Fullfilling your Design. / by Alex Schreer

As fall semester of my junior year is coming to a close in the next two weeks, I guess its time to share what I have been working on. A semester long design process, housewares not only poses many challenges I had yet to face in my design career, it also is topped off with a National competition in which my work will be competing against design students around the United States.

Boldly, I set out with the idea to redesign the kitchen "knife", making it safer and easier to use. Bearing the scares of my own misfortunes with the kitchen knife the issue seemed to be at large. After months of research both online and in the kitchen (chopping my way through countless vegetables). I came to the conclusion that a knife that is valued by the user is often the most safe. Therefore my focus now had shifted from designing a safety gimmick involving plastic guards and triggers galore to a much simpler solution. Simply design a really good knife that could grow with its user and get better with time, design the experience around my product, after all it works for apple.   

Now there had to be something unique about my knife,  and there is, however that will be for another time. Because what I am about to talk about is one of the components to my user experience. A packaging/container/cutting board that allows the user to walk out of the store not only with their knife but everything else they will need.

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Designing for either cork board or particle board, I set out to find a food safe polymer to coat the cutting board to give the material a polished look. I wanted to stray away from Bamboo after visiting a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and seeing an entire aisle of them, Particle board offered another sustainable alternative. My initial plan of attack called to use the schools computer controlled router to make quick work of it. Sadly though due to some rather un-enthusiastic shop managers here at school couldn't find the means to use the router. The job would have to be done by hand, and a few technical drawings. 

With space cleared for the knife to sit within the cutting board, it was not time for a quick test fit, some sanding, all before they got their coat of laminating resin. I used traditional laminating resin as a substitute for the Dupont food safe polymers, on my model. 

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Since the sun had set, and temperatures falling into the low 60's to high 50's at night, I built a small cardboard oven space with a heat lamp and hair dryer to assist in the curing of my resin. 

Overall I am please with the results and feel it will compliment my knife design very well. I will be building a page on my site for the Haus project during winter break in a few weeks so look forward to getting to see more of my process and my actual knife design. Also I will be finishing up the No. 10 Project, my very own redesign of the envelope. Click on the link for a teaser.