Designing for Play, Fall 2017, Instructor: Cas Holman, Partner: George Duan
Teeter Tot Collection (2017)
a pair of unsuspecting chairs designed for an office lounge space to revitalize risky play in everyday adult lives.
Timeline: 4 Weeks
Choose one play value that (in your observations) is inaccessible to adults. Design and prototype something to serve this need.
My partner George and I began by listing different play values we found to be inaccessible to adults. We decided we wanted to focus primarily on risky play. We were interested in designing for this play value as many examples of risky play in adult life are not necessarily safe (i.e. skydiving, bungee jumping, drag racing). In addition, we wanted to design for exploratory play. We noted that as time passes, risky play evolves into exploratory play.
We decided to design a furniture collection for an office lounge space centered around risky play, intended to provide a safe yet unexpected way for adults to experience and explore risk.
Our main concept involved furniture with collapsing legs that would give the user a surprised feeling when sat on. After this surprise, they would be able to use the chair functionally and be invited to explore further uses.
We modified a few chairs and created models to figure out what types of springs to use, as well as the functionality of spring placements. We decided to build two stools at different heights for two unique risky experiences.
Next, we created cut foam prototypes to test our spring mechanism within our upholstery.
For the frame of our chair, we designed plywood fin structures filled with polyurethane foam to maintain a lightweight structure.
We attached the frame to the top of the chair using screws and a dowel pin connection.
After building the frame, we began the upholstery process, first securing the base layer of foam then the microfiber layer.
Next came pattern-making for our two chair designs.
We named the taller stool "Teeter" and the smaller stool "Tot" to reflect their playful energies.