Thursday, August 10, 2006

The future is Stainless

Comeon !!! Hurry up guys - I shouted out to Ashutosh and Khushboo trying to register us with the NID portal while Maithili and Sunil were in the process of typing the final text for " Action Objects-Emerging needs for changing lifestyles". Talking about me, I was stationed inbetween them like in a F1 pit stop waiting to transfer the file onto the former computer using an USB drive which reminded me of passing a baton in a relay race back in my school days. With the writeup safely attached and mailed just before the deadline of 11P.M. we gave ourselves a high five each and dispersed hoping that we are one of the 12 teams which make it to the final round based on our writeup.

A week down the line when the results were declared we got to know that only 14 teams had registered, thus validating all 14 teams for the O.P. Jindal Stainless Steel Contest.

So all the team members met the following weekend with executives from Jindal Stainless Steel briefing us about what the entire contest is all about. Faculty co-ordinators Meena Kadri, Praveen Nahar and Dimple Soni then talked about the methodology we are to follow and basic protocols.

After a break, we all met again to collect stationery and then off we were with an exercise quite popular in NID called BRAINSTORMING.

With two hours of intensive brainstorming we listed down possible categories in which we feel that there have been significant change in lifestyles. Some of these are transportation, public spaces, communication, food, education and environment just to mention a few. We chose to work in the field of food, citing problems like food storage, food packaging and leftover food disposal.

In the segment of food we started looking at the problems in the traditional tiffin carrier/box or dabbas as they are known commonly. The problems with the existing one are as follows:
  • It is difficult to open the frame of the dabba.
  • The frame/skeleton holding all the containers (4 on an average) occupies a lot of space when opened.
  • The bottom of each container is greased with the food in the container below it.
  • Sometimes containers get deformed and thus are a problem to re-assemble after eating.
  • It is difficult to eat from the containers of the dismantled dabba and a plate to eat on is always preferred.

Based on the following problems, we decided to design a modern tiffin box which
  • One would be proud to carry.
  • Where food would remain hot.
  • One could use as a plate as well, when opened up.
  • would be compact and occupy least space.
  • would have just the right volume to contain an average healthy diet so that people dont overeat ( Infact it was ovserved that in the case of the traditonal dabbas, people used to eat more than their diet just inorder to escape from the guilt of wasting excess food).
After a week's work we designed a tiffin box which is dynamic in its formal aspect and leaning at an angle with respect to the ground thus naming it "Obtuso". Obtuso is broken down into an upper and lower chamber, so designed that the upper chamber slides open forming a support for the tiffin to stand on as well. The lid of the upper chamber opens and forms a support with the help of the carrying handle thus making it a surface where an inner container can be taken out and placed on.

Finally, we had to articulate the entire design process in only three A3 sized sheets on which we would be evaluated for the top three awards. A night out followed for the same purpose where all of us sat together and complied our work on three sheets thanks to the help of graphic designers Sunil with Adobe Illustrator and Ashutosh with SketchUp. The output looked crisp, as you can see in the three pictures above.

Though there were still loopholes in our design we were quite happy and satisfied with the effort given an a week's time. Needless to say that we had our fingers crossed when the awards were being announced but sadly had to be consoled by the last slide of the awards presentation - "The future is stainless".