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Posted in September 2012

User Testing and Problem Solving

After the interview with Gaurav about his graduation
project
, I got a call from him one morning. He was nearing the completion of
the preliminary prototype of the product he was designing. I had to go check it
out and possibly help out in a user-test.

As I met him, Andy (another friend of ours) was helping him
out in resolving an issue. The guitar strap mechanism wasn’t holding stiff on
the waist-strap. We thought about the issue for a while and Andy came up with a
structural solution to add a metallic plate at the back so that the loads and
moments would be neutralized and the link would stay in place. This fit with
the underlying philosophy of his product and Andy and Gaurav improvised
a back brace to achieve that.

                                                         

                     Me trying out the product prototype                                          Andy and the improvised back-brace 

It was great to see an organic collaboration between an
Engineer (Andy) and a Designer (Gaurav) working towards a solution that
required knowledge and expertise in both fields.

I learnt a lot from these guys.

Thanks!

 

Tot Later

A Pleasant Encounter – A Day With the Guys at Kinetic Vision

After shopping for groceries on a lazy Sunday I was cycling
back home, when, in the middle of the TU campus, I ran into two guys holding
some pretty awesome looking filming equipment. I saw they had a slider and a
fancy tripod so I stopped and asked them about it. They were surprised that I
was so enthusiastic about what they were doing. They happened to be shooting
videos over campus as footage they could use in an upcoming project they were
working on.

I told them how I was very enthusiastic about film-making
and they were happy to hear that. We decided to meet up again at their office
and possibly talk about me working for them. I was super excited. That same day
I visited their office and we decided on me working with them during the week
to try it out.

                                                      

                  The Awesome Canon 5D camera at the office                        Niels and Rene- Getting the perfect shot 

During the week we took the camera equipment and walked
around campus shooting various clips of the university and its facilities. They
were working on a promotional video for new students coming to the university.
So, the video had to be comprehensive and consist of informative images.

The two guys were Rene and Niels and their company is called
Kinetic Vision. On that field day on campus they taught me a lot about getting
good footage on the camera and certain tricks and methodologies on how to shoot
videos professionally. I was in awe and learnt a lot from just that one day.

I hope to work with and learn from these guys and at Kinetic
Vision!

 

Tot Later

A not-so-alone Birthday

It was my birthday on the 30th of July. For the
first time in my life, I was not going to be celebrating it in India.

The 28th of July was a usual weekend night. A few
of my friends had come over to my new apartment to hang out and jam. One of
them, Nishant, was surprisingly late and I was wondering why he hadn’t made it
yet.

When he finally arrived, it turned out that he had brought
along a cake, chocolates and candles. It was Srivi’s, Vivek’s and Nishant’s
plan all along. I was pleasantly surprised and thankful that my friends had
made and effort to turn my 21st birthday into a small celebration.

The reason they had decided 28th as the date was
because Srivi was departing to India on the 29th. So it was a
mini-farewell plus birthday combined. I enjoyed it a lot and Srivi even had a
small present for me. It was some money she had crafted (origami style) into a
guitar. Fitting J

On the 29th night, minutes before my actual
birthday, I was sleeping when suddenly my doorbell rang. I dragged myself to
the door only to see Andy, Gaurav and Sid, waiting at the door. Their excuse- “You
don’t think we would leave you alone on your actual Birthday”. It was another
pleasant surprise, the second in two days.

So my 21st birthday wasn’t a huge party in India,
but I had two mini celebrations with close friends. It felt right.

 

Thank you guys!

Damn. I’m 21.

 

Tot Later!

Guitar Man – Gaurav Genani on his Graduation Project

One of my closest friends here in Delft, Gaurav Genani, has
been working on his graduation project as a Master’s student at the Faculty of
Industrial Design Engineering. We play in a band together and he’s one hell of
a guitarist. I was very intrigued by his topic of his graduation project. I
hope you guys will find it exciting too!

 

Q. So is it a graduation project or a thesis?

A. So how it works is that in the Industrial Design
Engineering Master Program there are 4 semesters and each semester is worth
thirty credits. So the final semester consists of a graduation project worth 30
credits. So strictly speaking, it’s not a thesis. But all other faculties here
have theses and Industrial Design has a graduation project. So the graduation
project will prove if you are capable and ‘good enough’ to graduate, like a
thesis.

 

Q. So what’s the graduation project like?

A. There are 3 main fields: Strategic Product Design, Design for
Interaction and Integrated Product Design. These three different fields have their own
demands. My field is Integrated Product Design and I have to demonstrate, through my
product, how the user perceives what works and what doesn’t in it.

 

Q. What’s YOUR graduation project about?

A. My graduation project deals with ergonomics of electric
guitars. I’m part of the ergonomics group so my graduation project should
somehow deal with ergonomics. So, I’m a guitarist and I wanted to bring that
into my work. I wanted to explore the injuries and the strains that revolve
around guitarists.

 

Q. It’s like your integrating your creative passion with you
work.

A. Yes, I’m a guitarist so the analysis was somewhat done in
my head already. Sometimes students get attached to projects that are
completely new for them like sustainability and they have to go through the
initial phase of getting used to the project. I could somewhat go past that
since I have an understanding of the subject. It allowed me to go into deeper
analysis of the project.

 

Q. So what’s the product you’re working on?

A. I wanted to explore how you attach the instrument to your
body. The most common and pretty much the only way for electric guitars is a
strap around the neck. But this has a lot of biomechanical problems. But as I’ve
found, it also turns out that you can attach it to your waist as well. So I’ve
made a belt and I’m thinking of an attachment to fasten the guitar to the belt.
So the link is based on zero-gravity tool holders which are used in assembly
lines. So due to that principle you don’t need to use much body strength to
hold it. From a musician’s perspective, the neutral position should not require
strain on any extra muscles. So the guitar should remain in position without
using extra force.  I’m currently working
on building it here using aluminium and steel brackets and springs. That’s the
main idea.

 

Q. So what’s next?

A. After building the prototype, I’ll be reviewed in a ‘Greenlight’
meeting. It’s a no go sort of a thing where it will be decided if I’m on the
right track to graduating.

 

Gaurav working on building the product 

Well, fingers crossed and I hope this works out well. Being
a somewhat of a guitar player myself, I think this is a much needed aspect of
the instrument.

Thanks For the interview Gaurav!
And I’ll be expecting the product once it’s one the market. Free of charge!

Tot Later

 

 

 

 

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