it has small hooks to hold onto your smooth hair.
velcrohat.jpg

9. Bubble Hat, a large bubble on your head. By Katrina Matejcik
bubblehat.jpg

10. Bike Light Hat, an integrated light.
bikelighthat.jpg

Our IPM was a solid .761, and afterwards we enjoyed pie.
pie.jpg

Assignment 3, Ethnography

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The theme I'll be working with for the rest of the class is........ Hats!

I love a good hat. I'm one of those people who will wear hats all throughout the year. I have the most variety of hat in the winter, but I'm old fashioned and like to shield my delicate skin with a summer bonnet as well. Personally, my very favourite hat I own is a huge Russian creation. It's called a Mongolka, or Mongolian style hat, made of black sheepskin. Here's a portrait a local artist name Ivan did of me in it.
mongolka.jpg

I love this hat for its warmth. It is made entirely from sheepskin, and it is very plush. I also love the statement this hat makes. I feel like a character when I wear this creation, a feeling that enjoy immensely. It is also so thick in its wool that it becomes an anywhere pillow, meaning I can take comfortable naps every moment. It's a dangerous hat to wear when sleepy.

I interviewed four different people for this assignment, and casually talked to several more about hats in their lives. My expert that I isolated was an apparel design major who I met through a mutual friend, she is a junior in the program here and someone I didn't know before this project. We talked about her experience designing hats, and how she chooses to wear her own headgear.
The transcripts from the interviews are somewhat illegible, so I'll transcribe for you here the most relevant excerpts.

Tim; a local musician, the casual user:

What was your last experience with a hat?
I wore a beret yesterday. It was part of a costume. Wearing that hat made me feel French and a little bit like an asshole. It really helped me solidify the character I was going for. It felt great.

Any problems with that hat?
Nope, it stayed on well. The opening had an elastic band that kept it close to my head, which is nice because usually hats are too big or too small for me. I have a big head and large hats are oft too large me- the same thing happens with bike helmets- I feel neglected by the lack of proper hat sizing.

What do you value in a hat?
Function. Utility.

Did the hat have any usefulness to you?
It stayed on well, it worked for the costume. It didn't really keep me warm. I don't really look to a hat to keep me warm.

Why is that? That you don't ask a hat to be warm?
I only want a hat to be warm when it is cold, and I wear them more than just when it is cold. I have a lot of hair to keep me warm most of the year, so the hat doesn't need to be super warm as well. It want it to stay on my head and look cool. I really like silly hats.

Why silly hats?
The Pope has a hat, Napoleon has a hat, Carmen San Diego has a hat, they all are recognizable by their hats. A hat is a quick way to make a bold statement to the world. Like, put on a a fedora without the full 1930's gangster look to go with it, and the panache, you're suddenly a douchebag.

Anna; a distant connection, the designer:

The last experience you had with a hat?
I saw a beautiful hat in a shop recently. It was almost a boater style with an unexpected slope in the center of it, very dynamic. I wanted to purchase it but it was a summer hat, not a warm one. It was made of rattan and I remembered how far away summer was, so I left it there.

Ever had a memorable time with a winter hat?
Yeah, the first time I bought one. I grew up in Hawaii, and had obviously no need for a warm thing to cover my head with. A lot of things about winter I never had the chance to experience until I moved to MN. I bought my first real hat last year.

Was it exciting?
Yes! I love the cold, the change of season, I like being prepared for it. And as a designer, any chance to change my wardrobe is exciting. I now enjoy wearing a hat, I much prefer to wearing a hood. I'm frustrated that I can't wear a hat with my hair up though.

Why no hair up with a hat on?
It looks stupid. I have too much hair for it to all fit underneath a hat. it changes the fit and I feel like my head looks misshapen with a hat on. Hoods offer plenty of space but don't have the right fit for my head to neck ratio. They always fall off.

Caitlin; design student, cyclist, snowboarder:

Tell me about a memorable experience you had with a winter hat
Well, I bike a lot and wear a helmet when I do, I can never find a hat that works well with my helmet. My favourite hat has a big pom pom on top. It's so fun and exuberant, but it doesn't fit underneath a helmet. And even if there isn't a big pompom, the hat often is stretched out by the helmet and sometimes covers your eyes.

What do you do to fix that?
Sometimes I wear a headband that is knit instead of a full hat. It doesn't keep me as warm, but it fits well. I feel like it is more feminine than a whole hat too. If it is snowing outside I will not wear a headband because it doesn't cover the top of your head, meaning it will get wet.
Also, headbands will stretch out, and not stay on top of your head. Buttons help, maybe elastic would too.

How does your hat use change between everyday wear to more extreme activities?
Well, when snowboarding you want a really snug hat, so that it stays on better and that it will fit underneath your giant helmet. But sometimes with the snowboard you just start sweating and have to take the hat off.

Ever loose it?
Surprisingly, no.

These themes of femininity when wearing hat was a consistent issue with females I talked to. Even when I observed people wearing hats on campus, women represented all the individuals wearing headbands. Men seemed to prefer hoods over anything, or a hat and hood together.
I also talked to many people who were worried about how a hat sits on their head and how much of their hair they were showing.

Let's look at some examples.
1452430_10153436908215587_225331801_n.jpg
Katrina found a way to combine hat and helmet. Now her helmet does not cover the front of her head, where it should be. But she's a cutie!

561933_10153436908100587_1352609880_n.jpg
Forgoing hat entirely in favour for hood, Caitlin wears her helmet in the right spot. Later on when she got her bike, the hood was pushed back by the wind and she was glad for the scarf around her neck.

1456640_10153436908655587_1346868924_n.jpg
Evan put his hat on and then reached underneath it to grab one curl and bring it forward to make himself not look bald.

1463151_10153436908455587_1905780068_n.jpg
Fran models an attractive an feminine beret. She says it slips about on her long hair though.

I wear a lot of hats. I tried on all my hats that I have here and scored them for warmth, style, and hair manageability.
hatchart.jpg

For me, my hat that was bigger overall was the best rated on my criteria. The problems that I found in my research that people tend to have with hats lie in two big categories. These problems come up over and over again.

Caitlin, an avid cyclist, needs a way to keep her head warm with a helmet, because the hats she has are too bulky.
She talked directly about cycling and snowboarding with hat and helmet on, and when it came down to it, she didn't wear a hat with her helmet and later complained of a cold head.

Anna, a fashion conscious winter time walker, needs a way to wear hat beautifully, because her current options make a mockery of her hairstyle.
She mentioned this problem as a frustration she has found with hats in the past while we were talking.

Assignment 2, Map those Minds!

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I play more than most people. I find the opportunity to play at almost any moment. Crossing the parking lot becomes and opportunity to dance, to twirl and enjoy moving. Standing at a crosswalk, I'm making up stories of those around me, trying to piece together how they live their lives. I smile without great reason to do so. When I make food or enjoy food being given to me, the whole act becomes this game for me, of presentation and fulfillment.
So, being asked to play first for this assignment was no challenge for me. I went dancing at the Loring Pasta Bar, where they have live tango band every weekend. I have danced Argentine tango for a long time and enjoy it immensely. 2013-11-03 19.56.06.jpg
Here's a photo of the band.

Ablaze in the glow of this warm night, I rushed home to think about cold, dark winter intensely. I used a big sheet of paper and multiple markers for my mind map. I listened to some good music, and wrote till I could not fit anymore on the page.
wintermap.jpg
Here's a detail of the mind map:
winterdetail.jpg

My favourite of any of the subthemes that I came up with were Dark/Light, Food and Architecture of Winter. The first two focus on what I really love about winter, those changes in our environment that we can embrace or reject in interesting ways. Whether we nestle down and have squash, potatoes, spiced goods and warm drinks or through it all out for mint, citrus fruits and grilled meats. Or you can find time to meet the darkness of your wintry world, or else light it up. Architecture of winter I would call all those special structures that become useful to us when the temperature drops, saunas, warming huts, ice fishing huts, art shanties on the ice, cabins, ski lodges, etc.

After writing this out for an hour or so, I feel like I had a decent grasp on the season. Now let loose the silliness. I present to you, fair reader, ten silly ideas to manage that six months of our year we call Winter:

1. High Heel Crampons
Want to go out in your beautiful shoes and want a firm grip on the ice? Doesn't matter
that your toes are hanging out, try crampons for your high heels!
highheelcrampons.jpg

2. Shadow Puppet Show on the Snow
Basically a projector to set down in the snow, and you use a snow covered hill as the
backdrop for your production.
shadowpuppet.jpg

3. Edward Forty Hands...of Cocoa!
They're mittens with to-go containers of cocoa sewn into the palms. Take your beverage
on the go, and keep your hands warm in the meantime.
edward40hands.jpg

4. Car Trails
Coloured markers that leave a trail of where your car has been. Meant to show where
others have failed and gotten stuck, so that you may avoid their pitfalls.
colour trail.jpg

5. Chest Mounted Fireplace
What else can be said?
chestfire.jpg

6. Hibernation Coat
Ever feel like everything is just too much? That you can't deal? That you just want to curl
up and never face the world again from a place of ultimate coziness? Then allow me to
introduce the Hibernation Coat!
hibernationcoat.jpg

7. Bubble Hat Cap
Take bubble lights, with all of their retro cool, and put them on your head.
bubblelightcap.jpg

8. Squash Guillotine
Squash are delicious, but hard to cut. Heads are not delicious, and difficult to cut off.
Let's try a guillotine!
squashguillotine.jpg

9. Snowball Gun
Get the advantage on your enemies in that snow battle!
snowballgun.jpg

10. Flavoured Road Salt
Taste the season, on your road!
roadsalt.jpg

Assignment 1

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This assignment seems like an extension of Food and Design. Or that Food and Design is an extension of this project, that Barry just had so much fun with this assignment that he had to expand it out into the scale of a semester. Either way, I can't complain.

I drew out my ideas in my idea notebook, with pictures and words. I tried to write them down whenever I came across them, just so that I had an accurate record of where my thoughts had been. Like usual in this process, I first substituted. I had made pumpkin cookies a few weeks ago for Assignment 2 in Food and Design, and have some butternut squash sitting on my table. Butternut squash will make the same puree as pumpkin, and can be quite sweet, so why not.

squash laid out.jpg

I boiled the butternut squash this time around, I was not feeling patient enough for my usual roasting. And really, I just wanted the squash to be mushy, since I was going to bake it anyways, so I feel like the preparation is of less importance. I am comfortable with roasting, I like the sound of it. Boiling was a better option for now.

boil squash.jpg

mash squash.jpg

And voila! Squash mash.

flour mixture.jpg

oil sugar.jpg

Using somewhat known ratios, I developed the rest of the recipe.

flour squash mixture.jpg

Squashing it all up

batter.jpg

And then baked, it resembled a delicious cookie. After testing my next idea failed miserably, as you shall read soon, I decided to bring this cookie to class.

cookies.jpg

I had more trouble pushing myself to come up with another solid and pursuable idea. I spent time thinking of what unexpected desserts I had sampled in the past. Chocolate and chili, bacon sweets, lemon and chocolate, apple sorbet, spiced strawberry. In my hometown there is a very famous delicatessen of fine foods called Zingerman's, they're one of the first companies in the U.S. to import fine oils and vinegars from Italy, cured meats from the rest of Europe, to make hearty, thickly crusted bread with the old recipes. They have a gelato made with strawberries and balsamic vinegar, and I decided to take that combination and make it into a cookie.

Over the summer I made a ginger brandy snap with a ginger creme. It was not too far a leap to imagine a strawberry cream made with the leftover marscapone, and replace brandy with balsamic vinegar in what is essentially a sugar cone.
I looked recipes for that original cookie that i could base my own off of, and the first attempt I made was far from successful.

ingredients balsamic.jpg

mixed balsamic1.jpg

While in the pan it did not look right, the sugar hadn't caramelized like it was supposed to, and the flour was making it too thick. The ginger version last summer looked not like this, I was perturbed.

2013-10-24 15.43.08.jpg

Yeah. They are supposed to be thin wafers, made mostly of sugar. Not to resemble ground meat. Hamburger patties they be. Disgusting to look at certainly. I estimate that the flour of this recipe could been reduced by 2/3rds after this run.

For class I brought in the butternut squash cookies. My boyfriend asked for just a touch more sweetness than the plain cookie, something to be another flavour and interest to the base. I had dark chocolate in my cupboard and heavy whipping cream in my fridge, and dark chocolate ganache I made! Here I present final cookie and their recipe:

Butternut Squash Cookies

1 1/2 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp ground Ginger
1 tbsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Cardamon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup butternut squash puree

For the ganache:
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Oven at 350 degrees

1. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and cardamon in a large bowl. Spend some time and care ensure even distribution.

2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In that newly formed space put the brown sugar and then douse with the oil. Add the egg and squash on top of the oil and sugar, still within that well. You will want to mix those wet ingredients together before mixing the whole bowl together. Once ready, mix the batter till smooth.

3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet and use a spoon or small cup to portion some of the batter on the sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or so, till the smell of warm cookies permeates your house or the edges are browned.

4. To make the ganache, place chocolate in pot on the burner, with low heat. Make sure to be constantly stirring the melting chocolate. Pour in heavy whipping cream and stir till distributed. The ganache is then spread in a luscious pile on top of the cookie. Enjoy!

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