Techno Aesthetic Detailing

Eugéne
10 min readJun 3, 2021

Hello, I’m Abhishek, a 6th semester Industrial Design student from National Institute of Design, Andhra Pradesh. In this blog, I’ll be sharing my process from my project for the topic techno-aesthetic detailing. This project is a 7-week module under the guidance of Mr.Kuntal De.

Week 1: Understanding TAD

Week 1 was all about understanding what techno aesthetic detailing is and how it's relevant for us. Think of it like this, you are in the market to buy a laptop for yourself, you are a regular screen time user and you just need to do a few tasks for work. You are now given a choice between a Dell Xps 15(right) and an Alienware X series r1(left).

Even though they are very similar in terms of what they do, they are very different in what they are primarily for and what kind of audience they are targeted towards. One is targeted for gaming and the other is for everyday use. The purpose is driven forth by small details in the main chassis of the device. So in my understanding, TAD or techno aesthetic detailing concerns with solving technical problems with aesthetics in mind.

Moving forward in the week we went ahead and tried picking up our domains to see where we could work, it started with many random ideas, for one I had thought of working on increasing the range of EV’s (electric vehicles) with the help of Aero wheels keeping in mind that India as a developing country is picking up of EV’s and have reduced taxation on it and since there are few charging stations as of now, so it’d be better if we can maximize the range as much as possible.

Later with guidance from our mentor, we figured that it's better to keep a wide range of topics in mind when attacking such a project where we need to generate our own brief. So to help us we were given a set of keywords we could choose from and add more if required.

I chose the keywords Health, Mobility, and Sports and started looking at various contexts as possible before narrowing them down to a few problem areas, this was like a flashback of our Opportunity mapping module.

Week 2: Problem Mapping

During the weekend we wrote down more contexts to increase our range of problem areas came up with another set of keywords, Injury, and sports. Then we researched a little about injuries and sports to understand the details and parts involved with the injury.

We used this scale to understand the severity of injuries and choose where our range of problem areas lie.
common injuries on body parts

Common injuries in Sports:

  • Sprains: Overstretching or tearing the ligaments results in a sprain. Ligaments are pieces of tissue that connect two bones to one another in a joint.
  • Strains: Overstretching or tearing muscles or tendons results in a sprain. Tendons are thick, fibrous cords of tissue that connect bone to muscle. Strains are commonly mistaken for sprains.
  • Knee injuries: Any injury that interferes with how the knee joint moves could be a sports injury. It could range from an overstretch to a tear in the muscles or tissues in the knee.
  • Swollen muscles: Swelling is a natural reaction to an injury. Swollen muscles may also be painful and weak.
  • Achilles tendon rupture: The Achilles tendon is a thin, powerful tendon at the back of your ankle. During sports, this tendon can break or rupture. When it does, you may experience sudden, severe pain and difficulty walking.
  • Fractures: Bone fractures are also known as broken bones.
  • Dislocations. Sports injuries may dislocate a bone in your body. When that happens, a bone is forced out of its socket. This can be painful and lead to swelling and weakness.
  • Rotator cuff injury: Four pieces of muscle work together to form the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff keeps your shoulder moving in all directions. A tear in any of these muscles can weaken the rotator cuff.

After a brief study of injuries, I went ahead to create certain contexts to explore problem areas.

a broad analysis of ankle injuries and various contexts
task and ecology analysis to find details and distinct problems
a broad analysis of cervical and lumbar injuries and various contexts

From a general understanding of various contexts I listed down a certain set of problem areas as given below while also keeping in mind some ideas to tackle them:

Ankles

problem statements:

  • ankle injuries are very common in sports where one has to jump, run and change directions at the same time, multiple times in a row or a prolonged period of time
  • toddlers learning to walk often require assistance but are often left on their own to try and figure it out under supervision which can cause minor injuries when they fall
  • since for humans, standing running and jumping and landing barefoot is natural and provides the most amount of balance, on the other hand when you wear different types of shoes you need time to adjust to it which can lead to ankle injuries for new users
  • walking, running, jumping, or landing on uneven surfaces can cause injuries for athletes or kids or anyone for that matter

briefs:

  • reduce the ankle injuries in sports that require a quick change of direction in a state of balance or off-balance to keep the athlete fit for future campaigns
  • provide ankle support to ankles when wearing sports-specific shoes
  • provide balance and support to a toddler learning how to walk

Back:

problem statement:

  • motorsports are often quite challenging for newer people due to extreme ergonomics and conditions
  • the tucked-in position in a super sports frame bike is a challenge during longer rides which puts pressure on the wrists and back of the rider
  • cycling is a good sport or hobby to have but can cause back injuries if the ergonomic isn’t right
  • lifting heavy weights with an arched back puts extreme pressure on the discs of the vertebrae
  • bad posture while sitting standing or sleeping can cause small wear and tear in the intervertebral discs
  • pregnant women often suffer from lumber problems while performing day to day tasks
  • some women often have upper back pain due to their breasts, the same is also sometimes seen in small children due to their heavy school bags.

Week 3: Problem Statement

Our objective was to finalize a set or range of problem areas during this week and narrow down on one particular problem statement.

Since I am fond of sporting activities from a very young age, I decided that I’d like to go ahead and identify problems in this sector so I chose to work with ankle injuries in particular. For this problem, I picked the shoe as the constant parameter and kept surfaces and and activities as the variables which allowed me to understand the needs of different contexts and how to the problem statement changes.

table of parameters and context
ideas based on the needs of the parameters

From here I asked a few questions for finalizing the context for which the problem was predominant. The questions are as follows:

  • how often do you exercise or play sports?
  • how much value is there in buying a specific shoe for it?
  • how often do you get injured?
  • how important is injury prevention for you?
  • what kind of surfaces do you play or train in?

Then I realized that in the school environment, children during the brakes play on different surfaces and are prone to get hurt due to slippage while running, jumping, or changing directions. So this context would be a good one to choose. Then I identified certain keywords to fix on the context which were:

  • Performance
  • looks
  • injury
  • surface

Then it was time to write the problem statement. Children of secondary school often are not worried about getting injured when they play and are often running and jumping on various kinds of surfaces, be it concrete or tiles or even gravel ground.

Brief: To make a shoe for children of the senior secondary or secondary school students (above the age of 10) which can be used on a daily basis for sporting activities on different surfaces and conditions to allow for injury prevention by slipping, spraining, or due to impact of jumping or landing.

Week 4: Focused Research

Understanding the space (schools):

Stairs:

maximum pitch for a private stair of 42º.

The normal relationship between the rise and the going is that 2 x the rise + the going should be between 550 and 700 mm.

  • For school buildings, the preferred rise is 150 mm and the preferred going is 280 mm.
  • one flight of stairs typically equals ten to twelve vertical feet.

Credits:Designing Buildings Wiki https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Stair_design#General_access_stair

Surfaces:

Students come across a number of surfaces in a school environment. Some of the most common types of surfaces in a school environment would be as follows:

  • Tiles
  • Concrete
  • Turf or artificial grass mats
  • Grass ground
  • Gravel or sandy ground
  • Synthetic rubber
  • Wood

Anthropometry:

Taken from: https://www.indianpediatrics.net/jan2019/jan-23-28.htm

Based on this research conducted by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, it’s clear to understand that girls have a growth peak at the age of roughly around 10–12 and boys have it at around 13–15. This suggests that overall size changes during this time and require new clothes and shoes more frequently. So during the age of 10–16, parents often have to buy new school shoes and uniforms quite often.

Shoes:

Existing school shoes in the market
some sports shoes that are acceptable by some schools

Week 5: Visualization of the concept

things to tackle
early concepts

concept to take forwards……

example of possible lattice structure for the midsole
dimensions
contruction
solid model
what the printed part will look like once assembled

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