Starting back in 4th year we got to choose a brief out of 6 RSA briefs or another competition, “Delight in Light.” After going through the RSA briefs I really didn’t want to end up design another service again and none of them appealed to me. I felt like it had been a while since I had been in the workshop and made a product so I went for the Lighting competition as this was basically designing any interior light.
At the beginning of the project I was struggling to come up with an idea as the brief was so broad, in the end after some sketching and research I came up with my concept. I wanted to create a night light that would help children that were afraid of the dark. My initial insight for this was that children start to have a very active imagination at the age of 3 which can mean that they struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I thought if I could use this imagination in a positive way I could help reduce this fear of the dark, the fear of things under the bed and monsters lurking in the closet.
During my interim I presented my research and initial ideas, I started off with just some book research about children fears and then after starting to come up with my “Buddy Box” idea looked into ways of how the child could customise their own night light to create a guardian using their imagination. I also went to Toys R Us and took pictures of toys where the child would use their imagination to create something to see what level 3 year olds could build at –
After plenty of feedback from my interim about making my “Buddy” more high end, softer looking and friendlier I finally came up with my final concept of a “Bedtime Buddy.”
Next was to start making the light, to create it I first started with the “Buddy” part of the light. I created a mould of 1 half of this using foam and a piece of MDF to give room for the plastic being round when vacuum forming, I then cut out 3 circles of acrylic on the laser cutter and glued all this together –
For the base I created a rough model out of foam to get an idea of the size of this first. After that I used grey foam, cut it out on the bandsaw and then sanded down the edge on the bandsaw to create a slight chamfer. Next I used a pillar drill to drill out the middle hole for where the light fittings go and then another drill for the second layer up for the buddy to sit in. I then sanded it all down smooth and used a white emulsion paint.
Lastly to get the light fittings into the base I simply drilled a hole down through the bottom then used a file to sand a channel for the wire to run through under the base.
I also needed to create some packaging for my light so did this using a thick card and printing off my design from illustrator and glueing it onto the sides. I stuck to a simple look which got all the information across about why the light benefited the child, what was included with the light and the technical details. The printing would only use 2 colours and be on 1 side of corrugated card to keep costs low and also includes an acetate window with stickers attached to give a preview of the “Buddy” in the box.
Finally the last part of my work was done by bringing my light to one of my Dad’s friends house for their child to play with and for me to get some in context images for my presentation boards. The little girl really enjoyed creating her own lamp, colouring in the stickers and designing its face and accessories. This was really positive for me as it helped validate my idea.
Below are my final presentation boards which I handed in on Thursday, please let me know your thoughts on my work.