Category Archives: research

Research work completed on my pre-major and major projects

Charles Eames and the Lota

Lota (vessel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Soumitri drew my attention to the Indian Lota, which is considered ‘exactly right’ in design. Charles Eames comments on the Lota in his ‘The Indian Report’ and had the following to say about its design:

‘Of all the objects we have seen and admired during our visit to India, the Lota, that simple vessel of everyday use, stands out as perhaps the greatest, the most beautiful. The village women have a process which, with the use of tamarind and ash, each day turns this brass into gold. But how would one go about designing a Lota? First one would have to shut out all preconceived ideas on the subject and then begin to consider factor after factor’:

  • The optimum amount of liquid to be fetched, carried, poured and stored in a prescribed set of circumstances.
  • The size and strength and gender of the hands (if hands) that would manipulate it.
  • The way it is to be transported – head, hip, hand, basket or cart.
  • The balance, the center of gravity, when empty, when full, its balance when rotated for pouring.
  • The fluid dynamics of the problem not only when pouring but when filling and cleaning, and under the complicated motions of head carrying – slow and fast.
  • Its sculpture as it fits the palm of the hand, the curve of the hip.
  • Its sculpture as compliment to the rhythmic motion of walking or a static post at the well.
  • The relation of opening to volume in terms of storage uses – and objects other than liquid.
  • The size of the opening and inner contour in terms of cleaning.
  • The texture inside and out in terms of cleaning and feeling.
  • Heat transfer – can it be grasped if the liquid is hot?
  • How pleasant does it feel, eyes closed, eyes open?
  • How pleasant does it sound, when it strikes another vessel, is set down on ground or stone, empty or full – or being poured into?
  • What is the possible material?
  • What is its cost in terms of working?
  • What is its cost in terms of ultimate service?
  • What kind of an investment does the material provide as product, as salvage?
  • How will the material affect the contents, etc., etc.?
  • How will it look as the sun reflects off its surface?
  • How does it feel to possess it, to sell it, to give it ?


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designing water’s future

About INDEX: AIGA Aspen Design Challenge

Designing Water's Future DWF logoThe crisis may be complex in its global implications, but the solutions are “local, local, local.”

I found this Design challenge today. It was created to generate ‘exceptionally creative and original design thinking to raise awareness of the emerging global water crisis…’ The finalists were very interesting and my major project sits very comfortably within this space. Hopefully there will be more opportunities later in the semester for me to show off my water saving ideas!

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no sinking feeling

Sinks & Vessels Archives | Trendir

Eumar Abisko Washbasin

Soumitri alerted me to this sink- I had previously looked at it on another web site, however they failed to include why it is designed so. The sink immediately directs water away from you and into a in floor drain. Why I hear you ask?

‘Inspired by the unspoilt waterfalls of the Swedish National Park Abisko, the sink is unfettered by pipes. Nor does it allow water to accumulate in a big tub, something designers Johan Kauppi and Lars Sundström deem unnecessary. Rather, one should be aware of just how much water one is using, and catch it with careful consideration.’

I really like the approach to form with this piece- the use of biomimicry is a direction that I will take when speaking of form and innovation.

I had a thought that this design could also encourage more water use- you spend more time trying to catch the limited water that you are being supplied with… But, the message and the design is very poetic.

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Miscellaneous water use 0001

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more about “Miscellaneous water use 0001“, posted with vodpod


This is a collection of shots taken from one venue over a few hours. This filming saw me being a Particiant Observer- I was present and invloved in the activities and was able to record natural occurances. Most of the filming is done round the sink in the kitchen. This area generated a heap more use than expected- there was heaps of rinsing and hand washing, as well as preparations for dinner.

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Invisible Typography

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Craig Ward is an Illustrator and a Typographer who did this poster for Bucks New University, UK. It says BAD TYPOGRAPHY IS EVERYWHERE and behind it says GOOD TYPOGRAPHY IS INVISIBLE.

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on swiss typography

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Its heading towards the time where I am having to format all of my work into indesign. I got indesign and have been playing with it- simple enough, but I know nothing about typography. I know what I want- simple clean, white space/grey space. Simple type face. I found this article on Swiss typography and its influence on the Vitamin Water bottles. Very interesting. Very clean. The typography somehow says ‘im simple and I’m good for you’. It cries ‘natural’ and no ‘crap’. Meanwhile the product is apparently not all that.

‘The label itself has half white and half a bright solid color with the vertical brand name and other text in plain but clean swiss typography. The words vitamin and water have no space between them but are aesthetically separated by the word vitamin being in bold, and the two words never being on the same background color on the bottle. The other text is separated by a hierarchy of size and simple columns. All together making a fresh simple look using only text and bold color, something the design world has seen before in the swiss style of 1960s.’

The graphic design of the ads has done such a good job in fact that it has caused a lot of its customers, me included until recently, to believe that these drinks are good for you. The real nutritional facts are hidden by the 2.5 servings per bottle, although some people are starting to notice. This knowledge comes far to late for the “health” drink that has swept the nation, all because graphic design was used well.

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rain power

Lightdrops Umbrella is Powered by Rain

I found this new umbrella design (by Sang-Kyun Park) through searching in
This umbrella uses the energy from rain drops falling on its surface to turn on LED lights. The rain drops energy is harvested as kinetic energy- the heavier the rain the brighter the light. The umbrella surface is made from
polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).

Not only do we waste water on a regular basis, it seems we also waste its potential to create energy.

What if an entire roof top was created in a similar way? We could be lighting our lives with PVDF roof tops.

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