I spent the other day browsing through all the images that TweeingSeat took during the Degree Show. It was fascinating flicking through the hundreds of photographs and seeing how the different people that the seat encountered interacted with it. I decided that it could make an interesting ‘stop-motion’ type video… so here it is!
The University of Dundee (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) Degree Show was recently held from the 2oth-29th May. All the graduating students from the art college exhibited their work to the public throughout this time.
TweetingSeat was on display in the product design studios along with the projects of the other 4th year students from the course.
The show actually began on the evening of the 9th May, when selected representatives from industry and the media were invited to preview the exhibition. The following evening was ‘launch night’, when friends and family were given the opportunity to join us all for the first showing. On this night the college was full to capacity and a party like atmosphere was in the air as people flooded into the studios to see what was on show. It can’t be denied that the array of free beverages helped liven the mood!
For the following week the show was open to public, during which time many people took the opportunity to get a glimpse of the newest batch of artists and designers to enter the wider world. The degree show at DJCAD has a reputation for being one of the best in the country.
Check out the Product Design Degree Show website here.
The interest surounding TweetingSeat has continued to grow since my last post. It has appeared on yet more blogs and I myself have had several interviews for different publications.
Check out the TweetingSeat articles on;
As part of the TALK stage of the project we were required to create a press release and attain exposure for our product. Upon doing this, the coverage of TweetingSeat has been nothing short of overwhelming.
The press release was first sent out on 21 April, and within 5 days the TweetingSeat webpage had over 9,500 views and @tweetingseat had over 200 followers. At the time of writing this post, these figures had risen to 27,000 website hits and 1,600+ followers on twitter. This includes traffic from over 400 sources and visitors from 125 different countries.
During this time, TweetingSeat appeared on various websites, online magazines and blogs, including; NOTCOT, Core77, Ubergizmo, Gizmodo, International Business Times (IBT), DesignMilk and Yanko, to name a few.
I also had an interview with WIRED and appeared on their online magazine. WIRED are one of the largest technology publications in the UK, and were recently featured on The Apprentice.
The seat was featured in an article in the local Telegraph newspaper, which you can see below. This was the result of a telephone interview with one of their reporters.
One sunny day last week TweetingSeat to up location at Dundee’s Botanical Gardens for some user testing. At first, there were very few people, but after a while more and more people came past the bench.
During user testing the general reception to the bench was positive. One older couple were a little confused by its function and seemed uneasy about the use of the internet, but they still allowed photos to be taken. No one else voiced concern about the uploading of images. Everyone else was actually very interested in the use of Twitter, even if they didn’t use it themselves.
Many people showed their appreciation for the design of the bench. Several people said that they had come over just to see it up close.
View the images captured by the bench at the Botanic Gardens here.
Following the completion of the bench, Jonny and I went out to get some images to release to the press. Both of us had a go with the camera and took over 50 images in the space of about 15 minutes, which gave me a great choice to what pictures I should use.
Here you can view my Press Release;
and here you can check out my selected Press Images
To finish, the slats were varnished and waxed to give a smooth finish. The legs, feature slat and birds were all painted. I managed to go through around £100 worth of spray paint, and at one stage my garage turned into a spray booth.
Before I could begin painting and applying any finishes to the bench, several parts needed recesses milled to house electronics. Also, I was unable to find bolts of the appropriate length, so these required cutting down to size.
Each of the two birds have been made from 6 individual laser cut parts of 4mm MDF. To form the bird shape they have been glued together and sanded down.
Check out my nice bright new slats. Following the poor quality of the ones I bought, Lyle (workshop technician) and I went about making better ones. This involved cutting timber planks down to size, planing the main surfaces, trimming the edges, planing the edges, rounding the corners and a hell of a lot of sanding!
Bentleys kindly sent me some photos of my parts being produced. They have been machined out of 18mm plywood on a huge flat-bed CNC router. All I had to do was send them CAD drawings, which they then programmed into the router.
As I went to begin the manufacturing of the legs of my bench, Lyle from the workshop suggested I contact a local shop-fitters to see if they could CNC the parts for me.
I got in touch with Jim Wallace of Bentleys Shop-fitting in Dundee on Friday that week, went to meet him the following Tuesday, and that Friday I had delivery for me at the college reception. That was it…. done!
I owe a huge thank you to Bentleys for offering up their services and resources to help me out. Not only did they do this all as a sponsorship, they got it done for me so quickly. I can’t thank them enough!
Some shots from the workshop as I produced the prototype of the bird box that will house the remote camera. It has been produced using MDF, and took an afternoon to construct after working out the measurements from a cardboard test model.
Just in case you were wondering where I have been as I haven’t blogged anything to do with my project in a few weeks, I have been hard at work designing my bench and the associated objects. I have quite a lot of content to get uploaded on here and when time allows me, I will do so.
For now, here are some shots of an MDF prototype of the bird box that will house the remote camera across from the bench. This object will likely be attached to a tree, and it is from here the photo of people using the bench will be taken.
I was having a look around for some inspiration for the form of my bird box, which will house the remote camera for my bench, and came across this. Okay, it’s not really what my project is about any more, but it’s still pretty cool.
Also came across this interesting company who produce new products from old and recycled wood. Some really nice stuff on their website, including bird boxes and wooden birds. Just what I was looking for!
Early last week I took a trip over the Tay to a sawmill in St Andrews to see about getting my slats produced. I decided that since I will likely have to go and purchase the timber myself, I might as well get it from somewhere where it could be cut to size for me.
The process of ordering was quick and simple. I produced dimensions and they gave a rough price and a collection time. Despite asking, they didn’t provide much information on the type of wood they would be using, but at just £5 a slat I thought I might as well see what they are like.
Having collected them, I wish I had have quizzed them a little more before completing my order. They are soggy and damp, with little or now finish to them. The surfaces have gone rather frayed due to the damp, there is a strange discolouring in places, they are dented and chipped in some of the corners and they aren’t even to the dimensions I asked for (They’re a good 5mm+ out).
Aw well, at least they give me a rough idea of the actual sizes. Up to know I haven’t had much in the way of full scale models.
In order to begin manufacturing, I have made several templates to ensure the correct form and dimensions of the leg structure of the bench. Above, you can see a card net being compared to an existing bench to make sure it is an appropriate size. Below is a template produced from 6mm MDF which will be used during the manufacturing of the actual parts from 18mm Plywood.
A brainstorming session with Andy Little has helped me tie up a few lose ends regarding my design. I’ve been struggling to determine what the camera on the bench should look like, and admittedly I have pretty much neglected how I will house the remote camera.
The answer to both is birds. Housing the bench camera in a bird silhouette ensures that the camera doesn’t just look like it has been stuck on a bench, while injecting the playfulness to the design that I have been craving. In doing this, a strong connection can be creating with the remote camera through housing it in a bird box. This also allows this camera to fit into an outdoor environment, rather than being an alien object.
Having decided that I need to focus more on a ‘traditional’ bench form and work on designing the interactions around this, I have produced some more renders. In particular, I have been looking at how I could make this form my own through the manipulation of the slats to accommodate the interactive features. As you may see, some are fairly simple, while a few look at the more extreme things possibilities.