My name is Dylan Torraville and I am an Industrial Design graduate living in Toronto.
If you ask my mum, I’ve always been a creative person. Even as a kid, from painting to making models, I’ve always been exercising my creative muscles. This pushed me towards a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design, exposing me to an entirely new creative horizon including graphic design, photography and video creation.
I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and work with many incredible companies, connect with amazing individuals and capture life as it whirls around me. My passion for creativity and design has led me to create products and ideas which add value and create a positive impact on the lives of other humans.
As the planet and climate change around us, there is a push to further understand the impact that humans have on the complex ecosystems that we call home. The most diverse of these ecosystems, an area challenged with extreme inaccessibility, is the Arctic.
Current methods of understanding and exploring Arctic biology are primitive. Weather conditions, frigid temperatures and scarceness of wildlife make it nearly impossible for productive biological research to be conducted. How can we mitigate challenges facing marine biologists in the Canadian Arctic, promoting the study of species at risk due to climate change? At the rate which damage is being done, Arctic species will be extinct in 25 years if no action is taken to better protect and understand them. Canadian marine biologists are the key contributors to understanding and protecting Arctic species. The success of their research efforts is influenced by inclement weather conditions and a primitive approach to field research. This thesis required in-depth studies of daily processes and challenges facing marine biologists, using data collection methods such as observational studies, interviews, and surveys. A detailed analysis of this data was done, which focused on maximizing the positive impact on the scientific community. A one-to-one scale ergonomic buck was constructed to aid in the evaluation of ergonomics, establishing proper human factors and full-bodied human interaction design. A solution was developed for Arctic marine biologists, designed to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the natural world by elevating the experience of Arctic marine biology research.
Thesis Summary Video Award Submission
NANUK is an amphibious mobile research station designed for marine biologists in the Arctic, which aims to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the natural world by elevating the research experience in the field for marine biologists.
The CAD Development for NANUK was done in Solidworks 2019, built using over 700 sketch features, 120 solid bodies.
The final model for this thesis project, built using 3D printed parts produced on a Dremel 3D40 printer. Over 8kg of recycled PLA filament was used, 4 bottles of gorilla glue and endless hours of patience. The final model shows construction features of NANUK's interior research space, the compact living quarters and the underwater observation pod.
Enhancement of Human Lifestyle
NANUK uses its onboard research lab and designated micro-living quarters to elevate the research experience for marine biologists on multi-day expeditions. By providing on-site space to analyze data as well as the creature comforts of home, the stress of the job is reduced as all researchers can live onboard NANUK, self sustained.
NANUK also provides shelter from frigid Arctic temperatures, reducing exposure risk and the potential for frostbite or other cold-related ailments to occur. NANUK removes the need for unnecessary outdoor exposure while also providing a safe and reliable method of transport for marine biologists, without the negative environmental impact of helicopters or snowmobiles.
NANUK confidently satisfies the full-bodied human interaction design elements, incorporating many human touchpoints into the design. NANUK’s interior research lab satisfies touchpoints of the hands and arms, which take the form of a sitting/standing work desk for data analysis as well as adequate counter space for organizing samples and storing them in on-board refrigerators or freezers.
NANUK’s observation pod utilizes human touch points including back and lumbar with the seating orientation in the observation pod, along with arms and shoulders, which take the form of the integrated desk space which is used during under-ice expeditions.
The onboard living space inside NANUK also addresses full-bodied considerations, offering marine biologists comfortable sleeping quarters, a kitchenette and micro-bathroom.
Human Factors and Ergonomics
NANUK adopts a human-centered design approach, aspiring to be more ergonomic and considerate for users whilst in operation. The interior solution is designed to be ergonomic and practically laid out, offering optimal space for marine biologists to analyze their field data in the lab, an ergonomic observation space and compact yet effective living space.
The observation pod uses adjustable, ergonomic chairs combined with a sloped work surface and large polycarbonate windows to curate an optimal underwater observation experience.
NANUK’s research lab is equipped with the necessary equipment and facilities commonly used by marine biologists. A standing/sitting work desk accommodates a variety of user percentiles, giving them the choice to work in a standing or seated position.
NANUK’s living quarters are kept as open as possible to mitigate claustrophobia during long expeditions and a subtle color palette to enhance the living experience.
NANUK prides itself on offering an environmentally friendly mode of Arctic transport, using rechargeable lithium ion batteries as a power source.
NANUK’s sustainability effort comes from material choice, where recycled aluminum from the aerospace industry is used to construct the frame and external panels of the design, coupled with an interior barrier of PrimaLoft insulation. PrimaLoft is comprised of 55% post-consumer recycled materials from the clothing industry and offers superior warmth and insulating properties.
Internal wall paneling and more rigid features of the design are constructed utilizing recycled automotive plastics. These components are produced interchangeably, with the intent to upscale the design and allows future vehicles to be retrofitted with existing designs or to repurpose older and repaired components.