15 October 2012

PSS - Peer Reviews

Lukas Cubirka
Sebastian Gregory
Stella Ho
Gabriel Ly
Dale Wakeham

PSS - Sydney Scoot


Sydney Scoot

Sydney Scoot is an electric scooter rental scheme targeting tourists visiting Sydney. The eye-catching stations scattered across the city allow users to undock electric scooters after scanning their licence and credit card, to explore the emerald city.
A vast majority of countries have high populations of scooter abled drivers. 5.2 million short-term visitors arrive in Australia every year. Sydney Scoot aims to capitalise on this by providing electric scooters to these short term visitors and allowing them to explore the city at their own pace.
Sydney Scoot is a Product Service System (PSS) that provides an interesting and competitive form of transport for visitors to Sydney in the following ways:

  1. User autonomy
Sydney’s public transport can be a daunting experience, the buses have complicated zones and ticketing and can suffer from irregular timetables. The Sydney Scoot provides an opportunity for tourists to be completely independent. They do not have to adhere to timetables and are totally free to explore when/where/what they please. The Sydney Scoot electric scooters provide storage underneath the seat and in the top box for all shopping purchases and personal items.

  1. Guilt free experience
The Sydney Scoot scooters are electrically powered. This means no tailpipe emissions and a nice quiet ride. The scooters provide a large kilometre range and have a short charging time. Just plug it back into the dock at your next destination and rest assured the scooter will be ready for your next travel leg. The Sydney Scoot hire terminal is solar powered and any additional power harnessed is channeled into the charging docks.

  1. Easy access
The Sydney Scoot system has been designed to take the worry out of vehicle hire. There are no keys to lose or pin codes to forget, the whole system relies upon an RFID enabled credit card, which, once activated, is easily tapped onto the receiver panel on the docking station to release the scooter. Getting lost is another big concern in a foreign city, Sydney Scoot has alleviated this issue by providing built in GPS units on all the scooters.

  1. Safety first
Sydney Scoot provides comfortable and high safety rated helmets. These helmets have fully washable lining and come complete with a flip down sun shield. The GPS system installed into the scooters links up with a bluetooth headset installed inside the helmet. This allows the directions from the GPS unit to be heard directly by the driver, ensuring they will never get lost. The Hire terminal has been design to be vandal resistant with a strong stainless steel front panel. The docking stations have RFID enabled locks, which sense the scooter being returned, and clamp the front wheel. The top of the terminals and docking stations are deliberately slanted to discourage waste from being discarded there.

In summation, the Sydney Scoot provides tourists with a unique way to explore this great city. The PSS allows for a streamlined, fun and unforgettable trip without the hassles associated with being in a foreign city.

24 September 2012

Video Reflection: Who Killed the Electric Car?

Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) Directed by Chris Paine is an insight into what happened to the electric car. After studies in 1989 found that 1 in 4 15-24 year olds living in Los Angeles had severe lung lesions and chronic raspatory disease, the Californian government had the insight in 1990 to create the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEM) mandate stating that by 2008, 10% of new cars sold had to be electric. This then forced the car manufacturers to create electric cars. Despite the manufacturers resistance, they were mostly successful. The deeper issues here are the reluctance of the manufacturers to create products that require little servicing, need no oil changes, and have no need to regularly refuel on petrol.

This war on the electric car was about money. Making energy efficient cars that had no reliance on fossil fuels removed the need for big corporations. Poor tactics were used such as buying controlling shares in the battery company then preventing the battery creator from talking to the press about how great his batteries were. They used inferior batteries in the initial cars, even though superior battery technology was readily available. The cars were only available to lease, not to buy. Preventing any long-term ownership of the cars, and allowing the car manufacturers to repossess the electric cars whenever they pleased. Interested parties were informed of the many limitations of the cars when they inquired about leasing. Which as Chelsea Sexton states, “if you really want to sell a product, you don’t start out by listing the limitations of that product”. The advertisements created for these electric cars were haunting and eerie, not your typical car advertisement with a fast car and a pretty woman displayed on the bonnet.

Consumer groups started lobbying against the small tax increases used to build charging stations around the city of Los Angeles. Further investigation into these consumer groups, revealed that they were funded by oil companies. The Californian government had created a mandate to force car manufacturers to build electric cars but soon realised they had no way to enforce it. Pressure from the Bush administration to change the mandate and eventual legal action forced the Californian government to amend the mandate and provide a clause stating that the car companies need only comply, if there was a great consumer push for electric cars.

The documentary itself lists the factors to be blamed for the demise of the electric car. These are: the car companies, oil companies, California Air Resources Board, consumers, the government and the promise of hydrogen fuel cells, which would never eventuate.

What is utterly frightening about this documentary is the revelation of how the combined forces of the US federal government, the car manufacturers and the oil companies persuaded the consumers that electric cars are not the way of the future. Substantial tax rebates were offered to those who purchased the large SUV GM’s Hummer. Those they did not persuade, they simply reclaimed the cars and destroyed them. Leaving no trace, only memories of what once was, and what the world could have been.

A follow up documentary titled “Revenge of the Electric Car” was released in 2011.

Image Link

10 September 2012

Peer Reviews - Cormack Packaging

Rebecca Womersley
Deon Pazpinis
James Chen
Andrew Bae

Packaging Presentation

“O” Juice Bottle RATIONALE

Existing Juice packaging has many flaws. Many are difficult to open. Tetra paks contain straws that are hard to remove and insert. Pop top bottles encourage opening with teeth which can lead to damage.
The OJ juice bottle is a fun and quirky design for young children. It creates a unique and enjoyable way for children to drink juice.

The design consists of a unique “O” shaped bottle and an easy twist top. The bottle’s unique design is made for young children to enable ease of use through a comfortable and palpable “O” shape. This shape has been ergonomically designed to accommodate the 50mm hand width dimensions of 5 to 6 year olds. The large “O” shape allows easy grip and enables the children to tip the bottle up to drink with ease.

The lid comprises two parts. The white outer lid and the blue inner lid. These parts are connected with internal rings to prevent the top part of the lid being extricated and consequentially a choking hazard. The twist top lid has large ridges on the outside allowing children to easily twist the top up to drink, avoiding pulling, which can damage teeth. The inner lid has mini ramps which guide the outer lid when twisted to travel up and down, thus opening and closing  the lid. The twist top cap is water tight when closed.

The bottle and lids are made from food safe polypropylene. They have been designed with reuse in mind, as the bottle is refillable. When they do reach the end of their life, they are all the same material, and are easy to recycle.

18 August 2012

Focus group

The results of the focus group are as follows.

- Straw too short
- Lid needs tamper seal
- Lid could pop open in bag
- Lid too large for bottle
- Change material of bottle
- Graphics could be a problem to apply

- Tech drawing confusing
- Show how foil pack is made
- Target market is missing
- How does the product fit in a lunch box
- Use smaller images
- Use more written explanations

- Add age and target market
- State material and manufactoring processes
- Redesign lid
- Incorporate foil seal for freshness
- List advantages of the product on the posters

09 August 2012

Disassemble - Toaster Oven

The Project was to disassemble an appliance and work out how improvements could be made.
The three areas we looked into were, how to increase durability, how to make reparable and upgradable, and finally how to improve dissassembly so that the parts can be reused and recycled.
The photos below show our progress.


05 August 2012

The 11th Hour

 The 11th hour (2007) is a documentary produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, directed by Leila and Nadia Conners. The film interviews many independent environmental experts about climate change, what the causes are, what can be done and why humans are so slow to react. An early quote from Stephen Schneider sets the scene, “As we destroy nature, we will be destroyed in the process.” Several of the experts state that the human brain is the key to our survival, stating that humans are the only species able to think of the future. 
The somewhat typical binary of human-vs-nature is an underlying rubric to the argument flow of the documentary narrative, subverting the arguments of economic rationalism with quantitative research attesting the finite nature of Earth's resources. Conners' argument asserts that change began with the industrial revolution and the lessening of sunlight to survive, going on to explore our dependency on fossil fuels and an increasing dependency on globalised mass farming. 
The documentary rings home with all the radical changes in climate such as the floods, droughts, extreme hurricanes, highest average temperatures on record. A worst-case scenario for the future as stated by Stephen Hawking is that earth could become like its sister planet Venus, where the temperature is 250˚C and it rains sulphuric acid.
The earth is being radically changed in a short period of time, and our appetite for consumer goods that rely heavily on natural resources continues to grow. We are essentially poisoning the planet. The argument is compounded with, typically for infotainment, one of hope. We have a chance to fix this. We need to reconnect with nature. We have existing technologies to create green buildings and to retro fit pre 1950’s buildings that could reduce our carbon footprint by 90%. We need to redesign design. We need to change the thinking of products from cradle to grave, to cradle to cradle. In nature there is no waste. We need to have a passion for where you live.  
Documentaries like this serve perhaps as the exact type of passive project, ambitious of some mythical kind of proto-stimulation in the field that they criticise in their argument - basically a lot of rich people made this as a feel good product - placing the importance of human agency squarely on a working class who will probably never see this documentary.  

99.9999% of species are extinct. Humans can become part of that statistic. The earth will survive. Will we still be on it?

Video Link 

21 July 2012

Video Reflection - Packaging

After viewing the video series of both ‘How It’s Made: Packaging’ and ‘Giving Packaging a New Life’ the viewer is left with a solid understanding of how different types of packaging is made, and the recycling processes at the end of life.

The videos give a detailed view of the processes required for packaging from start to finish, including the recycling processes such as sorting and breaking down the packaging.
The aluminium packaging tubes was an informative video to watch. As I had little knowledge of how they were made before this video. It was interesting to learn that the tubes are made from a single disc of aluminium that was punched from a flat sheet. The disc is then fed into a press for impact extrusion, which creates the tube shape. The scrap aluminium from the sheet gets recycled into a new aluminium sheet, ready for the next set of discs to be punched. This process was relatively the same for the aluminium drink containers.

I was fascinated to learn how easily recyclable tetrapaks are. As they are made from laminated paper, plastic and foil I had assumed the process to recycle them would be difficult. Upon watching the video I learned it was a simple process of chopping the material up and adding water so the paper would swell and separate from the foil and plastic layers.

One thing I had always wondered was how recycling was separated, as at home, there is only one bin that all recyclable material is put in to. That question was answered in the final video for ‘Giving Packaging a New Life’. Thanks to relatively new combined recycling plants, this process is now easier and can save up to 50% of associated costs compared to separate recycling plants. The collected recyclables are sent to a combined recycling plant where they are emptied onto big conveyer belts. From these belts the contents are separated. Air blowers separate the lightweight plastic films into one section. Magnets are used to collect the metals and sieves remove the paper products. Infra red systems are used to detect composite packaging, such as tetrapaks, and channel a localised blast of air to separate these. Once the differing materials are separated they can be recycled accordingly.

It is important for designers to understand these processes as this knowledge enables the designer to consider the impact of the product they are designing, and whether there is a less environmentally intrusive way of bringing a new product to life.
This knowledge also creates certain dilemmas in the designing process. Whether the designer will choose glass packaging as this can be made from up to 90% recycled material saving energy in production and reducing the need for virgin material taken from natural resources. However, this type of packaging is heavy which leads to increased transport costs and carries the risk of the glass breaking leaving dangerous shards.