The challenges underlying the design of a spoon are the same as those underlying a car. This section presents a case study in which students of 2nd semester PID at IDC, IIT Bombay were challenged by Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy to design spoons for various target users. The target needs were in the context of young kids (2-5 years), old people (71+ years), people on the move, pets, special ceremonies etc. Each scenario presents a different set of challenges for the students.
For example: A kids’ spoon needs to be playful and interesting for a kid while a spoon for the old has to ensure good grip. The spoon for the wedding has to depict the grandeur and ceremonial nature of the purpose for which it is being targeted. A traveling spoon has to ensure small size and good grip while the traveler is in motion. The spoon for the dog has to take into consideration two users, the dog who is being fed and the person who feeds it.
While the design process more or less follows the predictable and researched phases and baseline steps to create a product, in design pedagogy it is a challenge to align along with the process key zones as triggers to enhance multi-layered learning and process innovation for desirable product creation. The project started with design brief, and designers were encouraged to recollect the needs of activities rather than going for research to understand the user need. This way the designer’s views were not biased with the research survey. Also, rhetorically they had to find the user within themselves to study deeply. The case study validated the stage gate innovative methodology in design discourse by effectively resulting in innovative design concepts. Use of counter intuitive process like making familiar strange by increasing proportions help to build upon concepts incrementally. The process emphasizes how an active and interactive stage in model exploration helps to evolve an innovative methodology for product innovation.
The following sections explain the design process undertaken and the consequent innovative spoons developed.
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