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azuro1125

Azuro1125's Submission

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(Please scroll down to see the updated version)

 

Hello all,

 

Here is my submission for the "design for the Disadvantaged" Contest. After doing a fair amount of research today, I came upon the idea to design the "DESK4ALL". This is an attempt to address a common issue in the housing of developing countries. Those being:

 

1. Limited access to safe electricity.

 

2. Limited access to lighting after sundown.

 

3. The need for a good place to write, think, do schoolwork.

 

4. The need for a safe place to charge your cell phone.

 

Oddly enough, I found that folks living in houses with dirt floors often still have a fairly decent cell phone. Those with limited access to electricity will charge them at a local market(for a fee)or at a neighbor's residence. Aside from needing a place to charge their cell phone, people also need reliable lighting after dark to do the aforementioned schoolwork, make repairs to posessions, etc. This idea struck me as the most wideley deployable throughout the world. From what I could see, the needs of the poorer populations in developing countries varied a lot based on climate, terrrain, and culture. For example, what might be a good idea for the folks in the rural mountains of Brazil might nor be a good idea for the people of central Africa. Designing premade, modular housing seemed like a noble idea at first, but a couple of issues arose that made me think that over again. Those being:

 

1. Foreign materials that would be hard for local craftsmen to use and eventually repair.

 

2. Limitations in materials based on their reaction to individual climates.

 

3. Ugly, cookie cutter housing units.

 

In doing my research, I developed a deep admiration and respect for the dwelling in the mountains of Brazil. The bright colors and unique craftsmanship made me drop my housing idea altogether.

 

That is what led me to the DESK4ALL. I figured that families and thier children would always be able to use a clean source of elctricity and lighting.

 

Overview

 

The idea is to develop a plastic shell about 3mm thick that will be able to nest togther with other units for easy freight. That way, the freight usage is minimized. Included in the kit will be the main desk/shell, a seat that can double as a large bin/container, a 12v sealed battery,and a solar panel and mounting post that can be hammered into the ground. The panel under the battery is formed when the perforated panel is punched out from the main desk shell.

 

This is my initial layout to get an idea for size and anthropomorphics. I have left out the wiring and desk lamp for now until I can finalize it more. In the nature of collaboration, I openly welcome input, criticisims, accolades :), etc. This is my first draft.

 

Thanks, Joe.

 

 

post-50362-0-92635500-1302587256.jpg

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Here is my second revision to the DESK 4 ALL concept. I did a fair amount of research to come to this new approach. I have omitted the home-based solar panel idea to strip it down to a simple, easy to manufacture children's school desk. In my net wanderings, I found a real issue with the schools in developiing countries and their need for adequate workspaces for the students. See below:

post-50362-0-53734600-1303274127.jpg

and...

post-50362-0-68208100-1303273032.jpg

 

The new design is still to be made from a roto-molded or injection molded plastic. The shell thickness is about 3MM and can be made from an anti microbial plastic. I made numerous measurements of child's desks, and even factored in a couple of vintage school chairs my sons had in their rooms. The real inspiration came when I saw an Amish writing desk in one of my searches. The simple layout seemed a good fit for my desk's aesthetics.

 

post-50362-0-68184700-1303273304.jpg

 

Here you can see the inside and outside of the desk. Given the high cost of fuel, I wanted to maintain the desk's ability to "nest" to one another to reuduce mass and increase the number of units that could be fit into one shipment.

 

post-50362-0-72812700-1303273486.jpg

 

post-50362-0-37679800-1303273527.jpg

 

Since I have not had any responses, I figured my initial idea was so bad it was driving people away :). Please feel free to critique to your heart's content. I would really like to make this a good, collaborative effort with the member of Product Design Forums.

 

Joe.

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Hi Azuro

 

Ja the second one is much better.(ja in my langue is yes btw)

 

The first one is a novel idea but will be harder to produce and cost alot more.

 

The second one can be done with hemp which will make it almost free to manufacture.

 

People just need to realize that hemp is not weed.

 

Hemp can change the world!

 

ps, if you want them to nest togehter that arch in the work surface might have to be a straight slant.

Will it be blow molded?

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Hello Bustifurr,

 

Thanks for the reccommendation. That sweep did look a little aggressive but I thought it might still work. What you say about Hemp is true, the commercial plant used to make twine and other products contains none of the "medicinal" qualities of the herbal counterpart. I'm not sure how I would go about making a desk out of it with a 3MM shell though.

 

The idea to roto mold is similar to blow molding. Roto molding is for making hollow shelled parts on a much larger scale and with a much larger wall thickness. It is the same process used to make plastic kayaks, playground equipment, and large storage bins, just to name a few. I am also planning on creating a perforated panel in the front or side of the desk to act as "storage" for books and other supplies. These would just be perfed panels that can be punched out to allow access to the inside of the shell for keeping thing out of the way.

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I really like your idea :)

But in my opinion there is not enough space for the legs.. I mean there is but it will be more comfortable if the connecting part is narrower

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Thanks for the kudos!

 

I think you're right that the connection can be narrower. I still have to tweak the sweep from the top of the desk to the areas where the feet rest as well. I need to maximize the amount of space for feet, as well as maintain the desk's ability to stack/nest on top of one-another. Thanks again for the critique, and feel free to vote!

 

Joe.

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Hi nice idea but I am not too crazy about using materials that are not found locally within the area. I was just wondering could you use the plastic mould to cast thousands of those tables out of mud? Or is that viable?

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Hi nice idea but I am not too crazy about using materials that are not found locally within the area. I was just wondering could you use the plastic mould to cast thousands of those tables out of mud? Or is that viable?

 

Hi Streamliner,

 

I get your idea of using locally aquired materials, but that would put a severe hamper on the design intent of my project. Some of the original materials I looked into(wood, hemp fiber, plasterboard, etc) have regional limitations. While a material might be abundant in one part of the world, it might be scarce in another. Therefore, I arrived at the idea of making a shell-type desk that would be very light for it's size as well as stackable to increase the number of desks that could be shipped on a pallet. I figured if the desks were made to use a minimal amount of materials, they could be deployed worldwide with a single design scenario. This would be opposed to altering the design based on regional constraints and materials availibilty. From my experience, companies who do pro bono work for non profits like to have things as simple as possible. I figured that this method uses tried and true manufacturing method while being configured to use as few materials as possible. Thanks for the critique. Perhaps there are other applications where local materials would be beneficial.

 

Thanks, Joe.

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Hello everyone,

 

Here is my third revision to the "DESK4ALL" project. I have taken heed of recent suggestions and made some alterations to the desk. Firstoff, I changed the sweep on the inside where the knees go. This is to give more legroom and give more clearance foe the stacking and nesting that is parramount to the desk's design. It is deceptive, but if you pivot the desk-to-be-stacked from th rear, it nest rather nicely.

 

I have also made the tunnel in the center narrower to give more legroom as well. One of the other things I was thinking of adding was a cutout for handles that would enable the desk to be moved around easier. I would welcome feedback regarding that change as well.

 

Thanks, Joe.

 

post-50362-0-09326100-1304226985.jpg

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Hm I think that it it would be better if the seat was horizontal.. I think that this slope will make the person who is sitting slip backwards but i'm not quite sure :)

P.s. i like the idea of cutting out handles : )

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Hm I think that it it would be better if the seat was horizontal.. I think that this slope will make the person who is sitting slip backwards but i'm not quite sure :)

P.s. i like the idea of cutting out handles : )

 

You may be right about the slope of the seat. I took the side profile of the seat from my sons' antique school chairs that they had in their rooms. I kind of amalgamatedthe two profiles together to come up with what you see here. iwill probably tweak that profile a little more per your advice to see how it looks. I also have a figure I can use to test ergonomics as well. Thanks for the feedback on the handles too!

 

Joe.

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Hello all,

 

Here is my fourth revision to the DESK 4 All project. I have altered the backwards slope of the seat just a little bit per Gerivta's observation. A closer examination of literally all of the seating surfaces in my house lead me to see a variance of anywhere from 5 to 25 degrees of slope. I averaged out these and came up with the current configuration. I also changed the large sweep in the front back to a more mild one so as to produce more workspace for the student. I have also included a rough draft of the wording that I will have on the final board rendering. I didn't render this one just yet as I know it will be changing. Lastly, I also went ahead and did the handles on the sides for easier handling of the desk. Thanks so much for all of your input so far. Feel free to keep critiqing my design.

 

Thanks, Joe.

 

post-50362-0-25046700-1305432527.jpg

 

 

Also, I win a bet with my friend for using Comic Sans in a design!

Edited by azuro1125

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Hi Azuro1125

 

The handles are a good idea but I think they are far to low on your 3D model. The user would have to bend down to much to use them, maybe you should think about placing them higher up on you model. A good place to put them (I think) would be the back of the seating area and the front of the desk area. Bar that, it’s looking well good luck. ;)

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Good Point. I will be adding an opening of sorts to the front of the desk to act as storage for books, etc. I can mod the top of that opening to double as a handle, as well as moving one to the back. Good luck to you as well!

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Hello all,

 

Here is version number 5 of the Desk 4 All project. I have moved the handles to the front and back of the desk(thanks Streamliner!). I have also added an opening to the front of the desk to take advantage of the cavernous space under the writing surface.This would be a good place for books, paper, or other school supplies. The top edge of that opening serves as the front handle. I have also included a shot of one of the many arrangement possibilites of this versatile, lightweight schooldesk. Thanks for looking.

 

Joe.

 

post-50362-0-72102600-1306730880.jpg

 

 

 

post-50362-0-72616100-1306730854.jpg

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