Category: Industrial Design, DFM
Time: 2022 Summer, 14 weeks
Role: Industrial designer
Digital distraction has bothered generations of people. It gets even worse for gen Z and gen alpha. More and more people feel it hard to fall asleep quickly. And one of the biggest culprits is the mobile phone.
I want to find an activity that makes people feel somehow sleepy but far more meaningful than just spending time on gaming, social media or watching YouTube videos. Reading a book is perfect in this situation.
I-BOOK lamp is designed to help people form the habit of reading books before bed instead of overly spending time on digital devices.
It has a force sensitive resistor installed inside. Therefore, it links the status of picking up & putting down book with the on & off status of the lamp.
Also, the custom PCB has a timer function. So it will automatically start a 30 min timer as soon as you pick up the book. Meanwhile the lamp will dim itself to create a better lighting environment for sleeping based on the timer.
How it works..
Benchmarking & Insight
Most of the reading lamp are made of plastic or aluminum. The plastic ones are usually quite flimsy and not durable. The aluminum ones are relatively more durable but are usually overcomplicated and come with a heavy base.
Material & Inspiration
The structure and form of the lamp was mainly inspired by the typology of I-beam. I choose aluminum as the main material, since it is lightweight, durable and sustainable. It communicates a sense of high quality and precision.
But 100% made of aluminum can make the lamp become too industrial, so I use maple to bring a welcome & home feeling.
Approach & Process
I finished the coding and first functional high-fidelity prototype in a class that focused on creating interactive, minimum viable products. But I was not happy with the look of the lamp. Also, the design also needs some structural changes. Therefore, I further develop the form language & revise DFM during my term-off time.
Improvements from the 1st to 2nd
high fidelity prototype
1. Add a sense of movement to the form, make it less like a pure office setup, more intriguing and loveable
2. Replace the wood parts (eg: LED container, PCB container) with 3D resin print parts and CNC machined aluminum frame. Therefore, it has better weight distribution and durability
3. Replace the FSR, Metro M4 circuit, aluminum foil and billboard with one custom PCB to save cost + reduce the visual weight of the base
I was lucky to showcase my lamp in the CLEAR LA exhibition held by the brand Normal Object. The funder was my PD-2 teacher, Jeremiah Baker.
After careful consideration, I have 3 wood types that may be a good match with the matte black finish: walnut, beach, maple. Finally, I chose the high contrast combination, which fit the theme of the show better and can go well with a wide range of home styles.
Deal with Emergency
The wood reacts strongly to temperature and humidity. Especially for the one that is relatively thinner. Unluckily and luckily, the wood panel wrapped when I put the lamp nearby window in a sunny California day. And it was 3 days away from the show... I had to quickly adjust the design and re-made the wood panel.