EDO:PATULSarah O’SellSophomore ID II, May firstname.lastname@example.org://www.behance.net/sarahosell
REDO Project GoalUse the form knowledge gained from the first few weeks ofSophomore ID II to redesign a project from Sophomore ID I byincorporating the following concepts;- Proportions- Visual Contrast & Tension- Expression- Balance- Negative Space- Curves- Beauty and FunctionOf the projects from Sophomore ID I, my polystyrene spatulacould benefit most from form theory. Though the object isintriguing in its expression, not much thought went intocreating a symbiotic functional beauty. The analysis on thefollowing page highlights and critiques the various formelements for further design development. For definition,“blade” refers to the food handling portion, the part at theforeground of the bottom photo to the right, while “handle” iswhere the user holds the spatula, the arched receding portion.2Polystyrene spatula design fromSophomore ID I
Analysis3ProportionsOverall, the spatula has good comparative proportion in terms ofspatula blade and handle size. For inherent proportions, there isa clear dominance in the length dimension, as well as the planarweight of the blade. Subdominance appears in the widthdimension and pointed shape at the end of the handle. Thethickness of the polystyrene creates a subordinate relationship interms of perceived lines, while the middle piece connecting thehandle to the blade is a subordinate form.Negative SpaceThere are three negative spaces created within this object;beneath the arc of the spatula’s handle, the concave area of thespatula blade, and the slim wedge of air beneath the blade. Ofthese, the most exciting is the area beneath the blade, due to thetension it creates with the counter surface. Space was notsomething that was consciously thought of in this spatula’screation. The spaces above the blade and beneath the handleboth seem to dissolve quickly and do not engage the viewer.ExpressionOne of my goals for this spatula was to capture the swift motionof a spatula in use. The dominant arc shape portrays the initialmovement of the spatula from an airy, upward tilted position,downward into a pan. Points throughout the handle relate to thejabbing motion of scooping food with the concave scoop of thespatula blade.Visual Contrast & TensionMuch of the beauty of this form comes from the repetition of apointed, triangular element along the length axis. Thoughappealing, it does not challenge the eye visually in terms of adynamic composition. Some tension is created with the cutoutsand decidedly unbent tips at the joining point between the bladeand handle, however it is reduced by the equal weight of thetriangular point of the smaller, joining handle element.CurvesIn side profile, there is a very dominant parabolic curve in thehandle, which is contrasted by a line with an upward direction inthe blade. When the spatula is rotated with the planar side of theblade facing the viewer, the dynamic curves are lost to awkwardangles and the spatula becomes uninteresting. The curves at thisview are slight and static in terms of being a line which starts andstops with the convex ridge of the spatula blade near itsconnection with the handle.Beauty and FunctionWith this spatula, my focus for the design was to create an objectthat captured my personal fascination in the beauty of cooking. Amajor part of that beauty is in the tools used. It was a consciousdecision not to focus much on developing function, with the ideathat I could create something more abstract and intriguing. Thecurrent design is fragile where durability is an important cook-ware factor. It is spacious and would require special storage, aswell as appearing to be potentially pokey and cumbersome touse. Now I realize that beautiful form is a sidekick to function,that they are both necessary in creating a superior object overone that focuses on visual appeal or utility alone.BalanceThe spatula rests on a counter at two touch points, creatingdependent balance. Both points are brief, giving the spatula alighter, more energetic feel, one that conveys the object is meantto be lifted up off the counter.
Flat-Pack Spatula ConceptThis improved spatula easily folds and snaps together from a flatpiece of polypropylene plastic. It is ideal for storage conscioussituations including home kitchen, picnic, and backpacking use.41. Unfolded, flat 2. Partially folded, color indication 3. Folded, snaps maintain formImages left to right:Unfolds flat for backpack storageUse as a picnic serverKitchen use for baked goods
Current Spatula MarketSpatulas for sale today consist primarily of high heat(400-450*F) resistant silicone or nylon coated designs, as wellas plastic, metal, and wood. Most have similar form, howeverhave different sized blades for varying functions, as shown inthe images to the right.Initial research was materials-based, since I was still inspiredby my process from my Sophomore I spatula; using paperfolding as inspiration for the form. My impression from holdingvarious models was that:- Wood feels very comfortable yet stable, and seems good forthe handle since it does not touch food, resulting in possiblestain.- Metal leaves a sleek and strong impression, yet feels cold. Itmight be good for the highly stressed connection pointbetween handle and blade.- Plastic, silicone, and nylon give the idea of functionality. Theyappear to be the most popular spatula material for theirdishwasher and non-stick pan safe qualities, meaning thewould be good materials for the blade.Extensive internet searches found the origami-inspiredBamboo Spoon by Michael Sholk. This is a neat idea, but ap-pears to be made for the sake of creating an origami spoon,not functionality. I decided to look into other alternative uses oforigami for inspiration.6Clockwise from top left:IMUSA Three Piece BambooCooking Tools SetGood Cook Medium Flex NylonTurnerOrigami Bamboo Spoon byMichael SholkKitchenAid Short Turner
Research7Elisa Strozykis a German artisan who creates wooden textiles. They use woodas a surface which can be manipulated by touch. Construction con-sists of deconstructing wood into pieces, which are then arrangedand attached to a textile base. I like how these challenge what ablanket can and should be, and that they encourage engagement.Blankets are things with the purpose of keeping someone warm,and aren’t usually valued for playful qualities. She has alsodiscovered that the triangular shape is the most moveable, and thatthe isosceles is the most versatile triangle.“The world around us is becoming increasingly immaterial, andhighlighting surfaces that are desirable to touch can reconnect uswith the material world and enhance the emotional value of anobject... It is crucial to aim for a closer relationship between subjectand object.”Information: Dupon, Olivier. The New Artisans: Handmade Designsfor Contemporary Living. London: Thames & Hudson, 2011. Print.Issey Miyakeis a Japanese fashion designer who challenged himself with his132.5 collection to produce a garment with a single sheet of fabric.This stems from the idea of a social responsibility for theenvironment. Miyake worked with a software engineer to developa design program which developed both 2D and 3D cuts and foldsat the same time. He created 10 pattens which fold flat when not inuse. They are revolutionary in use of polyester from PET drinkingbottles, which reduce carbon emissions by 80% versus traditionalpolyester production. The idea that these dress forms compact intoa two dimensional piece is a direct take from the paper origins oforigami, and something I want to incorporate into my design.Information: Cameron, Kristi. “The Art of the Fold.” MetropolisMag.com. Metropolis Magazine, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
Progression of FormKeeping function in mind8The initial origami form reflects original Sophomore ID I spatula What is a spatula? Something used to scoop other objectsReproducing the form The original hand drawn pattern, then the revised Adobe Illustrator version Found strong material: PolypropyleneCut pieces for moveability does not work. Improving comfort and grip on handle form by adding triangles to expand design
Ideation9What is a handle? Something for a hand to control the spatula scoop motion An interesting yet stable formUnsuccessful attempts to emulate silicone with Plastidip spray and Gesso Flat pack idea: Mandrill used to fastenMarking out snap locations for assembly First snap experiment unsuccessful due toglue and snap typeDifferent snaps, glue, and coloridentification to ease assembly
Evaluate11REDO Project GoalUse the form knowledge gained from the first few weeks ofSophomore ID II to redesign a project from Sophomore ID I byincorporating the following concepts;- Proportions- Visual Contrast & Tension- Expression- Balance- Negative Space- Curves- Beauty and FunctionAs compared in the image to the left, there is a huge increasein form knowledge from my original Sophomore ID I spatulato my current design for Sophomore ID II. There are variousproportional relationships, with the fan movement created bythe color as dominant, the spatula blade concave spacesubdominant, and the snaps being subordinate. Furtherrelationships continue with the order the eye perceives eachplane, as well as the distinct XYZ axis system which gives thespatula stability.Visual contrast appears with the use of color and texture in theplastic of the spatula and snaps. Tension is created in the slightgap where the snaps meet, and draws the eye in.The expression of this spatula versus the previous design isone that still captures the excitement of cooking, given thepuzzle-assembly factor, but also one that achieves a morestable and tranquil stance.Balance within this object appears to be independent from thephotograph to the left, however the spatula transitionsbetween types of balance (dependent, independent, andprecarious) throughout its assembly and use. This creates adynamic interaction with the user.Negative space is captured in the concave blade scooping areashown in the left image, as well as beneath the hand hold area,shown at right, designating that these are surface areas ofimportance.Though made up of linear elements, there is a supportingcurve created by the visual path of the viewer’s eye from theblade concavity to the top point, and following the color backto the base.With this new spatula design, beauty is achieved with the function, in thatit is a multi-use object that aids consumers with a primary issue; space.There is beauty in its playfulness, as well as in the repetition and variationof planes within the object. The dynamic form of concave and convex foldsencourages interaction and touch, something which I hope to continue toachieve with future designs, described on the following pages.
Expand13Further Design & BrandingThe page to the left is from my sketchbook. There is thepossibility of expanding the concept of flat pack utensils intoa full dining set, increasing the utility of the idea. It would becalled “ANGLE Foldware by Sarah O’Sell”, and would be soldas a packaged set with visual folding instructions. The packagecould potentially become the travel envelope or case for thepieces.Current flat pack dining products include many dog waterbowls. The company, FOZZILS is marketing dog bowls, as wellas a basic dining set including a plate, bowl, and cup (imagebelow). These also feature a snap-together design, howeverother than the novelty of a flat piece becoming three-dimen-sional, usable dinnerware, the form could use improvement.www.fozzils.comThis is something I would like to expand upon by creatingmore origami-based forms in my ANGLE Foldware series.