Monday, 10 May 2010


"The investigation into how a Product Designer can meld Engineering and Fashion accessory design is an interesting premise. There has long been a British design tradition of constantly challenging and refining the boundaries between these 2 somewhat disparate disciplines. The Sprung project is a great example of this - the Designer has used her Engineering understanding to select a material which is both durable yet flexible; additionally the material is both tactile and attractive. When breaking new ground within design, a good understanding of the materials characteristics is essential - however these insights should not overshadow the need for the final product to be attractive and suitable. In this study, the final product displays all the attributes of an elegant, robust and desirable design solution, one that is born from engineering principles, to inhabit a desire lead marketplace."

Paul Yuille BSc (Hons) MA CSM

Deputy Head

International Recruitment and Development

London College of Fashion

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Product Design student, Hannah Jassim, has rethought the design of the bag, by harnessing the natural properties of plywood in a unique way. She has designed her own range of bags that provide an eye-catching way to carry and protect possessions when on the move. Aimed at young, trend conscious individuals, the range of accessories provides an industrial yet elegant aesthetic, making them an ideal unisex must-have. The range will be extended soon- Work bag, Leisure bag & Night bag (shown in pictures)

The project was initially inspired by observing body language within a shopping environment, but soon developed into the psychology behind the shoppers’ behaviour. Through research, Hannah discovered that the chemical dopamine was released within the brain when doing something pleasurable such as shopping. The molecular symbol for dopamine then formed the basis for both the brand and logo, with each bag depicting its unique structural image.

The range of accessories is made from 3 core materials- wood, metal and leather. For the outer layer, plywood is used due to its natural ‘spring’ quality, allowing the bags to open without a hinge. The thin aluminium layer provides strength and an aesthetically pleasing quality, whilst the leather forms the section to hold the contents. These layers are hand stitched together to create the final form for each of the bags.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Instructable- Sandblasting

Glass Beads

Glass beads produce a much smoother and brighter finish than angular abrasives such as sand or steel grit. Glass beads can be recycled approximately 30 times. Grit sizes range from 50-325 and are round in shape

Bead blasting is the process of altering the surface finish of any material by applying fine glass beads at a low pressure without damaging the material

The Sandblast Gun

Abrasive blasting is supposed to be a scrubbing action, not a damaging process. Therefore, the gun should always be aimed at a 60Ў to 45Ў angle to the surface being treated. When the gun is aimed at 90Ў, damage occurs and, due to the abrasive particles colliding with the abrasive bouncing off the surface, a very high rate of media wear occurs.

The gun in a blasting cabinet should be kept at least 20 cm from the surface being blasted. This allows the spray to spread out and cover a larger area. Blasting a larger circle allows for better overlap of the pattern and you achieve a more even and appealing finish.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Creating the bag structure- Former

To create the bags, a former had to be made to ensure the same size of bag each time. This makes it easier to produce the bags quickly and efficiently.

The 'teardrop' section of the former was manufactured using the bandsaw to cut the rough shape, then planed down using the planing machine and sanded by hand.

To create the base of the former, the wood block was cut using the router. The size of the router blade was the same radius as the bottom of the teardrop shape

The dopamine pattern was marked out on to the aluminium using a biro to avoid it smudging. I then used a jewellers hacksaw (1mm blade) to accurately cut out sections of the pattern.

The holes for the stitching were marked out and drilled individually by hand.

When testing out ways to link the layers of wood, metal and leather together, sections of the dopamine pattern were cut out and folded through the lasercut wood.

Further testing was done to see how well the layers sewed together. This was done by hand, although pliers were used to pull the needly through the materials to avoid strain on hands.

After working through several prototypes, the decision was made not to have the aluminium sections folded through on to the wood to avoid compromising the strength of the materials.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Transition from play to make...

After generating 100 ideas, I decided to take forward the ideas that involved spending habits and why people behaved differently in retail environments. Having a strong interest in trends and fashion, I felt I could incorporate these interests into a final year project that would be used in a retail environment.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Play Continued...

Dopamine has many functions in the brain, including important roles in behaviour and cognition voluntary movement, motivation, punishment & reward. This can be commonly associated with the pleasure system- providing feelings of enjoyment & reinforcement to motivate a person pro actively to perform certain activities.

The chemical is released by naturally rewarding experiences such as food, sex, drugs & neutral stimuli that become associated with them. Dopamine is closely associated with reward- seeking behaviours such as approach, consumption & addiction.

“Happiness is a state. Pleasure is a moment within that state.”

The Happiness Formula, BBC 2 (2006)

Molecular symbol for Dopamine multiplied to generate patterns

Pattern altered slightly to create a balanced pattern ready to be lasercut

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stage 2- PLAY...Card Fan

As part of my research I went into places where money was used every day e.g. shops, casino to observe how people handle money and how they use it in different scenarios. The casino was interesting from  a spending perspective because no actual notes or coins were used, but chips and cards instead.  The way that the pack of cards fanned out to show all the cards at once made me think about the ways in which we display our credit/ debit cards. 

Below:  Shows a clip on the corner of the cards which securely hold them in place and allow you to fan them out to see which card you want.

Stage 2- PLAY... Dual Purpose Wallet

Throughout my research in the play stage I found a strong theme of magic when it comes to money e.g. concealing, disappearing, altering.  I came across a money flip concept that allows you to place a note on one side and when flipped across (like a page in a book) the note is held in place. When flipped the opposite way the note appears to jump sides.

Below is this concept integrated inside a prototype hand sewn using foam, ribbon, card and plastic.

As further development, I decided to consciously use my current purse to see how easy the design was to use.  I found that getting my cards out of the fabric panels proved to be difficult and so I thought of a way to get them out quicker and more efficiently.  

Below:  Ribbon sewn inside the fabric panels (looped inside) allows the card to removed when pulled.  To put the card back in the slot, you simply push it back down.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Stage 2- PLAY...Magnetic Purse

After making the coin counting purse i wanted to find a non electronic way of organising change within a purse.  I realised after some time that copper coins are attracted to magnets whereas all the other coins are not.  The concept prototype below shows this ideas built into a dolly purse, with magnets in the base. 

The purse itself was made using the traditional clasp mechanism and packaging foam as it was easy to cut and work with quickly for mocking up a prototype.

I used 4 small strong batteries and superglued them onto thin lego blocks to avoid them attracting each other, then covered them in another layer of thin foam.  As shown below the coppers gather at the bottom of the purse along with the other change....

.......until the purse is emptied, the coppers remain in the bottom allowing the other change to be removed easily.

Like the other wallets and purses, i decided to do a material exploration on this concept too.

I liked the idea of opening the purse using a hinged mechanism but wanted to find out if any other materials could have similar properties with the idea of opening and closing.
For the aesthetic side of the purse, the idea of having wood seemed to be a nice twist on a traditional look.

To bend the plywood I used various methods including soaking, steaming and laminating.

Below: 2 pieces of plywood glued along the full length, bent round a pipe and clamped together

Below: shows different thicknesses and lengths of plywood soaking in a bath of boiling water, some with extra weights to hold them down.

Below: 2 pieces (different lengths) of plywood held together using wood glue and clamps at the ends.  Created to leave a gap in the bottom for the magnets when fully set in the desired shape after being held in the vice.

Below:  The finished shape after glueing and held in the vice

Because of the natural springy quality that plywood has, this meant no hinge was required.  A catch or clasp had to hold the plywood shape together when the purse was closed.  I tried using a strap/ button fastening....

After speaking to my tutor, he suggested that i look into using sprung steel as it has similar springy/ bendy properties as plywood.  I was informed by the workshop and the sculpture department that they do not use sprung steel as it is too hard to work with and that normal steel could work just as well.

Below:  The first prototype made using spot welded steel, finished with leather.

Below: The steel used was too thick therefore restricted the spring quality of the material, resulting in the right aesthetic qualities, but lacking practicality of opening and closing the purse

Below:  The 1mm thick steel was bent and spot welded to created the frame.  The inside bend is there to create a slot where the magnets would sit, and the top frame has a slot in which the fabric can be slotted inside and attached. 

The steel used did not have the bending properties that the plywood did so i decided to attach a hinge on the bottom so the purse would be easier to open and close.

(1) The base of the purse frame was marked out and secured in the vice

(2) Using the angle grinder, the frame is cut in half

(4)  The image below shows the piece after it is cut...

(5)  The sharp edges are then smoothed using the belt sander

(6)  The hinge used had to be made of steel so that it could be welded on to the frame, however the only hinge available had a brass coating

(7)  The brass hinge is then cut to the correct size

(8) To remove the brass coating on the hinge it is clamped and sanded until the steel shows (this helps with the welding process later)

(9) The hinge was then spot welded to the bottom curve of the frame so the purse is easier to open and close