On the 31st of January us 3rd years were invited to participate in a 48 hour project with Zest 4 Leisure. If you don’t know who they are let me bring you up to speed… they are a garden furniture company who want to stand out from the crowd and design more innovative products in the future. This was all found out from the presentation given from Luke Roberts, who is a recent graduate working for the company.
Lets get down to the brief:
Design a Garden Planter, Arch/Arbour and Garden furniture. These could be separate ranges or all be placed into one object. So the brief was pretty open, plenty of room for innovation.
Ok, there were some restrictions. The items had to be flat packed, easy to build and must be made from pine, although Luke did mention the company was open to using metal to add slickness to their designs.
We were asked to design the items with 3 different market users in mind, these were; Garden proud individuals, Convenience gardeners, and/or Families. (I went slightly off track with the market)
As with all projects, I started by looking at the companies products as well as its competitions products. Luke mentioned that there was a lot of copying of designs in this sector, I found an example of this almost immediately:
These images show how desperate the sector is for innovative products, thankfully this is just what Zest4Leisure were asking for. After a good hour of browsing garden furniture and had seen enough designs to inspire myself. As per usual I had looked at using up-cycled products to decorate the design, this would mean each design would have a unique image.
I decided against combining the 3 items together, as I thought it would be beneficial to create a range. This was because as some customers might not want all 3 items.
Below are my first sketches:
At the beginning I wanted to look at how the parts of the stool could slot together, trying to remove the need for screws and bolts. As previously mentioned I started looking at how the stool could benefit from the use of up-cycled to add to its aesthetic. Like I said earlier I kind of moved away from the client target market, I decided that I wanted to create an outdoor drinking area that could be used in pubs and gardens alike.
Above are my designs for the planter, much like the stool designs I have added upcycled pallets to add a uniqueness to each design. All of these planters come with a range of depths, as it allows the grower to vary what seeds they can plant. I have tired to link the stool and planter together by placing ‘Pint’ holders, so the user could sit at it like a table should they want to.
I struggled the most with designing the arch, as I struggled to link the arch to the planter and stool. Then I looked at the leg design of both items and thought I could use this part of the design to link all 3 together, while also using upcycled pallets to make each arch designed a one-off.
On the 1st February I arrived early at university to start my developing my designs and to complete my final render. I now knew how I was going to link each item together, they would all use upcycled pallets for decoration, while using an arch shape for the legs. My final render can be seen below:
I was happy with the feedback gained from the short presentation, Luke and Wynn seemed to like the designs. I believe my designs were completely different to what they expected, this is down to my unshakable interest in using upcycled items to add to a design. Overall I enjoyed this project as it was the first time I have designed outdoor furniture, its a possibility that I will continue with this for a field.