For new readers, here is a brief summary of my previous blogs..

Topic: FIREPLACES

Problem/How might we statements:


  1. Non-wood fireplace users need a way to create a fire within their home that is as realistic as possible, because they would like to take advantage of modern technology while still maintaining the authenticity of real fireplaces. How might we make gas fireplaces (and other non wood burning fireplaces) more authentic?

  2. Wood burning fireplace users need a way to make the fire starting and cleaning routines more efficient because wood burning fireplaces require more maintenance than other types of fireplaces. How might we make the process of using real wood fireplaces more efficient?


Top 5 Ideas:

  • Adjustable scent emitter for artificial fireplaces (pine, cinnamon, wood fire smell, etc.)

  • Multi-function tool for wood burning fireplaces (lighting fire, brush or vacuum for cleaning up ash, etc.)

  • Adjustable noise soundtrack for artificial fireplaces (crackling and sizzling sound of burning wood)

  • Integration of tool and wood storage in the design of a wood burning fireplace

  • Tool specific for marshmallow or hot dog roasting in fireplace

Now that you're all caught up, its time to show you my idea selection process!

EVALUATION CRITERIA


  1. Does the idea have marketability strength?

  2. Am I personally interested in this idea?

  3. How unique is this idea?

  4. Is it feasible to turn it into a product?

  5. How big is the impact of this idea?

  6. Is there a clear need?


PUGH CHART
Pugh chart.jpg
As you can see from the chart, some of the ideas were tied. The scent emitter, multi-function tool, and the tool for roasting marshmallows all had the same number of S's and +'s. Therefore, I had to resort to looking at which criteria each thing scored higher on. Since personal interest and uniqueness mean more to me than some of the other criteria, I chose to go with the scent emitter for my final selection. This idea also happened to be the highest scoring one out of the ten from the survey. Because I wanted to spice it up for an even better and more unique object, I decided to include the noise soundtrack idea in my final design. The purpose of this would be to create an all-in-one machine for people with artificial fireplaces, so they too can experience the ambiance of a real wood-burning fireplace.

Some names I was choosing between:


  • FireTime Simulation

  • MyFire

  • FireHour

  • (h)ourFire

  • Coz-E

  • HearthBox


Unfortunately, I did a Google search and found that FireTime and Coz-E already exist as product names. My final choice ended up being...
the hearthbox.jpg
The HearthBox would fit into the slats of a gas or electric fireplace vent. The scent emitting part would be on one side, and would work similarly to an AirWick. Fragrance oil could be poured into the compartment and a wick sticking out would emit scent as the fireplace turns on and heats it up. There would be a dial for adjusting the strength of the scent. On the other half is the sound box, with a speaker in the front and a dial for adjusting the noise level. It would be a recording of the crackling and sizzling sounds of a real fire. The entire box would need to be composed or covered in a heat-resistant material, like silicone. It would also be easily removable, in order to replace or refill fragrance when needed. Refill bottles could be sold seperately at the store. Available scents would include:

  • Burning wood (smokey fire smell)

  • Pine Tree

  • Maple Tree

  • Oak Tree

  • Cedar

  • Cinnamon

  • Apple

  • Pumpkin

  • Caramel

  • Gingerbread

  • Sugar Cookie


For the pitch on Tuesday, I am thinking about making a protoype out of polystyrene (foam) and if I have time, making a supplemental poster.
I don't have a video uploaded because I am not quite sure how to do it. Any advice?

Assignment 6 (idea evaluation!)

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For new readers, here is a brief summary of my previous blogs..

Topic: FIREPLACES

Problem/How might we statements:


  1. Non-wood fireplace users need a way to create a fire within their home that is as realistic as possible, because they would like to take advantage of modern technology while still maintaining the authenticity of real fireplaces. How might we make gas fireplaces (and other non wood burning fireplaces) more authentic?

  2. Wood burning fireplace users need a way to make the fire starting and cleaning routines more efficient because wood burning fireplaces require more maintenance than other types of fireplaces. How might we make the process of using real wood fireplaces more efficient?


Top 10 Ideas:

  1. Adjustable noise soundtrack for artificial fireplaces (crackling and sizzling sound of burning wood)

  2. Adjustable scent emitter for artificial fireplaces (pine, cinnamon, wood fire smell, etc.)

  3. Tool specific for marshmallow or hot dog roasting in fireplace

  4. Multi-function tool for wood burning fireplaces (lighting fire, brush or vacuum for cleaning up ash, etc.)

  5. Wood burning fireplace tools with ergonomic handles made of silicone

  6. Combined wood storage and paper shredding device for fire starting

  7. Combined air blower and water sprayer for cleaning out wood burning fireplace after use

  8. Wood burning fireplace tools made of clay to add lightness and aesthetic variation

  9. Pinching device on the end of a poker tool for wood burning fireplace sets

  10. Integration of tool and wood storage in the design of a wood burning fireplace


To receive feedback on these ideas, I created a survey on SurveyMonkey.com. I sent it out to a few of my friends and family, and had them send it out to people they know as well. My survey consisted of 10 questions:

  1. About how often do you use a fireplace?

  2. Please rank the following ideas from best to worst by selecting a number for each choice. Remember what your top choice is, you will use it to answer the following questions.

  3. Please describe how your top choice from the last question might look as a product.

  4. How likely is it that you or someone you know would buy this product?

  5. About how much would you be willing to pay for this product? (Please enter a whole number. Enter the number of dollars you are willing to pay.)

  6. How useful is this product?

  7. How innovative is this product?

  8. What do you like most about this idea?

  9. What do you like least about this idea?

  10. What changes would most improve this product?


To establish how relevant the topic was, I wanted to include the graph from the first question. (Asking how often the respondent uses a fireplace).
Graph Data.JPG
The graph shows that there will be market potential due to how often most people use fireplaces. It also shows that there will be some variation in the answers, since at least one person does not own a fireplace at all.

The second question, in which I asked my audience to rank the 10 ideas from best to worst, was very helpful as far as seeing which ideas I should move forward with. For the point system, I looked at everyone's top 5 ideas and delegated number 1 ideas with 5 points, number 2 ideas with 4 points, and so on. (Numbers on x-axis correspond to list above). The results are as follows:
product popularity graph.JPG
As can be seen on the graph, the top 5 ideas are: Adjustable scent emitter, tool for marshmallow or hot dog roasting, multi-function tool for wood burning fireplaces, adjustable noise soundtrack, and an integration of tool and wood storage.

marketability graph.JPG

Scent Emitter
scent.JPG


  • Existing patent: Robert E. McCarthy, Scent Emitting Systems, September 20 1984

  • Biggest concern: Deciding on a material choice, how it would be constructed

  • Cost estimate: If using wax and fragrance oils, and fireproof material: $15


Noise Effects
noise effects.JPG

  • Existing patent: Dominic H. Lastoria, Fire Sound Simulator, August 11 1997

  • Biggest concern: Where/how it would be installed

  • Cost estimate: $30


Tool and Wood Storage
tool and wood storage.JPG

  • Existing patent: Jimmy H. Erskine and Hal E. Martin, Organizer rack for storage of firewood, kindling, newspaper and fireplace tools, November 24 1981

  • Biggest concern: How it would be installed, balancing non-traditional with utilitarian

  • Cost estimate: $80


Multi-function Tool
multi function tool.JPG

  • Existing patent: Todd Russell Ingram, Friction Grip Fireplace Tool, April 22, 2004

  • Biggest concern: Combining functions in a smooth and aesthetically pleasing way

  • Cost estimate: $35


Marshmallow/Hot Dog Roasting
marshmallow roasting.JPG

  • Existing patent: Michael McGuigan, Marshmallow Roaster, June 11 2008

  • Biggest concern: Safety and ease of use

  • Cost estimate: $15


My topic is FIREPLACES

PART 1: SCAMPER
Capture.jpg

Substitute
-Change the color to brighten up space, or match living room
-Use it in a different place - poking leaves or trash
-Use other materials - clay, brass, fiberglass?
-Change its shape - add a part that curves down
-Change its shape - make it look like a rake
-Change its shape - change handle
Capture 4.jpg

Combine
-Combine poker tool with others in fireplace tool set
-Combine with a clamping mechanism
-Combine tool with wood storage
Capture 5.jpg

Adapt
-Similar things are trash poker, weed grabber, pinch style pick-up tool, back scratcher, shoe horn, marshmallow roaster
-Copy the multiple point idea for the bottom, and the curved handle
-Incorporate ideas of fire starting, cleaning and storage
-Could be something useful for gas fireplaces also
-ideas outside field to incorporate could be cooking food. (marshmallows, hot dogs, etc.)
Capture 6.jpg

Magnify/Modify
-Add multi-functionality with an additional sharp piece at end for cooking food
-Add ergonomic grips to handle
-Used more often if it works for gas fireplaces too
-Points at end could be more exaggerated and curved
-Add extra features: broom/brush, lighter, blower
Capture 7.jpg

Put to Other Use
-Could also be used to pick up trash
-Could be used as a device for blind people
-A child would probably not be able to lift the tool since its pretty heavy, but an older person might use it as a cane or walking stick.
-If it is modified, it could be a tool that is easier to use without a fully functioning body
-If I didn't know anything about the poker tool before using it, I would not be able to figure out the purpose because it is very simple and general looking. However, when it is with other tools by a fireplace it is easier to figure out the purpose.
Capture 8.jpg

Eliminate
-Take away the weight somehow, make it not so heavy
-Could simplify it with other, cheaper materials
-Could make it more sustainable
-Telescoping parts - eliminates length
Capture 9.jpg

Reverse/Rearrange
-Better arrangement of sharper curved edge at one end
-Adding designs, fabrics, or anything decorative would make this tool stand out more and could give it value
-Exact opposite of original intentions would be a cupped piece to put fire out with instead of a device to start one
-Opposite material qualities so it is a light object rather than a heavy one
-Rearrange complete fireplace tool set so the traditional tools don't have to be used
Capture 10.jpg

PART 2: Table-based Tools
Capture 2.jpg

PART 3: From Silly to Serious
Capture 3.jpg

PART 4: The Final 10
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Capture 18.jpg

Capture 19.jpg

Capture 20.jpg


Assignment4 (Brainstorming!)

| 3 Comments

I recruited some acquaintances from other classes: Ben, Mary, Kaya, and Dennis, to help me with this fun assignment! Also participating were Sophie and Andrew from class, so we had a nice large group!

To begin, I facilitated some improv games with my group. We played a couple of the games from HUGE theater company: Red Ball and Kitty Wants A Corner. After those, I taught them the game I came up with. It's called 'Now Gimme A Noun!' All the players stand in a circle. The first person to go shouts out a noun (person place or thing) and the next person, moving clockwise, makes a sound that could be identified with that word. The third person makes an action, and the 4th person says a describing word (adjective) for that noun. In summary the order goes Noun>>Sound>>Action>>Adjective and then starts over with a new noun. It is meant to be played at a very quick pace, and generated hilarious results!

After the super silly vibes started flowing, I facilitated the brainstorming part that address my topic of FIREPLACES.

PROBLEM STATEMENTS (and their resulting 'how might we' statements)
1. Non-wood fireplace users need a way to create a fire within their home that is as realistic as possible, because they would like to take advantage of modern technology while still maintaining the authenticity of real fireplaces.

How might we make gas fireplaces (and other non wood burning fireplaces) more authentic?

2. Wood burning fireplace users need a way to make the fire starting and cleaning routines more efficient because wood burning fireplaces require more maintenance than other types of fireplaces.

How might we make the process of using real wood fireplaces more efficient?

LET THE BRAINSTORMING BEGIN!
For the session, we used one of the methods that was mentioned in class (the 6-3-5 method), since I wanted to explore another type of brainstorming other than the ones we have already gotten to do. Each person started off with a piece of paper, and split it into 3 columns. An idea was written in each column, and after 5 minutes the paper was passed to the left. The next person would either get inspiration from those ideas or come up with 3 new ones. The papers kept being passed until there were about 12 ideas on each page. In total, each statement took twenty minutes to get through. I ended up with about 60 ideas for each statement, so around 120 overall! This left our group with an IPM of 3. Below are photos of the session!

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And after sorting and voting, our top ideas are as follows:

PROBLEM STATEMENT 1
color changing.jpg
crackle noise.jpg
fake smell.jpg
fake smoke.jpg
marshmallow.jpg
(Credit for ideas are in order: Mary, Ben, Mary, Kaya, Ben)

PROBLEM STATEMENT 2
air sprayer.jpg
compost bin.jpg
multi function.jpg
water extinguisher.jpg
storage space.jpg
(Credit for ideas are in order: Mary, Kaya, Mary, Dennis, Mary)

Assignment3 (ethnographic research)

| 2 Comments

My Winter sub-theme is fireplaces!

ASK
Interviewing people for the assignment gave me lots of insight on this topic that never would have occurred to me otherwise! I tried to talk to different people in order to get as unbiased information as possible.

The first person I talked to was Ashley, a girl I approached in the Rapson Hall courtyard. I had her in a couple of classes but besides that we didn't talk much.
-What was the last experience you had with a fireplace? She looked at one. The one in her living room at her parent's house. She likes to sit by it but it hasn't been on much yet because it wasn't cold out the last time she went home. She doesn't turn it on herself because she can't figure it out, not intuitive.
-Both fireplaces in her home are gas. She likes gas fireplaces because they still look really nice. But they don't smell like real fireplaces, or look as pretty and classic. misses authenticity. likes fake wood smelling candles.
-Says she will sometimes take the fireplace for granted, especially her gas ones because it is much more simple than the wood ones, requires less effort.
-Still uses it the same, has a mantle with candles, a bench in front for seating when couches are full, hang stockings from it.
-She would guess that the main differences would be in the interactions with the fireplace, because there is a social factor in preparing a wood burning fireplace vs. just flipping a switch.
-Barely ever use downstairs fireplace. Main gathering spot is one in living room. Most-used space in house. Open presents and stockings, reading, talking, watching tv, eating at bar area by it. Whole living room is centered around it.
-Without it her family wouldn't have central area for meeting, it would be noticeably different in comfort level without one. Even when its not on, it still looks nice and completes the room.
-Doesnt like how hard it is to figure out how to use, otherwise she'd use it more. Really confusing, too many buttons. Also have to be cautious about leaving it on too long.
-Says a lot of homes don't even necessarily need the fireplace, many don't have one. Just adds that next level of comfort and traditon.

The second was my neighbor down the street from my parent's house. I chose to interview him because he has an older house with a wood fireplace with rooms that have been renovated to include a gas fireplace. He has had a lot of experience with both so I thought he would be able to provide me with good information. Below are images of his fireplaces and the interview responses.
-Memories around fireplace? Last winter both of my kids were over and I played games with them in the living room in front of the fireplace. chess, battleship
-Everyone loves the warmth and the heat
-wood: doesnt like cleaning glass. good for safety but has to clean frequently. also has to haul wood inside, which can make a mess or bang up the inside of the house. has to find it and store in a dry place which is sometimes hard. There is also buildup in the "flue area piping" in a real fireplace w/chimney. Chimney maintenance can be hard, clay tile can crack. Likes that he can shut glass safety doors with fire on and leave it on even overnight.
-Doesn't like the current placement. It works as far as having guests over and social or family gathering, but for practicality would rather have it in basement. Since heat rises, would want it in coldest part of the house and then it would help heat rest of house. Because currently, the top floor gets very hot when the wood fireplace is on in main level living room.
-feels warm, safe, inviting
-biggest differences: gas/electric is easier. they also look more realistic nowadays. less expensive than wood fireplaces. A lot safer. Cost of installation is cheaper. much more convenient, don't have to go through so much preparation just flick a switch
-people choose to sit in front of his wood fireplace first. Its more work to use, but because of that it feels like more of a special occasion when it is on.
-1 wood fireplace would equal the cost of a couple of gas fireplaces.
-Most new houses have gas fireplaces because of the simplicity and versatile placement opportunities. Although there are still wood fireplaces in higher end home. Becomes a part of the aesthetic and ambiance rather than heat source.
-When choosing between his wood one and gas one, it is mostly dependent on the room itself. Uses wood one to get the "cozy feelings" effect, whereas the gas one is used mostly for heating because it is in a 3 season room with lots of windows.
-Overall consensus: fireplaces are inviting. People are always going to be attracted to them and the demand will always be there, even if need is more aesthetic than purposeful. "As long as you got a fireplace and it's warm, that's what people are looking for."
wood fireplace pdes.jpg
gas fireplace pdes.jpg

The last person I interviewed was Elise, another acquaintance from a class.
-memories associated: when little, grandparents had fireplace in living room, they would all gather at the central location to social. christmases and holidays. memory of everyone being together, good times. Very big, connected to the chimney. all wood one, pile of wood on right side, tools all on left side. brick bottom and walls were also brick so it all flowed together nicely. more homey.
-opened up xmas presents there, thanksgiving would watch football there and fireplace was always on. grandpa would make fire, always watch him do that.
-what kind of feelings: nostalgic, happy, warm inside.
-Don't like fake fireplaces. If you have a fireplace go all out. Likes the idea of a fireplaces. Fake fireplace are ones that don't have real fire, don't need wood for. Likes the smell of real fireplaces.
-Yule log video: NO. just silly and pointless. cheesy. give none of the same effects. not warm or nostalgic.
-feel fine about gas ones with switch. likes characteristics of wood burning ones the best. says gas ones are not as good but still cleaner, easier, more modern.
-What would world be like w/o fireplaces. wouldnt affect world too much. back in the day when people needed them to stay warm they were a lot more necessary, but in this day we all have indoor heating so it's more of a socializing thing to connect with people. Decorative.
-in the future, in her own home, would want an old fashioned fireplace if she has the means. would only be used on special occasions.


OBSERVE
I observed the lobby area of the new rec center addition. One of the key features is a huge fireplace on the righthand side of the entrance. I sat for a while to watch and listen to people in those areas. I heard someone say to her friend, "I love to study here because of the fireplace". People seem to gravitate towards the spots closest to the fireplace, whether alone or not. One person is sleeping in one of the big chairs next to it. Interestingly, there are more people in the seating area across the lobby with tables and chairs, rather than the fireplace area. This could be because the place across the room seems to be better suited for studying. There are groups of people sitting at the tables talking, with their laptops out. Different furniture: chairs and tables. Whereas the fireplace side has larger, more comfortable seating choices and people seem to be there for relaxation purposes rather than studying. Seems much quieter on side with fireplace, which could be why groups choose to go to the tables on the other side of the lobby. The feeling that you have to be calmer or quieter by fireplace could be what is dictating this dynamic.
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EXPERIENCE
For the experience part, I decided to meet with a friend in the same location I chose to observe people, which was in the lobby area of the new rec center. It was a friend that I hadn't seen in a while, so I suggested that we meet there and have our conversation on one of the chairs in front of the fireplace. After sitting there for a while, we moved to a different location further away from the fireplace to see how things changed. We found ourselves wanting to move back to our original spot by the fire! It definitely felt more intimate to be near the fireplace, even though the surrounding noises and voice levels were just as loud in both locations.


After my interviews and observations, I noticed a few areas of improvement regarding fireplaces: gas ones can be confusing to manipulate, yule log videos are unrealistic and cheesy, wood fireplaces are more expensive and difficult to clean, gas fireplaces lack the smells of real ones, wood ones are significantly more work to install and use. It was also important to note that everyone mentioned feelings of warmth, togetherness, and cozy ambiance when asked how they would describe fireplaces. Therefore, any solutions that are developed must still retain these crucial aspects. My problem statement is as follows: Non-wood fireplace users need a way to create a fire within their home that is as realistic as possible because they would like to take advantage of modern technology while still maintaining the authenticity of real fireplaces.

BUG LIST
This is an image of my bug list so far!
20131111_133014.jpg

To first get into a fun and goofy mood for this assignment, I read "I Could Pee On This", a book I own that is full of poetry written from a cat's perspective
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I also watched one of my favorite comedies, "White Chicks"
White-Chicks.png
Then I got to work on my mind map, which turned out something like this
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I kept coming up with one idea after another. The ideas would seemingly go in thousands of different directions, but I started to match related words that I had written in another category. Ironically, the more ideas I came up with, the more relationships I found between categories! One sub-category in particular turned out to be especially interesting: Christmas. While it is one of the most common staples of winter, some of the words I eventually reached were pretty entertaining. Below is an elaboration of the Christmas sub-category.
20131104_114238.jpg
To narrow all of my word down into 10 different silly ideas, I closed my eyes and pointed randomly to two different spots on my Christmas word map. This made things really fun and challenging, because I would have to come up with ways that the words could be related. The results are in!
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P.S. From class on Tuesday, I chose these 3 winter sub-themes: Christmas Party Decorations, Christmas Sweaters, and Fireplaces.

Assignment1

| 6 Comments

I started out thinking about fun shapes I could make out of cookies
20131028_113322.jpg
The creativity part was originally going to be in the shape of the cookie, as opposed to the ingredients. But then I thought, why can't I do both?

I began brainstorming what kind of ingredients would potentially taste good together
Thumbnail image for 20131028_113330.jpg

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I was thinking of unique ways to mix the ingredients together, and how to pair them. I thought of the way truffles are made, with the flavor combinations inside. They served as inspiration for my truffle cookie experiment!

I created a full pan of sugar cookie cups, and experimented with many different filling combinations.

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After trying out 12 different combinations, I along with my 5 roommates tested them out to discover our favorites!

THE WINNER(S) Sugar cookie filled with Nutella and popcorn, sugar cookie filled with Nutella, pumkin spice hersheys kisses, and pecans

Final recipes, each will make 12 cookies

POPCORN-NUTELLA TRUFFLES
24-hole mini muffin tin
1 mini bag of popped popcorn
1 jar of nutella
basic sugar cookie dough (rolled into 24 1-inch balls)

PUMPKIN-NUTELLA-PECAN TRUFFLES
24-hole mini muffin tin
12 Hershey's pumpkin kisses
1 jar of nutella
chopped pecans
basic sugar cookie dough (rolled into 24 1-inch balls)

For both recipes, create the sugar cookie dough first. Then, put the 1-inch balls into each hole in the muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. While still hot, use a rounded utensil to press down into each cookie, making bowl shapes. Fill 12 of the cookie bowls with either of the sets of ingredients above, then cap them with the remaining 12 cookie bowls. Let cool, then enjoy!

Recent Comments

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