Assignment 7

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Family Gatherings Product Selection

Pugh Chart of 5 best Ideas:
Pugh Chart.jpeg

I selected the facial recognition organizer camera as a benchmark product and chose evaluation criteria that were most relevant to the performance of the product in the market.

The idea that I selected to develop was the digital scrapbook.

Key Features:


  • Opens to two pages just like your grandma's old scrapbooks do

  • Sits on the shelf with other books

  • 100s of templates for every season/festivity

  • Design software similar to Adobe InDesign to customize layouts

  • Touch display

  • 32 GB storage for 1000s of photos/scrapbooks

  • The exterior features an 8 MP camera to take pictures and place them directly onto the page for extremely easy creation


With more than 25 million people in the U.S. identifying themselves as "Scrapbookers," this product definitely has market potential.
It would be the only physical device on the market that combines digital creation with viewing. (Not Create then Print)

I've named it Scrap because it's direct and descriptive by clearly identifying what the device is for and it's also is simple, short, and catchy. "Hey, bring your Scrap to the Christmas party tonight!"

Final Sketches:
Scrap Sketch.jpeg
Scrap Sketch 1.jpeg

Here are digital sketches I created of Scrap:
scrap open.jpg
scrap.jpg

Elevator Pitch:

Assignment 6

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Theme: Family Gatherings

MARKETABLE
I created a simple survey matrix using SurveyMonkey of my 10 best product ideas (See descriptions in photo below) and posted it in groups that match my target audience on Facebook asking them to answer "yes or no" if they would purchase each product. I also included a comment box for them to answer how much they would pay for each product that they would be willing to purchase.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 6.46.28 AM.png
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 6.46.52 AM.png
From my results, I've narrowed down my ideas to the top 5 that people would purchase and I believe will be most successful moving forward:
1. Camera that organizes photos based on facial recognition (Average willing purchase price $80)
2. Digital Scrapbook (Average willing purchase price $120)
3. Photo Scavenger Hunt Mobile App (Average willing purchase price $2)
4. Projector Live Feed of Out-of-Town Parties (Average willing purchase price $100)
5. Camera with straps for Candid Point of View Photos (Average willing purchase price $75)

NOVEL

A) State of the Art Analysis

Facial Recognition Software:
This is becoming increasingly popular. Facebook, iPhoto, Picasa, etc. all have simple photo organizing by facial recognition software including the annoying "Want to tag your friend?" on Facebook. These are basic, but there are also movements toward using the software in high-tech was such as at an ATM, crime analysis, and unlocking iPhones. The area that I see has potential for entering the market would be a physical device that one can carry around with facial recognition software, similar to my camera.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 7.26.08 AM.png
iPhoto: Free with mac or $79 Key feature: Automatically organizes albums/events
iPhone 5s: $199* with contract Key feature: fingerprint security
Facebook: Free Key feature in relation to photos: Tagging based on face

Digital Scrapbook:
There are many websites and programs that allow one to create a scrapbook digitally and then print it out into a physical book. There seems to be nothing on the market that is a physical device that allows for scrapbook creation, though. The closest I could find is the iPad with scrapbook apps like ScrapPad, but that still is based on the notion that one has to print their scrapbook when he/she is finished designing it.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 7.36.01 AM.png
Kindle Fire: $140 Key feature: Touch display
Kindle Classic: $79 Key feature: Holds 1000s of Books in small device
iPad Air: $500 Key features: Lightweight, Retina Display, Touch, Variety of Apps, Storage

Mobile Photo Scavenger Hunt App:
I wanted to move traditional paper and pen scavenger hunts to the digital age. I found an app, Scavenger Hunt with Friends, that allows for customizable scavenger hunts, is only $.99, is increasing in popularity and basically my exact idea. Disappointed.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 7.46.34 AM.png

Key feature: Customizable Game

Live Feed Projector:
There are many projectors on the market that go for $400+++. During my research I found many forums about people wanting to broadcast a live stream of video through their projector which did not seem to be an easy task--even for technology educated people. An area I see for potential entry is an inexpensive projector designed for a novice that easily connects to live feed.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 7.53.21 AM.png
Favi LED Mini: $175
Epson VS 220: $380
Panasonic PT AE 2000: $2,500
Epson PowerLite: $1,200

Key features for all: Large display on any screen/wall & Portable

Camera with Straps for Candid POV photos:
I didn't realize that there are several Point-Of-View cameras on the market. The most obvious is GoPro, but I pictured this as being solely for extreme sports and not everyday candid pictures of family and friends. However, there are several other small cameras that instantly take photos from your POV. They can be in sunglasses form, wrap around the ear, or positioned anywhere you please. Most of them are pretty expensive ($400+) and not for the amateur photographer, however.
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 8.05.55 AM.png

GoPro Hero 3: $199-$399 Key feature: Mountable/Hands Free
POV HD: $350 Key feature: POV recording

B) Patent Research

Facial Recognition Software: U.S. Patent No. 8,600,120
Apple recently won a patent for facial recognition on the upcoming iPhone 6

Closest to Digital Scrapbook: Photobook engine powered by blog content U.S. Patent No. 8,577,752
And Digital media album creator: U.S. Patent No. 8,601,372

Mobile Photo Scavenger Hunt App: Hard to find a patent for this one
Closest I could find: Experience information processing apparatus and method for social networking service U.S. Patent No. 8,601,021

Live Feed Projector: Small, adaptable, real-time, scalable image processing chip U.S. Patent No. 8,601,421

Camera with Straps: Creating and editing video recorded by a hands-free video recording device U.S. Patent No. 8,526,779

FEASIBILITY

Camera that organizes photos based on facial recognition:
Approximate production cost ( estimation based off iPhone and Canon DSLR):
Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 9.22.00 PM.png
^iPhone manufacturing costs

16 megapixel camera: $26.00
Battery: $3.60
Strap: $.40
Body: $15.00
Processor: $19
Facial Recognition (based on fingerprint recognition): $15
Screen & Display: $40
Total: $119
This seems low to me, as I'm sure there is much more technology involved. However, I think it's possible to make a relatively low-cost camera because the main feature would be the organization of photos by facial recognition, and not necessarily professional quality images or features.
Challenge: Developing Facial Recognition Technology

Digital Scrapbook:
Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 9.27.38 PM.png
^Kindle Manufacturing Costs

The Amazon Kindle Fire costs $201 to manufacture
The Classic Amazon Kindle supposedly costs $79 to manufacture
The iPad Air costs approximately $274 to manufacture
Based on these similar products, my approximate production cost is:
Display/Screen: $87
Battery: $16.50
Memory: $14
Software: $20
Total: $137.50
I think the digital scrapbook could easily retail for over $200. Although I'm not technologically able to craft it myself, it's body and operating system are definitely feasible to manufacture as they would be similar to the Kindle, iPad, and Shutterfly's scrapbooking software.
Challenge: Low Cost

Mobile Scavenger Hunt App:

I consulted Blue Cloud Solutions on how much developing an App would cost
Approximate production cost:
App store fee: $100/year
1 time cost to hire developer: $10,000

An app wouldn't be hard to create, I would just have to put in lots of hours myself to lower developing costs and provide all of the content and features I want it to have.
Challenge: Time

Live Feed Projector:
I consulted a "How to build your own HD projector" for some estimations and this sketch
Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 9.57.54 PM.png
Lamp: $100
Mirror: $5
Display: $15
TV card for PC: $40
Lens: $10
Processor: $60
Body: $10
Total: $235
I'm sure there's much more to building this sort of projector that I haven't factored into the cost, but already, the production cost is quite high. I don't think that people would be willing to pay over $300 for this type of projector, as they could just use Skype for free or buy a high definition movie projector for $500+.
Challenge: Lowering Cost

Camera with Hands-Free Straps for candid POV photos:
I used the same information to base this cost off as with my first camera idea but cut costs since this would be a much smaller camera.
Approximate manufacturing cost:
8 megapixel camera: $13.00
Battery: $3.60
Strap: $1
Body: $10.00
Processor: $15
Screen & Display: $10
Memory: $10
Total: $71.60

This definitely seems feasible and I think I could cut down production costs by eliminating some display and body features since it is mainly automatic and does not call for a user to operate it for professional quality images. People were willing to pay $75, but with advertising and marketing of it's unique features, I think it could easily retail for $120+.
Challenge: Getting Automatic Sensor to work with Camera


Assignment 5

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To reiterate, my topic is Family Gatherings

I chose to focus on a camera as an archetypical existing object that plays a large role during the holidays because families usually want to document the event through photographs as it can be one of the only time they gather during the year.

Part One:
Substitute
Combine
Adapt
Magnify
Put to other use
Eliminate
R everse/rearrange

SUBSTITUTE

Can I replace or change any parts?
Doesn't need a view finder

Can I use other ingredients or materials?
Wood, metal, fabric?

Can I use other processes or procedures?
Photos develop with sunlight

Can I change its shape?
Round, thin, small

Can I change its color, roughness, sound or smell?
It could come in various colors and play music to photos

What if I change its name?
Photographic Machine, Snapper, ClickClick

Can I substitute one part for another?
Viewfinder for video screen

Can I use this idea in a different place?
Cameras placed in different objects

Can I change my feelings or attitude towards it?
Vintage cameras evoke nostalgia

Can I use a different energy source?
Solar powered, powered by body heat

Scamper 5.jpeg

COMBINE

Can I combine or recombine its parts' purposes?
lens+viewfinder can be combined

Can I combine or merge it with other objects?
Can organize photos by facial recognition on camera

What materials could be combined?
metal and glass

Can I combine different talents to improve it?
Artistic+engineering talents

Scamper 2.jpeg

ADAPT

Is there something similar, but in a different context?
Painting/Portraits

Does the past offer any lessons with similar ideas?
Pinhole camera

What could I copy, borrow or steal?
GoPro's mounting capabilities

What ideas could I incorporate?
Facial recognition

What different contexts can I put my concept in?
criminal photographs

What ideas outside my field can I incorporate?
artistic medium--not for family gatherings

Scamper 6.jpeg

MAGNIFY

What can you add?
Straps

What can be extended?
Lens

Can it be done faster?
ultra fast continuous pictures

What can be magnified or made larger?
Lens

What can be exaggerated or overstated?
Lens!

What can be made higher, bigger or stronger?
Stand for camera

Can I add extra features or somehow add extra value?
Computer+camera

Can it do more things?
Video/Slideshows of Family Gathering

Scamper 4.jpeg

PUT TO OTHER USE

How would a child use it? An older person?
child would use it to take random pictures of things
Older person would use it to take posed pictures

How would people with different disabilities use it?
Blind people could use it to describe people's appearance/scenes

Can I use this idea in other markets or industries?
Journalism

Scamper 7.jpeg

ELIMINATE

What parts can be removed without altering its function?
Body of Camera

What's non-essential or unnecessary?
Bulkiness/Weight of camera

What if I made it smaller?
Lapel clip camera

What feature can I understate or omit?
Viewing hole

Should I split it into different parts?
one part lens attached to body by long extendable cord

Can I compact or make it smaller?
Fiber optic tiny camera

Scamper.jpeg

REVERSE/REARRANGE

Are there other patterns, layouts or sequences I can use?
Colors/patterns customizable for camera

Should I turn it around? Up instead of down? Down instead of up?
Lens points at you to take your picture

What if I consider it backwards? Inside out?
see-through shell

What if I try doing the exact opposite of what I originally intended?
Make it erase unwanted memories

Scamper 1.jpeg

Part 2: Morphological Analysis
Scamper 8.jpeg
Sketches that came from this exercise:
Scamper 13.jpeg
Scamper 15.jpeg
Scamper 16.jpeg

Part 3: Manipulating Previous Silly Ideas
Scamper 9.jpeg
Scamper 10.jpeg

Part 4: 10 Ideas to Move Forward With
Scamper 2.jpeg
Scamper 16.jpeg
Scamper 11.jpeg
Scamper 12.jpeg
Scamper 4.jpeg
Scamper.jpeg
Scamper 6.jpeg
Scamper 7.jpeg
Scamper 14.jpeg
Scamper 13.jpeg

Assignment 4

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Family Gatherings: Blue Sky Ideation


I began this assignment by changing two of problem statements into 2 "How Might We..." statements:

How might we encourage meaningful interaction between people of all ages at a family gathering?

How might we document the event to create a meaningful keepsake?

I created a game to encourage playfulness and start generating creative thinking:

"Common Ball"

How to play: One person has a ball and thinks of a broad category while the others stand in front of him/her. The other people then must pick a more specific concept from that category and keep it in their minds. The person with the ball then throws the ball into the air and yells a specific concept from their selected category. They keep doing this until they guess someone's idea. If someone's idea is called, they have to race to catch the ball while everyone else runs as far away as possible and yell "Stop!" once they have it. Everyone must freeze.Then, the person with the ball get three steps to hit the closest person with the ball. If they succeed, the person hit gets a letter. The first person to get C-O-M-M-O-N loses, because no one wants their ideas to be "common."

For example, if the leader picked category of "Warm beverages," some of the more specific terms could be: apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee....etc.

Here are members of my brainstorming session playing "Common Ball!"
IMG_4613.jpg
IMG_4611.jpg

Jess, Michelle, Sarah, and Elise participated in my brainstorming session.

After the game, they were each given a sticky note pad to sketch on.

We started with How might we encourage meaningful interaction between people of all ages at a family gathering? and spent 20 minutes on it and then moved onto
How might we document the event to create a meaningful keepsake?

When the brainstormers got stuck, I added more prompts to make it more specific for them.

Ideas are building up
IMG_4583.jpg

Sketching
IMG_4595.jpg

Organizing the ideas
organizing ideas.JPG

The girls' IPM averaged 2. IPP=.5

We used the silent sorting method and grouped the ideas from each categories into the following:
1. Encouraging Meaningful Interaction


  • Games

  • Technology

  • Physical Activities

2. Documenting Memories


  • Phone Apps

  • Video/Photo Software

  • Artistic/Hands-On Methods

My group then voted on the most popular ideas by talking about which ones they liked the most and sorting them into a "top 10" category verbally.
Here are the best sketches they came up with:

1. Encouraging Meaningful Interaction:

(Jess) Sketch 1.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 2.jpeg
(Jess)Sketch 3.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 4.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 5.jpeg

2.Documenting Memories:

(Jess) Sketch 6.jpeg
(Michelle) Sketch 7.jpeg
(Sarah) Sketch 9.jpeg
(Michelle) Sketch 8.jpeg
(Sarah) Sketch 10.jpeg

Overall, I think my brainstorming group was a bit puzzled about the problems or how to create something innovative that could improve family gatherings (it's a difficult topic). But that's okay--that's my job! I think we still generated some good ideas that I will look into further for possible product opportunities--like facial recognition, holographic family members, and an app where everyone could keep updated on the party's events.

Assignment 3

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Family Gatherings

My assigned theme is "Family Gatherings." I reflected upon my own experiences of Christmases past, researched videos to observe other families' gatherings, and interviewed a variety of people about the topic, including 2 "experts" in the field in order to find needs or areas for improvement and change.

Experience:

Obviously I could not organize a grand holiday family gathering to experience when no holiday was currently present. Instead, I reflected upon my past experiences at my family's major holiday get-together: Christmas Eve. My dad's side of the family does not congregate, but my mom's large family meets once every year on Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle's house. The night usually consists of eating, drinking, and small talk. The kids normally play in the basement and the adults mingle in selected groups upstairs. What I've noticed is that there is never a time when the whole family is engaged in the same topic. There are usually people hiding upstairs or staying at the bar avoiding the usual family drama. There is no organized system of giving out gifts because not everyone gives and receives gifts. It is normally just between godparents and godchildren on this night. There is also not an organized system of bringing food or decorating, this all seems to fall upon my poor Aunt. It seems like no one ever really knows when to arrive or leave, either. People just come and go throughout the evening.

Here are some images of the last Christmas Eve party:

Not even all of my female first cousins!
Wallock Girls.jpg

Some of my guy cousins and a new baby! Babies are always the center of attention at this party.
Wallock Christmas.jpg

This is generally how the food is set up.
People eating.jpg

Family drama caught on camera!
family drama.jpg

Observations

It was also difficult to observe "family gatherings" because most holiday parties are not occurring yet, and it would be rude to intrude on a family's special event. Instead, I searched for family holiday parties on YouTube to get a sense of what others experience.
Here are some of the videos that I found most interesting:

I found it really strange that this woman filmed them driving for two minutes (Obviously the event is very important to her!) and appeared distant from the family while she was filming the event. Couldn't there be a way for her to remain engaged and still document the event? The kids and the adults are separated in their activities.

This was interesting to see the types of games this family plays during Christmas that involves everyone.

I found it interesting that this family cooked together during the party. A lot of people seemed bored and disengaged.


Interviews:

I provided a sample of direct quotes from my interviewees and underlined information that I thought provided insights into challenges and areas where improvement could occur.

A sample of the types of questions I asked and built off during my interviews:

Can you describe your most recent experience at a holiday family gathering?

How far into your extended family do you include in gatherings?

What typically occurs? What do you think should occur?

Is the holiday season the only time that your family all gathers during the year?

Is there one person in your family that normally handles the planning?

How do you exchange gifts?

Do you often find it difficult to spark meaningful conversation during family gatherings? Can you explain?

At any point is everyone engaged in the same event/topic?

Do you look forward to family gatherings? Why or why not?

Does alcohol have a negative affect during family gatherings?

How could your family gatherings go more smoothly?

Do family gatherings often cause stress or bring up pleasant or unpleasant memories?

What are the differences in the ways children and adults interact?

What areas do people typically congregate at?


Interview #1: Susan

Susan is my aunt. Now, I know that typically it is not advised to interview a member of one's own family, but in this case, I'd consider her an expert in the field. Susan has experienced over 50 years of holiday family gatherings in her own life and 2 different marriages. She is the fifth child of a family of 10 children that has grown to include over 30 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. Here are some highlights from what she had to say that provide insight to possible areas for improvement:

"Our extended family gathers every Christmas Eve at the home of my brother Bob and his wife Lori. This tradition has evolved over 25 years. There is just one party each year that involves the entire extended family of approximately 60-70 people, and Christmas Eve is it. The gathering used to occur at my parent's home but as the family grew it became impossible because of the numbers."

"...Because our family is so large and there are so many people, there is never a year that has not included varying degrees of familial drama within the months building up to Christmas Eve. Many years, those dramas would spill into the party and cause varying levels of discomfort depending on who was involved. In the past years, I believe the Christmas party has become an oasis from the monthly troubles that evolve throughout the year, and family members seem to try extra hard to leave their troubles at the doorstep and just enjoy each other's company for one blessed night."

"The home is large enough that the majority of people could separate into small groups and people in controversy could just rotate and avoid each other while still enjoying the company of the smaller groups. There is a concerted effort for conflicted souls to just flit from group to group, cautiously avoiding whatever group offensive members are chatting with until that individual or individuals moves on to the next group.

"In the past, gifts were exchanged at my mom and dad's, but it just became too confusing. There are serious class definitions within the family, the haves and the have nots, and I think my parents couldn't handle the public presentations of gifts because they were also on the receiving end of gift presentations that were just too hard for them to handle diplomatically. In short, their wealthy children gave them expensive gifts, and their less fortunate children gave less expensive gifts and the comparisons, the oohs, the aahs, the required reactions became too much for them to handle because they like everything to be equal. For many years there was a no gifts policy at the party but it is changing."

"Although gift giving has slowly trickled back into the holiday party, it is a covert operation."

"f I could change something about our holiday party, I would improve the climate for gift giving and adopt an orderly confusion that would allow people to just have fun with it. I have never understood the "equal" concept that is so rampant...it simply doesn't work, because life isn't equal. It seems that if everyone participated in a name pick, and every one knew that each person would receive at least one gift because of it, then it would be ok for all the other exchanges to just occur. It would be fun if all seventy names were drawn from one source....just the random nature alone of exchanges between otherwise isolated family members would cause comradery and fun."

"Mutual baby adoration is one behavior that occurs communally: our Christmas party is the best place for the family to admire and enjoy new editions."

"There is never a time at the party where everyone is engaged in the same topic or event, because there are too many people, and because many of those people are engaged in the conflict avoidance dance, so that wouldn't work."

"I am concerned that the familial Christmas Eve will end when my mother dies and it makes me sad. Sometimes I feel that her presence is the glue that holds the family together, if only for one night."

Interview #2: Sarah

Sarah is my co-worker. I recently found out that she is an only child and was adopted so I thought that she might have some unique perspectives about family gatherings because of this.

"My family generally gathers around the Holidays. For thanksgiving we normally all go to Florida and Christmas is spent at my parents house, just the three of us (as opposed to florida where my cousins, aunt and uncle are present)."

"Mostly the larger gatherings are a stress for me as the closest people to my age are either 13 years older or 13 years younger than me because my parents adopted me late in life. "

I used to be a focal point in the family gatherings as a child because I was the youngest in the family. Obviously, as I've gotten older, my cousins have gotten married and started their own families which means new young children to give attention to. I'm glad I don't get all of the attention anymore."

"Because of the age gaps within my family, I've never felt strongly connected to most of my family."

"It's hard to have any deep conversations with my extended family because most of the things I want to talk about they have no connection with or have either outgrown or not come to that place in their lives."

"Family gatherings have no real use of alcohol as my cousin battles with alcoholism."

Interview #3: Nathaniel

Nathaniel comes from a large close-knit family and also specializes in genealogy research. He provides genealogical services to enhance family parties. For this reason, I included him as an additional "expert" in the field.

"Unlike most people I know, my family gathers obsessively all throughout the year."

"Sometimes people show up that no one's ever seen before. We just pretend they're a cousin of some sort."

"Usually nothing occurs besides drinking, eating, and talking. I think these gatherings could have more in-depth conversations than they do, a little less drinking and food, more personal revelations, poetry recitations, sudden outbursts of rage followed by joyful weeping and tenderness."

"I would like to see constructive but light-hearted group projects being planned at these gatherings: plans to grow mushrooms together in an abandoned nearby structure, to protest certain city council decisions on the steps of city hall, to start a fan club, etc."

"It is difficult to spark meaningful conversation with this side of my family (maternal). They are very sensitive people who too often take things personally. They are also quite ignorant about almost everything and don't appear to have any inclination to learn more about the world around or inside them."

"Sometimes I look forward to family gatherings. Despite being ignorant, they are very accepting and open to other people's beliefs and lifestyles. This makes for a warm, relaxed atmosphere. I like being near my relatives because we share so much experience and because of this they feel like home. At the same time I don't like being near them because we don't share many interests because few of them have any."

"As a genealogist who has been present during other family gatherings, I've noticed that many families are more fragmented and merely civil with one another than my family. The closeness is somehow not there. Family members seem to be counting the minutes left before they can stop smiling awkwardly and politely excuse themselves."

"Do I believe my service enhanced their event? I can't help but notice that it momentarily dissolves the often petty familial fragmentations when you start to discuss histories shared through blood."

Problems, Opportunities, Insights

The main areas for improvement I saw were in gift-giving, organizing an engaging activity, keeping the spirit alive year after year, and documenting the event in a meaningful way.

Here are some problem statements that I created from my interviews:

Susan, middle child of 10 in an extremely large family and experienced family party go-er, needs a way to reorganize the system of gift-giving because currently not everyone at the party receives gifts and often people are worried about the exchange being fair and equal.
(Reference quotes: "In the past, gifts were exchanged at my mom and dad's, but it just became too confusing. There are serious class definitions within the family, the haves and the have nots, and I think my parents couldn't handle the public presentations of gifts because they were also on the receiving end of gift presentations that were just too hard for them to handle diplomatically. In short, their wealthy children gave them expensive gifts, and their less fortunate children gave less expensive gifts and the comparisons, the oohs, the aahs, the required reactions became too much for them to handle because they like everything to be equal. For many years there was a no gifts policy at the party but it is changing."
"Although gift giving has slowly trickled back into the holiday party, it is a covert operation.")

Sarah, a millennial who often feels disengaged from her spread-apart in age family, needs a way to spark meaningful conversation with people of all ages at the gathering and actually enjoy her time there.
(Reference quotes: "Because of the age gaps within my family, I've never felt strongly connected to most of my family."
"It's hard to have any deep conversations with my extended family because most of the things I want to talk about they have no connection with or have either outgrown or not come to that place in their lives.")

Nathaniel, an educated genealogist of a large family of farmers, needs to find a way to organize an event that the whole family can participate in because usually nothing stimulating occurs at these gatherings.
(Reference quote: "Usually nothing occurs besides drinking, eating, and talking. I think these gatherings could have more in-depth conversations than they do, a little less drinking and food, more personal revelations, poetry recitations, sudden outbursts of rage followed by joyful weeping and tenderness.")

Assignment 2

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I began my humorous design thinking process by watching a stand-up comedy show by Louis C.K. and other funny series like Arrested Development. Watching a stand-up show made me think about improvisation and random association between jokes. Both got me laughing and in a playful mood and I began exploring the silly parts of my mind....

I have a large chalkboard and thought that it would be the perfect fun way to display my jumbled thoughts and associations:

image-1.jpg

I came up with and drew 10 design ideas for winter-related products inspired by the associations I made on my map.

Silly Sketches for Winter Product Design Ideas:


No need to buy big backs of ice to spread all over the driveway/walkway! Do it when you walk in & out of the house
boots.jpg


For the sporty type who wants to ski and snowboard on their trip to the snow hill but doesn't want to lug around so much equipment
skiisnowboard.jpg


For those who can't wait for the new year! Wear throughout the whole holiday season
image-2.jpg


It's such a hassle walking back up those gigantic snow hills! Not anymore
sled.jpg


A modern, technological Christmas tree. Songs whistle through the branches
tree.jpg


Christmas lights are such a big deal to install and take down. These stay up all year and can be turned on/swapped out with different colors for every festivity
window.jpg

This rubber wipe runs along the lines of the car to easily sweep off the snow
carwipe.jpg


Hands free coffee pocket keeps beverage warm and upright on your way to class or work
coat.jpg


A fun festive toy!
football.jpg


No need to roll balls over and over again to achieve the perfect base. Stackable circle molds in different sizes for the perfectly shaped snowman
snowman.jpg


After completing this exercise, the three sub-themes of "winter" that I have chosen are:
1. Cozy clothing
2. Hot beverages
3. Family Gatherings

Assignment 1

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I knew that I wanted to create a new cookie with an "ethnic" flavor, since most of the cookies that I have been exposed to in my life have been traditional, comfortable, grandma's recipe. While out for dinner with a friend this weekend I ordered sushi, and thought, "hey, there could be some inspiration here!" Raw fish and cookies?--Yuck. But the spices and flavors in Asian cuisine: wasabi, ginger, sesame, fennel, peanut, cloves, curry...these could work! Then I thought of the buttery, almond taste of fortune cookies...and my combination was born:
Butterscotch Wasabi Almond cookies.

Recipe:

1/4 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
1/2-3/4 cup (depending on desired hotness) of salty wasabi green peas (ground in food processor) I used the brand Hapi
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (add more if needed)
1 11 oz. bag of butterscotch chips
parchment paper
a chopstick or pen or something with a small circular end to poke a hole

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Preheat the oven to 355 degrees.

First, grind the wasabi green peas in a food processor until finely ground

Grind Peas.jpg

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well.
Then, gradually add the softened butter, 1 egg and sesame seed oil and kneed with hands to create the dough.
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Next, form 1 inch round balls of dough using hands.

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Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a chopstick or other round (clean!) end of an object, make holes in the center of the balls that go down about 1/3 of the width.

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Then, tap on a little bit of the egg yolk onto the top of each ball with a finger. You can get creative here and make whatever design you please.
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Place the cookies in the oven for 13 minutes.
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In the last minute of baking, add 1 or 2 butterscotch chips inside the hole of each cookie to allow them to melt.
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Let them cool for 15 minutes, and enjoy a delicious spicy, sweet, buttery concoction not for the conventional cookie eater!

My first try at this recipe didn't involve the use of eggs or butter. Instead, I used almost 15 teaspoons of toasted sesame seed oil to bind together the dry ingredients. The result was a dry, crumbly mess. It was also much too salty. I realized that since the wasabi green peas already had salt in them, I didn't need to add in an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

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I experimented with adding sweetness with white chocolate chips as well, but thought that the butterscotch added a more unique flavor to it and brought out the butter in the dough.

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