Check out this giant peeler

The standard peeler:

The jumbo peeler:
I met this jumbo peeler last month when I was taking a cooking class in Vietnam. We were making a salad and we used the peeler to peel a mango and then make mango slivers. Good, it’s multifunctional, but that’s not why I love it. I love it because the first time I picked it up, I knew how to use it, and I knew how to use it well. I’ve been using the standard peeler for years, and yet I often still slice off the ends of my fingernails. Perhaps I have poor technique / I should pay more attention when peeling, but that’s not something I have to worry about with the jumbo peeler. The wide metal wings protect my fingertips from the sharp blades inside.

For the record, I understand why the standard peeler is so thin, and I acknowledge that the jumbo peeler is unnecessarily large for its peeling purpose. But function isn’t all that matters–the user matters too. And, as a user, I prefer the jumbo peeler to the standard peeler because I feel safer using it, and in my opinion, safety > stowability.

Super Simple Sorting Structures

Saw this at 200 Boston Ave and thought it was a cute DIY sorting structure. Clear pockets for visibility plus compressible to save space! I am a fan.

Reminds me of this closet organizer:

Less of a fan of this because I think the clothes are less accessible. But maybe it’d be useful for storage!

Point is, sorting is my jam, and I love how many simple, easy, and creative ways there are to sort things.

Robot arms!

Tara Hickman’s ergonomic armrests for chairs, and someone’s question about standing desks, reminded me of this patient from Grey’s Anatomy. He’s paralyzed from the neck down but still able to walk by connecting his brain activity to this nice robot suit.

The reason I thought of him (assuming it’s not immediately clear to you all) is because his limbs are fully supported and he’s standing. It got me thinking, instead of designing arm rests that attach to a chair, what if we designed arm rests that attach to a body? If the users are not restricted to the chair, they can work while sitting, standing, or walking around. Not only do they have support, but also they have the freedom of mobility. This simple ability to take breaks and stretch every once in awhile is crucial for preventing musculoskeletal disorders.

Instead of changing how we sit at work, let’s change how we work.

As Professor Intriligator explained in the HF GIM, Human Factors is not just about the physical components of a design but also the cognitive and emotional ones. So instead of studying how a person sits at a desk, let’s find out why they do that. What are they thinking and how are they feeling? It’s step #1 of design thinking: empathy. If people don’t like sitting for long periods of time, instead of making sitting more comfortable, let’s just eliminate sitting. It’s that simple. Think about it this way: if I told you that I wanted a pet but that I was allergic to cats, would you get me a cat and some allergy meds or would you get me a dog?

School-in-a-Box

Although designing the classroom of the future seems like it would be fun, designing a $5 classroom for the present seems like it would be useful. For that reason, that’s what I looked into for Blog 2.

Introducing, UNICEF’s school-in-a-box. It’s a kit with supplies for a teacher and enough materials for 40 students. It’s designed for emergency situations, so teachers can continue teaching their students wherever they are, regardless of the state of their classrooms.

Lately, my social media sites have been ~flooded~ with news about the recent hurricanes, including how they’ve impacted schools (i.e., delays and closures). Some schools in Houston are so badly damaged that their students have been relocated to other schools. Imagine how crowded Tufts would be if we suddenly acquired another school’s-worth of students! I’m not sure that environment would be conducive to learning…

So the box seems relevant. Why crowd another school when you can just start your own? I’m sure the school from the box pales in comparison to the other schools, but it’s way better than nothing.

What if we designed a classroom-in-a-box for places without schools? Wouldn’t that be fun and useful and rewarding? I think so.

First post – worst post

 

This week I explored room2learn. It’s like an educational Pinterest, with “hacks” for improving classrooms. And it’s probably intended for an elementary school classroom, but I think some of the ideas can carry over to a college setting. Like whiteboard tables, plants, and ceiling power outlets (we had them at my high school and they were great because no one could trip over them). And how about some standing desks? Plenty of fun ideas. Not sure the classroom of the future needs a hammock, but I’m not ruling anything out yet!