I made the final model for the Encourage Medal from styrene and high density foam covered in copper leaf. The bottom part of the medal pulls out to reveal the screen with a message to the explorer. The main body of the medal, made from the styrene will display an 'FM' lit up symbol to show that a message has been received.
To finish the model, I made packaging. I had pieces of leather and silk embroidered with 'Fortnum & Mason' then sewed the leather together to make a pouch. The piece of silk acts as an extra luxury to wrap around the medal. There is also a small instruction manual bound in leather explaining simply how the product works.
These are my presentation boards for this project. They have been adapted slightly from the ones I submitted to the D&AD student awards but the main content is the same. They are the rationale board, research board, user-interaction board and product features board.
When I decided on the final form of the Encourage Medal, I had to work out how it could be made. It would need to be small enough to still be able to be used as a medal, while still fitting all the electronics inside it. The medal would work like a pager, the explorer would need a satellite phone to allow them to receive messages through the medal. An oled screen would be used as it is small and has a bright display that can be easily read in all conditions.
I made a concept model to see how the medal would work and look. It was far too big so I had to rethink my plan and ensure that the Encourage medal could be made small enough so it would not annoy the explorer when they were wearing it.
I decided to develop the idea of the Encourage Tags. These started as dog tags that could receive messages from loved ones to encourage the explorer when they are feeling disheartened. I worked on many different forms of the tag, with parts that pulled out to reveal a screen or that could be read like a book.
I then had the idea to make it in the form of a medal, I thought this would fit in with the Fortnum and Mason brief, conveying a sense of British pride and heritage.
After getting the results of my cultural probes I had a number of insights. These included:
It can be difficult to be away from your loved ones
It is often the simple things you miss from home
People like treats when they are away from home but these must be suitable for the conditions
People have different ways to find comfort in unpredictable conditions.
From these insights, and others, I was able to produce 100 ideas. These ranged from heartbeat rings that the antarctic explorer and their partner can wear and the other persons heartbeat pulses on the ring their partner is wearing. Encourage tags that display messages of encourage from friends and family at home. To pendulum dowsing instruments that help the explorer find their way, as well as other spiritual objects to encourage the explorer to persevere.
My life is a complete mess at the moment so I've completely neglected my blog, apologies mr blog man!! I'm gonna do a mammoth blogging session tonight to fill you in on my latest project. I love all nighters, it's the best time of the day!