Monthly Archives: October 2011

The wheel project


Dimensions and quantities:

Diameter, weigth, width of wheel, width of wheel at ground surface, height of drop, resistance on the ground, number of parts, durability of wheel in a fall, friction at the rolling surface.

What makes a good design?

Quality of Concept, build quality, simplicity, logical, correct balance of relative sizes, quality of materials.

What makes a winning design?

What is the list of requirements for this project?

The principle of Totality

PhD Design List serve discussion

Listserve host a discussion group called PhD Design. In that group the characteristics of  PhD in Design are discussed: Should there be such a thing as a Phd Design? If there is, what should it involve? What is the balance between practice and theory in a PhD Design? Should designers simply design to advance themselves rather than working on a PhD? Etc.

There is a discussion thread ongoing at present called “Are PhDs a treat to Design education” Martin Salisbury (the outgoing External examiner for the MDes) made these comments:

after a while and several posts from other contributors Dr Terence Love made these comments:

Terence’s comments promted Martin Salisbury to make this comment:

Clearly there are two points of view:

“information based emphasis design”


“creativity and intuition emphasis design”

The full discussion including more from Martin and Terence can be found here:

for me, I dont know who is right, but I do think its wonderful that it is being discssued with such vigour. I would refer back to my definition of design spider diagram. In it “design is creative” is marked as a thing that happens sometimes, where “design is rational” is marked as a characteristic. I suppose I might have made “design is rational” as a thing that happens sometimes on par with creativity. Alternatively I may have reversed the emphasis entirely. I think that Dr Love raises a very interesting point in so far as he suggests that the emphasis is changing due to the massive abundance of information. He may be entirely wrong where the abundance (overload) of information only heightens our desire for the intuitive and creative? This has to balanced with the nonsense that people talk as they get in contact and harmony with their creativity…ffs.

On what side are you?

VIIA –M Assignment

Create a VIIA-M model and analysis presentation for the use of Facebook using two “users”:

1.      Yourself

2.      Another person (in a different age group, eg: a brother/sister or a parent or a grandparent)

Each presentation should feature two major elements

1.      A text narrative describing the user’s experience of using FB. The story should include some characterisation (so we understand something about the user), his/her motivation to use FB, what the main interaction is, how they achieve that interaction (the interface) and how that achievement is visually represented. (between 300 and 2000 words)

2.      A highly visual bullet list of the key VIIA-M points of interest as described in the text narrative.

The essay and visual bullet point list should be presented on A4 paper and mounted on a display board in MQ213.

Note: All Interaction Design presentation material should be well presented (in colour, well laid out, typographically appropriate, with strong images, etc)


DES121 Introduction to 3D: The wheel project (Re invent the wheel!)

This project is a team based competitive design challenge. It is designed to test your ability to reach a design solution and build a prototype featuring optimum performance for a specified task.

The task involves:

1.    Developing up with a design proposal

2.    Building a prototype

3.    Testing the prototype in a competitive situation


Teams will be made of four students per team with individuals acting in the following roles:

1.    Managing Director: Overall responsibility, team leadership

2.   Creative Director: Chooses which concept proposal goes forward to prototype

3.    Materials acquisition: Leads the effort to get the material required for building the wheel.

4.    Building Director: Leads the process of building the wheel, ensuring quality of build and on time delivery.

Project specification:

Imagine a platform one meter high with a ramp to one side as per shown in the diagram below:


Design a wheel which wins the competition where the winner is the wheel that travels furtest multiplied by the diameter of the wheel (there is an incentive to go large).

The wheel should roll down the ramp and continue having been eased over the side by a feather touch and travel according to its own momentum derived from the gravity drop experienced on the slope.

Wheel project teams

1.    Squirrel

Managing Director      James Summers

Creative Director        CmcC

Build Lead                   JW

Materials Lead            GMcGl

2.    Mouse

Managing Director      Mickael Pitarresi

Creative Director        CK

Build Lead                   CoK

Materials Lead            PL

3.    Caveman

Managing Director      Kieran Moore

Creative Director        SMcB

Build Lead                   AL

Materials Lead            CQ

4.    Mongoose

Managing Director      Adam McConnell

Creative Director        EM

Build Lead                   MS

Materials Lead            MMcD

5.    Narwhale

Managing Director      Natasha White

Creative Director        PB

Build Lead                   Shannon

Materials Lead            Jeffery G

6.    Sheepbeast

Managing Director      Kerry Harrison

Creative Director        Greg C

Build Lead                   SMcC

Materials Lead            Kirsty

7.    Wishful

Managing Director      Sarah McDermott

Creative Director        MCD

Build Lead                   RD

Materials Lead            EH

8.    Killer Panda

Managing Director      GS

Creative Director        Tory McG

Build Lead                   MMcM

Materials Lead            CMcE

9.    Sloth

Managing Director      Lewis Brooks

Creative Director        LM

Build Lead                   AW

Materials Lead            JS

5th man                   Cal Douglas

10.  Hamster 

Managing Director      Rebecca Simpson

Creative Director        PG/LMcF

Build Lead                   SMcC

Materials Lead            AS

11.  Platypus

Managing Director      AB

Creative Director        CM

Build Lead                   GMcE/KD

Materials Lead            KW

12.    Last

Managing Director      Erin Reid

Creative Director        JMcK

Build Lead                  AS

Materials Lead            SR

13.  Hat

Managing Director      Jessica McKenna

Creative Director        GMcC

Build Lead                   RMC

Materials Lead            DQ

14.  God

Managing Director      Debbie Hall

Creative Director        MP

Build Lead                   ND

Materials Lead            KD

15. Dramatic (A special guest team from the Foyle Arts Drama Dept.)

Managing Director ??

Creative Director ??

Build Lead ??

Materials Lead ??