I was drawn to Industrial Design due to its versatility and abstract form of storytelling. At its core design is essentially using visual narratives to solve real world human problems. Coming from an art’s background mixed with my interest in how things work, Industrial Design provides that perfect blend of the two. I draw a lot of my inspiration from technology, I am a futurist at heart, the concept of using technology to further enhance the human experience invigorates me.
By embracing the latest technology to create meaningful design solutions built for quality and honest design intent we can purify the negative side effects of mass consumerism. Great design is not only about the product's value during its lifetime also its afterlife use needs to be thought of right from the drawing board. Sustainability is not a “what if?” anymore by using our latest technology we can create a full close loop consumerist culture. However technology is not just about creating beautiful sustainable products but it's also about connecting use as society and bridging the gap between our difference whether it’s a language bearer or some form of disability designed for accessibility should be the standard for all design. The concept that through my design I can help better those individuals’ lives is a driving force for a lot of my creativity. As I start my career I'm excited to play a part in this ever evolving design landscape and be able to push technology to create sustainable and beautiful designs that help to make our world that much more accessible while adding value to the visual landscape.
Theme parks, the quintessential escape from reality, have been the haven for generations of people looking forward to escaping reality for a bit. However, these multi-million-dollar enterprises have overlooked a large portion of our society, mainly paraplegics, amputees, and other mobile challenged individuals. River rapids ride attractions provide a perfect example of this, by their nature, these rides have a lot of variables: free-flowing rivers (essentially track less), continuous motion, freely moving, and in constant contact with water to name a few. All of which pose a variety of problems for the mobility challenged. By investigating the user's needs through means such as videos, reviews and interviews new solutions can be created. Utilizing this data, solution found in related industries, the need for comfort from both disabled and non-disabled alike, and the intrinsic attributes of this attraction all come together to create a holistic, user focused, experience. Utilizing these findings INVERT and ACESS were created to solve the accessibility issues with river rapids ride systems and in hopes that these design ideologies can be carried across all theme park aspects, making them a fully accessible experience.
CAD model was model in Solidworks and then rendering an animation was created using Blender render-engine.
Enhancement of Human Lifestyle
ACESS focuses on helping mobility challenge users experience theme park by reinventing the wheelchair removing many of the negative experiences associated with wheelchair allowing them to focus on the park experience.
By removing the need to transfer users are able to quickly and effortlessly board the vehicle, preventing boarding delays which allows users to feel less on the spot than if the entire line was waiting for them. The added level of complete independence also enhances the overall experience.
ACESS is designed to mimic the muscle memory people employ when maneuvering their manual wheelchair. This movement was selected do to its easy learning curve and popularity as a wheelchair form.
This provides a seamless transition when user first uses the device preventing them having to learn how to use it. Inboard coding on the glide-chair makes the treads run similar to a classic wheelchair; for example, it will make the wheelchair roll forwards when hands are slid across and the faster you slide your hands the farther it will roll. This continues to add that feeling of controlling a manual chair which is a popular device chosen by many wheelchair users for its intuitive control features.
Human Factors and Ergonomics
ACESS employs a number of ergonomic features to help add proper comfort. Flexible reinforced nylon fabric using steel wool fabric seating helps provide proper support while remaining breathable for comfort.
The seat back is created using tension fabric allowing for back support and the frame is made using a flexible plastic which provides flex for added comfort. When in docking into the ride vehicle, the seat cutout blends flush with the seat's frame allowing the flexible fabric to stretch over to provide that added rigidity required in a ride vehicle's seat. The curve nature of the haptic control strips mimic the muscle memory a user would having using a manual wheelchair and inboard coding mimics the nature of a manual wheelchair provide an effortless transition.
ACESS employs a number of sustainability features to help minimize its carbon footprint. Majority of the parts of ACESS screw together like puzzle pieces allowing for easy repair and replacement of damaged parts.
This prevents the unit from having to be thrown out when only one part is broken or having to pay the cost of shipping it back to the manufacturers for maintenance since someone with minimum mechanical abilities will be able to do majority of the repairs. In addition, all materials used are made from raw sustainable source or made from recycled materials helping to close the loop. Some of these materials included: Eco-nylon, aluminum, polyethylene, rubber and steel wool. All of these materials are fully recyclable and structurally sound. INVERT by nature is quite sustainable being made mainly of Stainless Steel, NR/SBR Rubber, Fiberglass and Eco-nylon. Stainless steel is a closed loop material since it does not loose structure integrity when recycled. NR/SBR Rubber was selected since it was a synthetic and recycled natural blender and to it being marine grade. Fiberglass has a low embodied energy and its shelf life is long which limits the need for repairs not to mention its structural integrity is significant. The Eco-nylon lap restrains were selected do to the recycled nature of the nylon which helps divert nylon from landfills. Overall, almost the entire ride vehicle is made from natural or recycled synthetic materials.