Monday, February 2, 2009

HP Sponsored Studio-Concept Phase

We are currently working on a desktop computer design targeted towards emerging markets for an HP-sponsored studio. Last Friday, we had a critique on some initial concepts and are expected to come up with a final design by Wednesday.

This is pretty much a call for help and any input or feedback is appreciated.

An overview for my concepts:

The Patel family is growing up in the Dharavi slum, which is a very large slum central in Mumbai. The family is in the emerging middle class, where they have enough money to sustain, but not enough to move out of the slums.

There are two children: one in high school, one just graduated and is interested in IT. Education is the main reason they will purchase a computer.

Concerns addressed:
SPACE- They live in a 225 ft^2 apartment. They have a TV, Stove, toilet/shower, and beds. No room for a table. They need an environment to study.
GEOGRAPHY- They deal with Monsoon season, drought, and dust.
COST- They do not waste money on luxury items. Customization will help the user buy a basic, inexpensive computer, and upgrade when they can afford it.

On the Wall- Solving space is its primary concern. Also, a story is that during monsoon season in the slums, sewage and water flow onto the floors of homes. This keeps the computer protected.

Stacked- This concept focuses on the space and cost problem by being compact during shipping. The parts, monitor and keyboard fit with the tower. It solves small things like cord management.

Out-of-Box- One thing that really hit me was the fact that some people didn't have tables, only room for sleeping. This concept utilizes packaging as a way to create a desk environment for the family. The tower is part of the base and everything fits neatly inside. It also serves to protect a computer.

As of now, I want to combine the Out-of-Box with the On-the-Wall concepts. Any feedback or suggestions on making this sweet?


Michael said...

Let's talk more in class, but here is one initial thought. (In full disclosure, I don't know anything about Indian culture or needs.)

Culturally speaking, is mounting a piece of technology to the wall the best idea? I honestly don't know, but this seems a little obvious...

What struck me as most interesting was that they have no tables. The box concept is neat because they are already sitting on the ground (right?), and this concept would accomodate that existing behavior.

What if it was a projector instead of a flatscreen? Does that provide any benefits towards saving space?

Specifically, how are you trying to make this work better? Styling? Problem solving? Sustainability? Cultural relevance?

joonkyung said...

I don't know much about Indian culture but maybe this might give you some thoughts. Ever since I've moved out of the dorms, I had no furniture and I've basically been living on the floor for a whole quarter. Since I don't have any money, I've been using the boxes I used for moving as a desk, dinner table, place to sit..basically anything other than a bed.

Although I'm used to living on the floor (Korean culture) what's really uncomfortable with boxes is that they are totally blocked all sides. (no place to slide in your legs) So to work with your legs folded tight makes you really tired. also, since boxes are light in weight, even with a little push it will move forward and you have to keep pulling it back. (it's the same even with a computer on top of it) maybe having some kind of rubbery thing underneath to keep it stable could be a good thing to have.

One last thought about having it on the wall is, since you mentioned that it will mostly be for educational use, will it be comfortable enough? The kids may be using it more than 30 minutes sometimes and how would the user be placed in that scenario?

I had a friend in grad school who's from mumbai and she told me about losing all her work by a huge flood. Of course it's not that they have floods all the time but I think she mentioned that it rains a lot and it's real humid during the summer time. So I think it's great that you're looking into the climatic characteristics.

wow. I've said a lot. anyhoo. hope this helps.