For my field project number two i picked a char project where we had to build a chair. My journey through the project was harder than i thought and at the end i didn’t enjoy it very much however i have gained skills through out the project. I used and gained experience with CNC machine also i pay a lot more attention to detail than i use to as i have learned small details are very important when designing. No matter what it is, an art piece or a piece of furniture.
So after all the stress and my battle with this project i have finally made the chair 🙂 Its better later than never.
I am proud of it even though it is perhaps not the best chair ever however i really worked hard on it and i am very happy in achieving the chair as there were a lot of moment when i really thought i am not gonna have a chair.
so, once i managed to CNC the chair parts i had to glue the parts together , and sand it off using electric hand sander. Once it was all smooth and i was happy with the parts i put all the parts together. I used 8 copper pipes to join the two parts and bolts to screw it from the other side. I also used heavy duty rope to tread the seat of the chair.
I have made few faults in making a chair however it is stable for time being. I am going to improve it though. I used 10mm copper pipes instead of 15mm as that the advise i had from a tutor however as i have 10mm hols the chair so pipe goes through the hols as its 10mm as well. In the near future i will change the pipes into 15mm. Also ideally i wanted to have twisted wire instead of the pipes however it was way to costly so i used copper instead.
This is the experiment with the wire which i liked and would of preferred to use.
& finally this is my finished chair.
Overall experience was interesting and a learning curve. Some experiences were better than others, taking as an example at the Mind your own business project I enjoyed the profits and the marketing aspects, also the sales day was fun although we were all tired as we didn’t finish everything till the last minute, it was rewarding to be the top group to make most of the profit. The talks throughout the project by the self-made businesses were great and really inspirational it gave big boost of confidence. It gave me a basic understanding how self-employment works and how much thinking and research it takes. Long hours on the other hand and the rush, stress and miss-timing wasn’t so great. We have made a lot of mistakes as we went along because the pressure was on and we didn’t have much time to think everything through. Everything was very rushed, which I think in real life I would think about the project like this and do a lot of research and planning how it would all work. In this project we didn’t really have that. We had to proceed as soon as possible with the idea as otherwise we wouldn’t of made the sales event, there wasn’t much room for failures or experimenting which I believe in real life is a must if thinking about creating a business. I did really enjoy this project though and I am glad I picked it. Second half of field which I picked, ‘Are you sitting comfortably?’ Was a complete opposite experience for me; At first I was very positive and couldn’t wait to start the project even though I wasn’t sure whether I am going to succeed. I was very positive and I was going to try my best as making a chair sounded interesting. Within second week when we had a sketching and drawing time I knew this isn’t going to go very well for me. I was way behind everyone else with my drawing skills; I couldn’t produce the sketches that were needed. It actually brought me down emotionally little bit. I have lost the desire for the project. However I knew I had to complete it no matter what, not only because I had to but I didn’t want to give up. As the weeks went by I found it harder and harder, nothing was going right for me. I have found it very stressful. I never thought this project is going to be easy but I never thought I am going to find it this hard neither. At the end of five weeks I didn’t manage to have a chair on time which, upset me as I am emotional person however I put my mind to make a chair throughout upcoming weeks for the show, and I have managed to make it. I wouldn’t say it is my greatest piece of work, but I am still proud of myself as I really have tried my best. What I have discovered within this project is that I am definitely not a product designer and will never be one. I learned that this industry is not for me. I have mixed emotions about it as in a way I wish I picked something else as that might have been more useful however I don’t regret in picking this as this showed me that I am completely not interested in it and wouldn’t do it again.
At the beginning I didn’t really know what to think about it, but having a business always interested me so for the first field project I decided to try it out and see what it is all about and weather it is for me. Either way having a basic knowledge will be handy.
I loved the talks that was run through the five weeks, I found every talk which was presented by different business owners were really inspirational. Made me realize that no matter if it goes wrong you have to pick yourself up and carry on, find out what and why went wrong, fix it and try again. Life is a learning curve.
To sum up the whole five week experience of trying to make a business in couple words would be exciting and exhausting. Exciting would be defiantly because it was new and without knowing what am I getting myself into I was enjoying every day of it. The designing of the packaging wasn’t my strong point but with the team we have pulled it off. I also have to say because of this project I have mastered coral draw pretty well, as the boxes were a struggle at first. Also the wooden Christmas tags needed tweaking quite a bit to be suitable for the boxes, so it was just as stressful at times as exciting. Also the fact that at the end of the project, if we do well, we will have something back from it, and I don’t mean just experience but also the profit from it. Also I am very glad that our team clicked on very well from the beginning and that we had the same idea of what we want out of this project, which was to make some extra cash and make some profit. Our main aspects of our product were always the same from the start to finish —> Quality, Profit, Visual appeal. We have struggled at times through the project which definitely was very exhausting, like the boxes we couldn’t get them right till the last minute and our budget had to stretch a bit as we didn’t plan everything correctly so we had to dip into the pre-ordered chocolate bucket, which after we had a fear of not making the money back. Our timing wasn’t very good either some aspects took us way longer to do than we thought it would. Our stitched tags for the boxes took us all day to complete which after we realized it wasn’t even enough of them. Also the gold paper that we ordered and were going to use for the sleeves fell through and wouldn’t of arrived in time so we had to cancel it, which for a moment we thought the whole packaging would be ruined, but it must of been our lucky evening. At the end in one of the studios we found some gold used paper card which was absolutely perfect for our boxes. Of course we had to cut around it and make it work but it was worth it. The boxes came out better than we thought and if not of the found goods that we recycled we wouldn’t have made the show. The pressure was on and we really didn’t think we are going to pull it off but everything came along the last minute and I couldn’t be any happier. It was very stressful and tiring but it was defiantly very useful experience. I do see this like a crash course of business knowledge. Really enjoyed the project and to come out as a group with the most profit was amazing. I believe we definitely reached our goals no matter the stress and the difficulties along the way. I personally would not carry on with the LUXE brand as a long run thing as by all counting it would not make money and it would be very hard to complete with the other well established chocolate brands, however I really enjoyed the experience and the haircut after 🙂
We all had lazer cut induction which is very useful as it is the easiest way to design and produce the packaging and the detail on the packaging. I had my lazer cut induction quite a while ago and i have experience with it already, however it was good to refresh the mind on it.
as an experiment we cut some snowflakes and name tags.
We are thinking of not only producing the packaging using lazer cutter but also cutting some tags that relates to Christmas season to stick on it. It looks quite simple but at the same time impressive. I personally love lazer cutter and i believe it is one of the greatest tools to use.
Right from the start of our group meeting as a team we have decided that packaging is definitely going to be a big factor in our sales no matter what the product is going to be.
Once we have decided and had a clear vision of the product and the packaging we have started to think of the small details which usually have the most impact on selling the product. It is always important for a product that is for sale to have a nice visual appeal to boost its sales and appeal to more customers, and to do just that we have decided to go with rich glamour colours like gold and white. Gold colour also suits Christmas festivities a lot so that was an easy decision to make. As we were making four different flavor truffles we thought of doing different colour labels which would go on top of the boxes so that it would be easier to separate the flavors that are in the each box.
We made the labels for vegan chocolate which was deep green colour and white background and milk chocolate which was brown and white colour.
We also used silk gold ribbon on each boxes and the cellophane bags to make the packaging more presentable and pretty. Also for the square boxes we have stitched ‘I Love LUXE’ on a piece of fabric which we stuck on each of the square boxes, it added more character to the box and the whole packaging.
This is us stitching it out.
To make the packaging more festive we decided to lazer cut Christmas tags to go on the Christmas tree boxes and the cellophane bags. Pre-orders were personalized with the required names on them wishing Merry Christmas
Of course the packaging wasn’t the only details we had to think about. We decided to have uniforms which was a simple black t-shirts with I Love Luxe logo on, on the right hand side of the t-shirt. We purchased tops out of the given budget and designed our logo which after using digital stitched we stitched it onto the t-shirt.
We wanted a professional look as we were aiming high for our sale target.
Also a lot of thought went into displaying our product. As we selling chocolate we wanted to make it attractive and look delicious.
We had upside down glasses stuffed with marshmallows and some chocolate peanuts, which on top had a gold try with the samples of our truffles. We placed three stands like it across the table. We also got a gold Christmas paper table cover which went ideal with our theme, and off course rest of the table was filled with our product. I am personally very happy the way display turned out as we didn’t have enough time to practice it before hand, so the visualizing worked out well.
Finalizing the boxes was quite of a struggle and we made quite few mistakes along the way which threw us off behind the schedule by quite a bit.
The main idea that we were going with was to have L shaped boxes that would slide into each other making a rectangular box which would have a sleeve over it holding the boxes in place. L shape because of our brand name Luxe, which we thought would be a nice touch. However after few tried we had to give the idea up as we just didn’t manage it to make them conveniently enough and the time was running out, so lazer cutting the boxes and after gluing them together by hand simply wasn’t enough time on the amount of chocolates we were going to make for the sales day and the pre-orders.
Thanks to an amazing Google search we found a quick and easy box template on http://www.templatemaker.nl/ which we used to come up with a box that was easy and quick to make which worked out well as we set out selling goals quite high right from the beginning.
So instead of making an L shaped box we end up with a square box which holds four truffles in each and has a gold sleeve on it to brighten up the box a bit. Also we thought of attaching little Christmas wooden shapes to add an edge and make the box interesting and festive.
As it was winter season and the sales event fell very close to Christmas, other bigger box that we come up with was shaped of a Christmas tree, to attract the customers. The box was rather successful although we did have few difficulties with the size of it at first, we managed to fix it in time to go through with it. The tree box had a gold wrapper around it and we also decided on the wooden personalized tags to spice it up a bit and to make the customer special.
All the boxes have an inside tray that the truffles sits in so it is stable.
Here are the finished boxes
We were profit and quality orientated team so we have made cellophane bags with four truffles in and a wooden tag for a cheap price to boost our sales and also so anyone can enjoy and try our delicious truffles.
Right from the beginning I was excited but yet a bit nervous about this field project. When I picked this field project, I have gave myself a challenge which I was determined to complete and to be successful no matter the fact I haven’t got a clue about furniture or chair building or even a general knowledge about it. I decided to risk it and see what happens instead than always wonder what it would be like. As the project started I was ready to begin and fire away. Then we found out we have to base our designs on the questionnaire of a person that we have to interview. This rocked me up a bit as I had a design in my head already from thinking about it throughout the holiday. However I thought of perhaps adapting the design to the other person after the questionnaire was done.
In the mean time we were having exercises of how to draw and sketch which slightly tempered with my emotions as I just find it impossible to do, but looking at the bright side there are different ways of expressing ideas, I just needed to find them.
Still after the questionnaire was done and completed, my positivity slightly gone down as the person is completely different, with different hobbies or likes than me, so the chair I have imagined would not work in any way. So the next part I thought of picking the answers from the interview that would appeal to me too and add them into a design. I picked colour orange as I like orange too and the answer that he likes to walk a lot which I do too. No matter the style of the chair as the person likes futuristic style and I am more of 1940’s person, I simply thought it would be easier for me to make something if liked it, and feel passionate about.
Once I come up with design which is in all fairness I found it very hard, I had to alter it a lot in between each stages, so my design actually changed as I went along. However I set my mind on the textile side of the chair and I was quite confident about using sewing machine. Once that was sorted and planed all I needed is an actual structure of the chair before I can start making the textile leafs and the seat for the chair. However after many tries and tweaks I didn’t seem to get the structure right and the time was running out. In a way it made me wish I never took this project on as it just brought me down and made me doubt myself and my skill. At the end, project might be over and I do not have a chair to show but I still have got time to complete it. So I am not giving up just yet.
I looked back in the all five weeks of the project and decided to start designing from scratch, take my mind of the old design and start fresh. Good news is I have already come up with a new design by looking back on the person interests and hobbies, which actually I like too. Also by seeing my groups made chairs helped me to visualise an easy design which would be possible to do even for me. The new design I come up still needs development however I feel positive about it.
This project definitely showed me that I will not be a chair or furniture maker :), I don’t find it very passion-able like I thought I would, it was nice experience it and realize it that it is not for me.