Wednesday, 16 October 2013

OUGD504 - Design Production: Concept Task

This afternoon Phil briefed us on a concept task which will also help us with our design production print brief. We were asked to choose 3 words from a jar and then 1 from the second jar. By then eliminating two of the three we would be left with the two words to use to create our concept.

We had the following:

(Jar 1)

(Jar 2)

So with these options we then decided to draw a mind map and think of as many words as possible which relate to each object. We were able to explore each word just as much as each other, however abacus seemed like possibly the more intriguing word to use for our main concept.

Once we had come up with our words to use, we then applied them to possible concept ideas. We had so many different ideas, considering audience especially and whether the concept should be focusing on a younger audience or adults, seeing as we are designing a hotel.

Our initial ideas consisted of:
  • Having slides for children and adults to move around the hotel
  • Having a hotel for blind people and making it a sensory experience with brail
  • Making it really chic and trendy in the centre of the city
  • We considered the fact that the plural of Abacus is Abaci - suggested name?
  • The idea of incorporating geometric design within the hotel to represent the balls
  • Perhaps sectioning off the hotel to incorporate the history of Abacus - countries?
Therefore it is clear that initially we were quite concerned about making a strong and obvious link to the Abacus itself. Looking at the history and reflecting it's existence within the hotel.

However, the more we thought about it and discussed our ideas, the more it became apparent that it would possibly be a more successful concept if we were to essential go 'back to basics' making a link to the abacus itself which was designed for children to use in the beginning. This subtle link allows us to concentrate on making our concept more of a simplistic design, driven by more simple ideas as opposed to complicated it and making it too complex.

I had the idea of each individual room forming the shape of a sphere, similarly to the balls on an abacus. Harrison then mentioned designing it so that the rooms were possibly externally build around a building. This gave me the idea to carry out some initial imagery research to get ideas flowing. 

My research consisted of the following images. I thought it was necessary to have an image of an abacus to be able to refer back to and look at the structure of it whilst considering the architecture of our hotel.

Rather than having the spherical rooms on the outside of the main structure of the building we decided to maybe situate the bubbles outside. They could be attached to each other with one long walkway, in a similar way to the image below. 

We thought that the bubbles themselves could be made out of glass and be controlled by having a switch whereby each couple or family could monitor how much light they were to receive inside of the bubble, and also alter it from the outside so that it is more private. We identified a problem with this idea however, because we realised how costly it would be to have such a mechanism, and if we consider an abacus and going back to basics, it would make more sense if we were to be more eco-friendly and simplistic.

When considering transport to each of the bubbles we thought about having lifts like the image below, but this was linked to our initial idea of having a large building with lots of bubbles inside of it. This is taking more of a scientific space age route which doesn't really portray what we are trying to say.

A more eco-friendly, suitable way of reaching each of the bubbles would be to have a walkway illustrated in the image below. The walkway would be attached to wooden ramps for easy access.

The image below links very closely to another idea we came up with, where we considered having half of the bubble hidden underground. This would then give the visitors an even more extraordinary experience, however I think it may be a bit too far fetched.

If we had gone with the idea of having rooms inside of a building it would have looked a little bit like the image below. Or perhaps similar to the Eden Project. We most certainly took inspiration from the Eden Project, as it is an eco-friendly environment with so many visitors throughout the year. It would be a strong concept if we were able to attract as many visitors as the Eden Project itself.

I came across this image of an interesting light. This would look quite chic and trendy incorporated in glass bubbles perhaps, but it isn't very clean and eco-friendly and not as sustainable as it could be. In addition, when we ask ourselves 'why?' when considering the use of glass to create our bedrooms, there is no really clear answer as to why it would be the preferred material to use. 

We then started to think about how we could perhaps make it more sustainable and unique for visitors. Instantly we thought about Go Ape and the unique experience. I think this is something that could most certainly be incorporated within our concept. Having an adventure playground essentially surrounding the bubble rooms would give the venue an added twist and would be like no other hotel. I think this is necessary as at the moment we only really have a very basic concept to work with.

When looking at go ape it made me think about treehouses and how there are already existing places to stay which involves this kind of experience. I came across the image below and instantly thought it would look impressive at night to be able to use energy from the exterior solar panels to power light on the outside, creating a whole new experience in the evening, and when looking from above, forming the same shape as an abacus with lots of pathways created through the trees along the zipwire paths and other forms of transport like the image above. Although this wouldn't affect the people staying there necessarily as they wouldn't be able to view it from above, it would make it a cosy place to be in the evening and all of the rooms could be surrounding a main bubble in the centre with a restaurant and other facilities. The birds eye view could also be used on brochures as a selling point to attract people's attention.

By changing our concept it has changed our target audience. Anyone looking for an active break or perhaps just a unique experience surrounded by nature and tranquility, this would be ideal. We wanted to use earthy colours to create an organic eco-friendly feel. I think as well for a lot of people who enjoy the countryside and long walks, this hotel experience would be ideal as there is no fuss, it isn't overly exquisite, but instead it allows people to enjoy themselves but at the same time helping the environment too by visiting such a sustainable hotel as opposed to one which uses extensive amounts of electricity.

We also briefly considered the facilities there and thought about incorporating a swimming pool. I came across the image below and instantly found it inspirational because it is just so different from most. This wouldn't obviously work in our scenario but instead I decided to carry out some further research to find something more relevant.

This image below is much more fitting with our idea. Although now that we aren't using glass, and instead have opted for wood, it would be made out of this instead. I think it could be created in such a way that portrays a sanctuary and somewhere to really relax completely.

We initially took inspiration from this image as well, as the external pipes relate very closely to one of our key words, leading us to consider an outdoor hotel in touch with nature.

This is exactly what we were looking to create. Apart from the fact that the ceiling would be glass perhaps so that the visitors could look at the sky as they are falling asleep. This would most certainly be a very different experience for most and I don't think it would ever get boring either. Why? Because it is original and will always reflect our brand 'Abaci'.

I decided to write out our final ideas for our chosen concept. I wrote down a few of the main features which structure our concept. We had a bit of fun with this as well, when considering target audience we suggested having a zip wire as well as a lazy river for the eldery to get from one place the other. I then started to write out a brief plan for our presentation.

Logo designs consisted of the following. Jake came up with the designs below, incorporating balls as well as pipes into the designs and creating the formation of a tree to represent our concept. I really like all of the ideas and think they would all work well.

I took it upon myself to start the presentation whilst we were still brainstorming as we already knew what our concept was, we just needed to polish it off slightly to make sure we had covered everything we needed to.

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