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DURATION

August - November, 2020

TEAM

two members, with an individual instance

ROLES

Product design, graphic design, 3D modeling, ergonomic analysis, writing.

SUMMARY

In Unidad de Proyecto III 2020 we designed a study device for the Marosa Di Giorgio park in a pandemic context. It is an individual chair-table where university students can go to study comfortably and safely.

PREMISE

In the context of a COVID-19 pandemic, people were forced to take their daily activities to their homes due to the lack of spaces where they can carry them out safely for their health, so it is proposed to identify a problem and a design that solves it under the premise Habitat questioned

PROBLEM

Marosa Di Giorgio Park is a meeting point for many young people who enjoy studying outdoors. The problem is that this space does not have urban equipment of any kind, so the activity that is most often carried out there (studying) is not carried out optimally: users tend to be in forced postures that can harm them in the long-term, in addition to the fact that it can lead to a lack of interest for people to study in public spaces.

1
Investigation

In this first stage, we investigated possible situations where we can intervene with design, reaching the problem: designing an outdoor study space in Marosa Di Giorgio Park for young adults

PANDEMIC EFFECTS ON STUDENTS

The effect that the pandemic had on university students in particular was that classes went online because all educational institutions were forced to close their doors, and with them, their designated study spaces. For this reason, young people had to make their homes the place where they attend classes and studied. In many cases, they can't separate their study from the leisure activities they carry out at home because they do not have a designated space to study or don't have the basic tools necessary to carry them out since these were provided by educational institutions.

 

The pandemic made it clear that students do not have the same possibilities as they should, which is why we believe it is important to implement study devices in public outdoor spaces, providing from our place as designers a suitable place to carry out this activity.

MAROSA DI GIORGIO PARK

The chosen context, Marosa Di Giorgio Park, is currently used as a place to study by many university students since it is located near various UDELAR centers, such as the Engineering, Architecture, Economics and Communication faculties. The park itself does not have any type of equipment, so the students, who attend this place for a minimum of two hours, tend to be in forced postures, which can harm them in the short and long term. This problem was reached by consulting users who were in the context studying

2
Individual design

For the second stage, we design two possible design paths individually, concluding with four design paths together. The first design is an individual study device, while the second sought to generate a study space for user groups.

DESIGN PROCESS

The design process involved analyzing what elements are necessary to create a place of study and analyzing products in the current market that fulfill this purpose or similar ones. Creating comparative product sheets helped us see the strengths and weaknesses of different designs.

INDIVIDUAL STUDY DESIGN

Inspired by magnolias, a great reference of Marosa Di Giorgio in her work, this individual device, made up of seating space and support space, synthesizes a magnolia stem and flower.

This path seeks to provide users with an individual outdoor study space, where they can escape the monotony of home and connect with nature without having repercussions on their health.

STRUCTURE

Steel structure with seat and support surface in plywood; the edges in their entirety are rounded for the safety of the user.

FIXED LOCATION

Fixed location in the context, the Marosa Di Giorgio Park, through the placement of a concrete base.

SEQUENCE OF USE

GROUP STUDY DESIGN

This design proposes a study space for a group of 4 university users. It is made up of four modules, where the table of one of them is the table space for the chair of another module, so each one depends on the other to function. Inspired by the concept of teamwork, where they must work together to achieve a goal.

This path seeks to provide users with a space of study for a group of 3 or 4 users outdoors, where they can interact with each other through the device.

MODULE

The module that makes up the device, made up of a user's chair and another person's table, depends on others to be able to fulfill its function.

MATERIAL

SECURITY

For the creation of this proposal, I was inspired by the Faculty of Engineering. The chosen material was GRC (Glassfiber Reinforced Concrete) which, in addition to its great resistance in the open air, has a matte gray finish that mimics the characteristics of the building.

In this pandemic context, the modules are placed in such a way that users remain 2 meters away from each other, maintaining a safe distance to prevent a SARS-CoV-2 virus spread.

SEQUENCE OF USE

After developing the four design options, we decided to continue developing the individual design that I proposed at this stage, which, although it was an individual deliverable, had multiple contributions from my teammate in the design process.

3
Final design

Once we chose to continue the path of individual study space design inspired by the works of Marosa Di Giorgio, we proceeded to adjust various aspects of the project to conclude with a final product proposal that responds to design, ergonomics, technology, and marketing requirements.

DESIGN PROCESS

The process included various corrections with design teachers, investigations of new materials available to work with, methods of installing equipment in public spaces, and simulations to check ergonomic aspects.

FINAL DESIGN: MAGNOL

Magnol is a device that is made up of a seating space and a table surface that refers to the stem and flower of a magnolia. Users use this device individually, providing an outdoor study space.

Magnol is designed to encourage this outdoor activity; it has two types of models, where the user can access the device from both the right and the left. 

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TYPOLOGIES

It has two types, where the user can access the device both from the right and from the left according to their preferences.

ERGONOMICS

Magnol's dimensions respond to the anthropometric dimensions of young adults in Uruguay.

COLORS

The bases of the devices would be available in four colors that stem from the colors of the magnolias.

MATERIALS

For the metal structure, we chose to use carbon steel round profiles given its great resistance to compression, as well as being a material that can be recycled infinite times regardless of its finish. The termination is done with electrostatic painting.


For the user contact surfaces (table and seat) we choose UPM Grada wood since it is a warm material to the touch, it does not raise high temperatures when it is in the sun and it can be curved in less time than other woods, which saves time and energy when manufacturing it. The finish would be in epoxy resin to ensure easy cleaning and durability over time.

The location is fixed in the context of using a concrete base, generating a support surface for the feet, and place for a backpack.

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SIMULATIONS

The simulators carried out were:

  • verifying the dimensions of Magnol in all percentiles of the Uruguayan population, both the height of the chair and the chair-table ratio.

  • check that the size of the table is appropriate for study objects.

  • test that the terminations of the device are suitable for the exterior.

  • evaluate the ease of cleaning and disinfection of support surfaces.

  • verifying if the location and rotation of the Magnol doesn't cause glare in users with computers.

  • consult users on how perceptible is the function of the device and its use by observing a photomontage.

SEQUENCE OF USE

To use the device, the user must approach it and then bend the knees, sit on one side, and rotate the body until facing the table surface. The movements are illustrated in the sequence from a front and top viewpoint.

LIFECYCLE

Most aspects of Magnol's design respond to a circular economy since it allows the change of parts in case of rupture, its materials have a finish that makes them durable over time, extending their useful life and its metal structure can be recycled infinite times, becoming raw material again. However, once its useful life ends, the wood can't be recycled as it has an epoxy resin finish, making it impossible to recycle or biodegrade. 

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4
Conclusions

IMPACT AND LEARNING

To conclude the process carried out, we managed to develop a product of medium complexity that responds to a problem that does not have solutions in Montevideo: the lack of urban furniture for outdoor study. Although before the pandemic this did not seem like a problem, today we can understand that it is.

Thanks to the process we went through, we became more aware of what it means to "bring a product" to a world where the habitat and the way of inhabiting can be challenged at any time, where the responsibility of the designer goes beyond design a single product, but must consider users and the environment over time.

IN THE FUTURE...

The pending issues that we could not fully resolve when designing Magnol are the aspects related to the circular economy and the sustainability of device production. The product is designed with some aspects based on the circular economy, however, the use of resin as a finish for wood makes it impossible to recycle or biodegrade it, so it becomes waste. This could be fixed in the future with more research and development time to find an alternative material or finish.

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