Techno Aesthetic Detailing- 2021
National Institute of Design, Andhra Pradesh
Course- Techno Aesthetic Detailing (TAD)
Duration- 8 weeks
guide- Mr. Kuntal De
group members- Shreyas, Shamanth, Adit
June 3, 2021- Tuesday
With the start of a new course after a break for a few days from college, I have a very Structured form of learnings, that I formulated from the number of mistakes that I did in the past.
This feels like a very fresh starting point, and I believe its going to be a great learning experience from our guide, my peers and most importantly, the project that we work upon.
the course officially started on 24th may, 2021, and today is when we decided to continue our documentation habit of medium.
starting with TAD as a course, we got to understand a glimpse of how form and aesthetics could be used to solve a certain problem,
There were several aspects in the design of everyday things, that we never seem to notice in our lifetimes and they are marvelous pieces of engineering artforms that is sitting right next to us.
beauty that solves a purpose meaningfully
A beautiful craft which could be achieved only after a thorough understanding of the ‘ purpose ’ of the OUTCOME.
and leading it into various directions with the help of the detailing,
- blend it with its surroundings,
- make it stand out
it is very exciting to see how latest technology like generative design and additive manufacturing has opened our doors for a variety of design dimensions, that were probably not possible a few years back to bring to reality, considering a market to be served with what has to be made, and considering the inclusiveness of the designs.
With these advanced tech, we can get vast number of resources and possibilities to people from all strata of life.
the very first thing which we catered to was look into the why!
why even design anything?
why give it to the people and what purpose does it solve with its presence amongst humanity!
We realize that TAD is a method and a medium to solve problems, beautifully and efficiently, but what do we run into this method ?
so we started off by doing a quick mind -mapping
with domains varying from harnessing the natural energy to transforming physical impacts around us into other forms to transportation ecosystem, we concluded upon 5 major domains that seemed to have a lot of problems as overlapping ecosystems.
consuming the price TAG
if we look back and introspect, it is only when humans put a price on natural elements including water, food and landscape or even oxygen !
It is only when we had to start paying someone to access what mother earth had to offer us, that we really started calling them ‘ resources ‘
we are now not really using resources as something that sustains our life, rather we are using them as a commodity.
becoming cheap and virtually unlimited for anyone who can afford to pay for it, and unimaginably expensive for the ones who can’t.
as soon as we made them commodities, we took away the involvement from these resources.
We took away the emotions away !
with the ongoing scenario of climate change and depletion of living ecosystems, it is by far the most alerting times in history, that creators and inventors and businesses need to reanalyze every action that they take in terms of what they put out in the world and what its purpose going to be.
we then decided to utilize the above technologies of both the TAD as an approach and design technologies like generative design and additive manufacturing to create an involvement with the natural resources, in a way that leads to a solution in itself.
With the above thought process and directions we concluded that we need to create an interaction- amongst- humans, and nature (flora, fauna, natural resources) — a more involved way of interaction.
in the current context- especially considering the pandemic situation that has speed up the digital revolution we looked at typical existing possibilities of interactions and experiences.
to narrow down from the variety of domains we looked some specific contexts-
We specifically went deep into knowing the energy management that can be done both from the natural sources and from human ecosystems.
next step was to formulate multiple problem statements from the above contexts and problem areas,
so that we could overlay and find a sweet spot to address a problem that lies on the juncture of our selected domains.
but to give our approach some more structure, towards a specific solution to a problem, gave it the following structure
with this we concluded the secondary and tertiary purpose and now we needed to look into specific niche’s to conclude with a direction for
before we moved on to fixating the context, we were asked by our mentor, to look around in our surroundings, examples of Techno Aesthetic Detailing -
when I looked around (initially in the room that we are all locked up in), i did not find any effective* example that i could keep as a reference to break down its TAD.
while doing that I came across my mirror, looked at myself and realized, is there a better design around me than the body that I have,
to look at this closely, human body has just 206 individual bones, acting as the structural elements having a possibility of functioning in a million different ways,
both internally and externally !
so i sat down to study a 3D model of the human skeletal system to break down how the TAD of it leads to a function.
if we see, there are only three containing structures in the skeleton- the scull, the rib cage and the pelvis-
June 8 , 2021 — Tuesday
It was really interesting to break away from a very fixed way of looking at TAD, but now its time to really put our focus into niche specific problems, identifying potential opportunity areas.
the two umbrella domains we defined for our research are-
identifying some key problem areas and our direction of thought in terms of their solution-
these areas of opportunity gave us a sense of direction towards a few very specific contexts, for our key problem area, and thus leading us to a design brief-
by this point we had gotten very specific in terms of WHAT we are trying to do,
One crucial step that we took here, which in the first step misguided us- by keeping us in a constant loop of, HOW do we want to solve the problem!
I would have called it a mistake but now that I look back at it, without this step we would not have had realized how potentially unaware of the fact we were about the WHY of the problem solving.
- start with the WHY !
why are we designing what we are designing ?
the what and how would follow as a consequence and requirement to make the solution a reality, but if one does not have the ‘why’ of their activity -
it becomes almost impossible to decide upon the best path/ method of solution,
you wont know what the solution really is until you know why you’re making it in the first place !
so, as our guide, Mr. Kuntal suggested us, we took a step back and started looking at our journey and trying to arrange it in an order with reasoning-
instead of trying to just generate energy, we started looking at- why does one need energy in the first place (in specific contexts) -
what would that energy serve for ?
who would benefit from that energy generated ?
we needed our WHY !
by now, we were pretty directed towards using renewable energy harvest as the domain we wanted to solve a problem around,
so we started asking ourselves,
where is this energy, most crucially needed ?
what kind of a situation makes it more urgent of a need than any other?
which landed us to — disasters and calamities
this being highlighted, we were now looking at specific disaster management ways of providing life solving technology in difficult times of future probable disasters-
one of the briefs we formulated was-
Design a ‘Toolkit’ to cater to the energy supply needs of a family living in an independent household, affected by flood, to help them sustain until help arrives/situation stabilizes.
we approached our guide with this brief and he suggested that the direction was fine, but it did not require multiple people to address it,
so if we had to work on something together we needed something of scale and larger addressable problem area.
also we were given a direction by our guide that — we should not restrict ourselves to just the electrical energy harvest from renewable sources, we could also look carefully at what other forms of energy they can be utilized to generate- mechanical energy, thermal energy, etc.
June 11, 2021 — Friday
with the above directions in mind we formulated some other purpose statements-
a few of these directions did seem of potential and excited us as a group along with our guide, but none of them still gave us the scale we required-
which made us go back on our initial week’s research about habitats and how could we solve a problem in an integrated form.
which led us to the following design brief-
with this brief our WHY was- to address air pollution and formulate a solution that creates a cumulative effect when applied on a huge scale throughout human settlements.
Mr. Kuntal, Shamanth , Shreyas and myself as a team decided that this is something that has potential and scale for us to move forward with, which finally landed us into the research phase -
we decided upon our primary research goals and began -
the simple analogy we had in mind was-
The city = our body
the bus network = our lungs
a bus stop = an alveoli,
Acting as an individual unit but the whole network having a cumulative substantial change and effect.
the solution that we are trying to develop would be a self- sustained ( even independent of any external power source including the energy harvest possible by renewables)
and only then could we truly call it a well designed, self-sustaining design.
14-june, 2021 - Monday
today after the discussion we had with our guide, we were directed to come a step above and look at the WHY from an even more wholesome perspective, implying that we need not restrict ourselves just to a bus stop right now, because our primary agenda is not do design a bus stop but to tackle air pollution.
so from here on we focussed on lokking at just air pollution, its causes, ways of dealing with it and the below mentioned differences between filtration and purification, which we could integrate based on the requirement of pollution type-
to figure out a way of purifying air, we needed to know what are we dealing !
what is it that needs to be filtered and what is feasible given the constraints of our context.
at this point we clarified through findings, the difference between filtration and purification.
and we concluded that in order to successfully cater to purification, filtration as a primary step would automatically be taken care of.
so to fix a direction of solution, we decided that our focus must be upon purifying air till particles of PM 2.5.
re-evaluating the effectiveness of our solution
will we be able to achieve a substantial cumulative effect ?
when we chose a bus stop to be the purification unit, we had the distributed format in which they are laid throughout a city.
but we needed to validate that, since till now assumptions landed us to this conclusion.
so we took scenarios of multiple cities, looking at their most polluted areas, and then over-layering that information with the distributed network of bus stops in the region.
doing it in three varied ecosystems, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Raipur, we got substantial evidence and confirmation, that is was a potentially good idea, to select bus stops as efficient air purification units distributed throughout the city.
right after this, before we could further move on to working on concept,
we looked at various methods of air purification, which were currently being effectively used both for indoor and outdoor air purification.
we also looked at the two major air purification devices being installed in the capital of the country.
considering all the analysis above-
we started with ideation-
- while also looking at various formats of integrating filters, ducts and power source, we also looked at ways of making the whole infrastructure self- sustaining.
Our initial focus while conceptualizing was on air concentration and thus using ways of filtering air, with a free-power source.
we looked at various sources of free energy that could possibly be harnessed in the given context.
while looking a various methods of converting free energy into mechanical energy to be used to filter air, we were also simultaneously looking at the ‘effectiveness’ and ‘affordance’ of the power sources.
what to pick ? what to leave ?
By this point we had two very clear direction in front of us, considering all the constraints the context had to offer.
Direction 1- focus on generating power from free- energy source and compromise on the effectiveness of the air purification itself.(since free energy is not readily and thoroughly available)
Direction 2- focus on effective air purification by relying on a constant and powerful energy source like- solar power ( we were still focused on renewable energy though).
we initially thought effective air purification and using free energy (human potential in this case)
A necessary confusion
the above mentioned confusion of what to pick and what to leave while we need to prioritize air purification or self- sustainability was very much required at this point because we felt that we had deviated from our focus points.
after around two days of discussing about this situation we revisited our design brief and realized the following-
- the context that we are dealing with here is of an Indian road side infrastructure, which in itself comes with a few constraints of security, efficiency, affordance and resource optimization.
till this point we were looking at direction 1 (human potential) and direction 2 (solar power) as two different directions, but when we considered them working together in a coexisting manner, leading to maximum efficiency in both energy generation and air purification.
when we thought about this we realized that they actually compliment each other in a very harmonic manner.
considering the solar panels harvesting energy in the day time and storing it for night use while the human potential being active during the day can sustain the power demand during the day.
we reframed our brief for a clearer vision.
after this we started to rework on concepts keep in mind a harmony of both power sources.
modular- cell arrangement
During our concept development phase one criteria that suited the whole scenario well was modularity and cumulative effect.
we decided upon breaking down the whole bus stop into smaller units, which can be united together in number as per the requirement of the location.
which led us to develop the following concepts.
considering the key concerns of accessibility of the air purification units and fanning mechanism the above concept was on a parallel line of thought where by joining the individual units we were targeting series connection of air purification units leading to a stronger vortex of air suction and thus more effective air purification.
the fact that we needed both power sources in harmony we needed a switching mechanism to operate on one power source at a time.
I also did a field visit and went to look at various different bus stops in jaipur city.
one concept that I recently discovered is something that I feel is very applicable to designing anything successful for everyday use -
It is called MAYA — most advanced yet acceptable.
which is why we thoroughly looked at the current existing scenario of the bus stops in India.
followed by a series of concepts we are now at a stage where we need to look at the mechanism of the air purification units first which will in turn lead us to further detailing.
we fixed upon an approximate dimensions of clearance, total height, width and length referring to the above field mapping.