In the Affirming Artifacts class—a 5-week course taught by department chair Allan Chochinov, students were asked to “redesign the next thing you throw out.” This could be anything from a piece of food packaging to a Word document, and the students embraced the assignment with rigor and wit. Early assignments were to produce quick 3-dimensional prototypes and large sheets of ideation sketches. In latter weeks students produced exploratory models aimed at expanding the definition of products of design to include critical and discursive design, mass market offerings, advertising campaigns, and design art. Following is an assortment of work produced from the class.
Damon Ahola began by discarding a Band-Aid...
Then created several sheets of ideation drawings
Investigated various ideas for prototypes (here we see bandage "tape")
And a Post-It bandage
Ultimately settling on a first aid caddy aimed at children (rapid prototyped in this photo)
That comes along with an educational booklet (renderings in this photo)
A packaging study
Reimagined as a pice of design art
And then reimagined as a movie poster
Willy Chan began with Babybel cheese wrappers...
...and turned them into a candy-bar inspired form
Some packaging studies
Cassandra Michel explored take-out coffee, and items to help people keep alert. She settled on exploring the notion of "power naps" and designed a device equipped with LED lights to slowly wake up the wearer
Along with an app that let's the user define nap duration and color of LEDs
David Hu was inspired by a bendy straw, and began investigated morphology for a hearing amplifier
An advanced prototype with packaging
Recontextualized as a conference give-away
And then reappropriated as form of civil disobedience
Matt Barber began with a discarded Q-Tip, and began exploring other embodiments of the artifact
Conceived as the tip of a nail...
...and seen in use to protect a precious picture frame
Finally, an exploration of the artifact as jewelry
And then as a piece of conceptual art
Sam Moore began with a paper bag from a bagel purchase and was quickly inspired by how bagels are displayed in store windows
Turning the rope into a bag
And a comp for a website
Gaïa Orain discarded a paper baguette bag and began mapping
Reimagined line of bags and accessories for transporting bread and other foodstuffs
Created a line of customizable cut-and-sew food pouch patterns
And the resultant pouch
Emi Yasaka discarded a sugar packet and explore alternative ways to sweeten beverages
Combined sugar and creamer in capsules
Mansi Gupta began with a discarded exfoliant package and explored kits aimed at relaxation and renewal
A loose "card diary" focused on mindfulness and reflection
A line of greeting cards acknowledging overwork and stress
Joseph Weissgold started with a piece of tin foil...
...turned it into a theme park teaching visitors about materials and production methods...
...and then into a children's book
Clay Kippen began with a discarded subway metrocard
Parts for a DIY perching "stool" for inside and outside subway stations
An alternate approach: Tagging an image in "seating deserts"—areas devoid of places to sit
Katie McElroy discarded a piece of facial tissue...
...and explored "interleaving" other kinds of products
Ultimately arriving at an interleaved pop-up towel dispenser
Richard Clarkson took a look at receipts and decided to build a table dedicated to sorting, shredding, saving, and discarding them
Table with legend
Creating a heat map to study user interaction
Rona Binay designed a table system with fixed saucers to invite strangers to drink tea together and socialize
An alternate view
The design embodied as an editorial cartoon
And as a gallery installation
Zena Verda Pesta discarded a paper pizza plate
Created a boxed set of books and activities
And an ad campaign highlighting the issues
David Thonis discarded a padded envelope and pursued investigations around transport and protection
Exploring the notion of a zipline transport
Embodied in USPS packacing
Charlotta Hellichius began with a discarded Zico package
Explored the notion of using coconut shells as a building material
Translated, as well as combined, all the rituals that the coconut tree embodies into a product. Her project became these two ladders that when overlaid, create one full set of steps.