Eleanor De Boise
BA Furniture & Product Design
As designers, we have the responsibility to consider a product's environmental impact, as this is largely decided during the design stage. The products that I design focus on product longevity, keeping in mind emotional and physical durability.
u-nIT is a modular shelving storage system that aims to reduce excessive furniture consumption. The framework remains consistent, but small adaptations fulfil customer's evolving storage needs. u-nIT is an example of how the Product Longevity Principles can be followed in design. These were created through interviews with industry experts, including a consumer behaviour psychologist and product longevity specialist. Key examples of my proposed design principles include designing for versatility, transportability, easy maintenance and disassembly, physical durability and allowing for customer identity. These principles aim to act as a framework for designers to rethink their design values in order to successfully design for product longevity.
u-nIT consists of a modular framework and is comprised of standard aluminium extrusions (T and I sections). Sustainably-sourced ash shelves soften the industrial aesthetic of the framework. Each shelf contains recessed surface slots, which not only act as a surface detail, but also serve as a medium to allow customers to insert sliding screens - exhibiting or concealing particular possessions. These screens can be customised to add a personal touch to the design.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased appreciation of taste and smell. Grinding fresh whole spices at home maintains the ingredients' aromatic compounds.
Planche; an Oak and Black Walnut board, is designed to enhance the experience of preparing whole spices at home. Whole spices are prepared on the flat surface and then swept into the mortar to undergo further processing. The form of the pestle takes inspiration from the ergonomics of Palaeolithic tools and is designed to generate a primal interaction between the user and their ingredients.
The product is constructed from two end grain laminated boards, to celebrate the natural grain pattern of the two timbers. This ensures product longevity and durability, while doubling as a presentation surface for culinary creations.