Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Working with Eastman this semester was a good learning experience. Meeting the project deadlines required many long hours and lots of hard work, but now it is all over I am very glad for this opportunity and was pleased with my two DVD displays.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ending the semester with Eastman

The entire Eastman experience has been great. Being able to put our brains to the test was a trying and rewarding experience. Working with Spectar has been quite a challenge. The adapatability of this material is astounding and applying it to the retail environment has been fun. I took much away from this project in the sense of working with a great sponsor with a great material, as well as taking a great challenge and creating some fantastic and seemingly possible and realistic design solutions. Thanks again Eastman. It was a great experience.

Having an assignment from Eastman this past semester has definitely opened my eyes to real world work situations as far as deadlines and deliverables. I'm very privileged to have been able to have this type of experience while still in school so that it gives me a taste of what things will be like in a few years. I have definitely learned new things through this experience and will always be able to look at it and know what I have learned from it. This project has definitely shed new light on how I look at designing and how a different design can make any system better. Eastman has helped me to think out of the box and really try to think how to fix current design problems.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eastman has been a very mind-stimulating sponsor and one that has given me a lot of portfolio material. My first design was manufactured to create a display that interacts with customers shopping for coffee. The reason for the rhyme is simple: display as much coffee as possible. Engineering a display that models that simple principle also generates a distinctly Hi-Viz experience, while serving the purpose dictated by our user research.

On my second concept, the idea to build a multi-Purpose display came as a solution to the problem of small cluttered coffee shops that do not have a lot of room. This innovation gives way to 3 Hi-Viz avenues. First, a display of coffee bags; Second, the center for coffee condiments with milk and sugar; Third, a coffee machine/espresso marketing tool. All of these traits achieves a valuable Hands-On affect.

In closing, I want to thank Eastman for their time and effort. I valued everyone's input especially Gaylon, Ron, Farrell, and Adia.

Project Wrap-Up

First things first, I'd like to thank Eastman for allowing us this great opportunity to work on this project with them. I have learned a lot and hope to someday apply this experience to my career as an Industrial Designer.
Now on to the project summary. During the research phase, I went to Pier One Imports and found the perimeter shelving and aisles to be ridiculously cluttered and unorganized. So I decided to use the clarity and hot-bending capabilities of Spectar to create two shelving ideas to help organize and better present merchandise. Both of my ideas incorporate the Hi-Viz and Striking themes that Spectar inspires, and would help keep Pier One or any other home furnishing store more organized.
Once again, thank you Eastman for the chance to use Spectar in some of my designs and the experience that came with working with your company.

The Final Product

Working with Eastman this Semester has been exciting and I have learned so much both about the corporate world and the way things change and unexpected turns occur more frequently than ever expected. I really believe that this experience has been a great one that i will remember for years to come. I enjoyed working with the team and i wish everyone success in the future. thanks once again Eastman.

In conclusion....

The following concept is the display I developed over the past 15 weeks, the SmartCard Kiosk. It is an attempt at solving the issues that come with shopping for greeting cards.

I incorporated Spectar as a way to make the cards become more visible to the customer. The system works with a touch screen computer database which features each card on display, using RFID chips.
Spectar was also used as a way to help the customer visually understand that the computer is connected to the cards on display.

When you have found your card on the screen, there will be an LED light at the slot which directs you to it (see right). This system, I believe, provides a speedy, yet pleasant shopping experience for the customer, as well as a helpful organization tool for the employee stocking it.

During the semester I was challenged with the question, "Why not acrylic?" Fortunately, I was able to reseach and test in order to answer that question. It would be wise to note that acrylic did indeed crack on the very first heat-bend.

I would like to thank the entire Eastman team for giving our studio this unique opportunity. This semester has been a work load, but was very well worth the outcome.

Wrap up....

Working with Eastman this semester has been a great experience for all of us. I enjoyed gaining experience working with a company, working under deadlines, and of course continuing my ongoing education in design.
At the beginning of the project in the research phase I noticed a lack of aesthetically pleasing displays for water bottles. Using the flexible properties of Spectar, I capitalized on a design that is functional and aesthetically unique. Using multiple layers of Spectar I was able to create an eye-catching display that organizes merchandise and shows off the organic shape and bright colors of the water bottles.
Thank you Eastman for this experience to work with your company and with a new material!

wrapping up the semester...

The enjoyable semester has come to an end, but it most certainly was full of interesting challenges for each of us.  This new way of looking into retail forced me to look into areas that would normally be bypassed in the retail space.  By taking a closer look into these troubled areas, it helped me to notice just how many patterns and trends that seem to follow the retail environment.  I developed both of my concepts by looking at these trends and finding new ways to simplify them and make them more efficient.

Spectar enabled me to step outside of the normal materials and their limits to basically "reinvent the wheel" in grocery related displays.  Many of the cuts, stresses, and deep draws on the vacuum forming machine could not have been done with any other plastic material.  Spectar really helped to put the product first!

Thanks again to the Eastman crew for working with us this semseter!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


First of all I'd like to thank Eastman for the opportunity they gave us to work with them. It was a long process but in many ways it resembled the real world of working in design. This project help me understand alot about clients, deadlines (in how they never are fixed), and the expectations of a designer. So thank you.

My first display which dealth with a overhead display that was named "skyline" by eastman dealth with candy bars being displayed by an overhanging spectar dispense system that was on a self-checkout. My goal was to create an Hi Viz atmosphere. Using the transparency of the spectar the overhead or “skyline” display is able to create an atmosphere of candybars without having a cluster feeling. Each self checkout has two skyline display systems with an chip display on the side. The customer is able to interact directly with the display through the dispence system. Its placement will allow it to be highly visible without blocking “air” space.

In my second design my plan was to make an universal display for all types of free standing self-checkouts.This display is meant to be universal for all free standing checkouts. Its clarity allows for the product to be the a portion of the graphics of the display. The screen is an eye catcher the make the customer spend a little more time at the checkout where their attention is on the product. The camera is in the center of the display and is highly visible to “prevent” instead of catch.
The finalized design are finally submitted--it was a good project and a good semester. Thanks go out to Eastman for giving us such a great opportunity, and thanks to our teacher for helping us along the way. That being said, I just want to leave some closing thoughts about one my finalized designs.
The Totes umbrella display was a originally born of a drugstore probem--finding a way to prove that Spectar could take the place of metals in a multitude of way throughout the store. I set out to prove and to show that Spectar had enough favorable qualities, and enough inherent strength, that will a little bit of design a lot of material could be saved. Not only metals can be replaced, however. If Spectar can provide a high visibiility, striking, functional and often hands-on solution to metal use throughout a typical store, think of what it could do to similar and competing materials such as acrylic? It is a material that will bend, but not break, heal itself under heat, and can provide the clarity and quality of glass.
While in the end, the umbrella display isn't really fitting for the store in which the idea was born, it does have a certain appeal that could be marketed to different outlets. Most importantly however, it displays all four qualities of Spectar extremely well, and for Eastman as a company is feasible to build, and tag a prime use of high visibility, (to reveal product color, variation, and type) purposeful, (fully-functional display with 75%+ less metal used) striking (crisp molding allows for sharp graphics and edges) , and hands-on, (a visually and physically inviting experience that forces user interaction) the four cardinal qualities of Spectar.
Thanks again Eastman, have a great Christmas!

Matt Shipp

The picture to the right is a rendering done in Rhino of my final re-design for drugstore security bars. Spectar really helped re-invent the space so often unnoticed by bringing a designed elegance to what was once a necessary eyesore. I also used the area for graphics and advertisement by making a basket to hold the weekly sales circulars that come in the newspaper and posting an aisle floorplan on the actual security bar with notifications of sales around the store to encourage shoppers to look around.

Well this semester has definately not been one for slackers. There were some long nights that turned into slow days and some quick switches that sometimes threw routines off but we all survived. It was a good experience to collaborate with a real-world client and have people depending on our deliverables. We weren't just working for our own grades or portfolios, though that was a big focus that drove our work quality, but we also had promises to keep and concepts to deliver. On our way back from our visit to Kingsport, I had no idea that the semester would unfold this way. I learned alot about designing for real problems found through research and development and also got a crash course in a pretty useful 3D program so I'd say the semester didn't turn out half bad.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Picture unrelated.

The sun is setting. Tired men and women are leaving work, fighting the rush hour traffic as they flee to their homes. Street lamps flicker once or twice along the slow university streets before striking a warm orange glow. The buzz of machines began to die as the work day comes to a halt slowly from the construction site. Little white hats of construction workers bob and weave around the maze of fences as the make their escape--a tiring day is finally at an end. A slow dust cloud rises from the dusty plains, reaching toward the last traces of sunlight as they streak across the sky. It blows and curls, becoming one with the night; a final sigh, a death knell sounding the end of the day. There is nothing... Except...

The eyes of Wallace Industrial Design Building, the gaping sheets of glass littering its facade, burn bright with incandescent light. Tired fingers and sore backs work within, melting plastic and sketching furiously. When all others have retired to their beds, letting out long deep sighs that seem to say, "Ah, what a relaxing weekend.", the ants of Wallace continue to build. Design, sketch, build, tear down--The dreaded cycle that keeps the ants entranced, the hypnotic spell that keeps them thinking that if they can just go for one more day, life will be worth something.

That moment is not far off, however.

Weeks of work have piled up to one cataclysmic moment, a moment that holds promise of an eternal salvation, the 89.5 rounded up, or the damnation that is Eastman's disapproval. The odds seem to be piled against the ants, working tirelessly, is their nothing and no one that can help them succeed?

There is one.

Birthed from the sins of inferior products, fueled by the shattering of acrylic sheeting, tempered by Windex and Lysol, he emerges--a lone hero; resistant to screwing, heating, chemicals, pressure, and scratching. He is a light in darkness, a hope in despair, and a force that will change the Wallace ants' lives forever.
He is Spectar-Man.


The back stretch has been a tedious and time consuming journey, but overall, the concepts that my fellow colleagues and I have been able to generate is very gratifying. Hands down the hardest thing that comes to mind during Phase 2 is making sure that the concept is structurally sound. This part is where design is crucial and helps the designer earn the big bucks. It is my intention demonstrate the feasibility of my concepts at the next presentation.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent time trying to find a way to work out the mechanics in my fabric display so that the whole system of buying fabric becomes easier and isn't so much of a hassle. Just recently have we started to work on our models. I have experienced some issues related to my design and how well the plastic can form to it. These are just obstacles that have been worked around and I think they have helped me to design the displays better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Since the first meeting I have spent time refining my two concepts. Refinements have included going back into the retail space, more problem solving investigation, addition of aesthetic elements, and places for graphics. Attention to detail has been the focus this week. Figuring out how our displays will actually be built has made our initial ideas seem very real. Learning how to assemble our displays has also posed a few challenges. Knowing the limitations, but also advantages of Spectar has definitely influenced many of the aesthetic elements and structural elements of my designs.

I have spent the past few weeks refining the two concepts that were selected.  Much of the refinement had to do with the mechanics and inner components of both ideas.  With a few tweaks, I can now focus more on the aesthetics of my concepts.  

Concept Refinement

Since our meeting, I have started making adjustments to my SmartCard design, and looking at different ways spectar can be incorporated throughout the display's facade. I'm really hopeful for this concept, as I feel it can push the greeting card world into a more positive direction.

I have also begun reseaching the movement and axis associated with the golf swing and have been looking at ways to apply it to a display system.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Light Sculpture

I laser cut three pieces of masonite with different size circles and offset the holes. Then with some help, stacked the all three layers in the vacuum form.

The excess spectar was cut with a ban saw and then the flat side sanded with a DA to frost the spectar.

The two ends were bent using a heat strip so it will clip around the lights in the studio.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Light sculptures and the studio space

In continued our efforts to explore the Spectar material and "enlighten" our work-spaces, we students a series of sculptural lighting elements that employ various means of fastening, adhering, thermo-forming.

These sculptures are designed to fit the 2'x2' area over the existing 2'x4' fluorescent fixtures in our space. In addition, straight sheets were hung to create "post-walls" for sketches and other visual information such as white board markings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Messin' with Spectar

You ask why? I ask why not?
Starting to get interesting
Yes, we did get the stool out.

Working with Spectar...

Recently, we have been working with the different types of Spectar, finding out how it reacts under specific circumstances.  We've frozen, bent, re-bent, heated, cut, and so far, I have been impressed with what the material can do.  I hope to use what I've learned from this experimentation in the construction of our final models.

Shedding Some Light on Spectar

This week I spent some time working with and getting a feel for Spectar. I decided to test out the scratch resistant Spectar to see how big of a difference it made in intense heat. The heat caused a pattern like the veins of a leaf to spread across the Spectar sheet and it made a surprisingly nice design on my light sculpture. It was nice getting to test the limits of Spectar and I'm looking forward to applying this knowledge to my design.

Getting Familiar with Spectar

This past week and most of this weekend has been spent with some type of tool and sheets of Spectar. I have played around with Spectar using heating rods, heat guns, saws, vacuum formers and everything in between. The experience gained first hand with Spectar has allowed for a better perspective on the initial concept designs i have come up with. The next week or so of designing and experimenting combined with the initial research should nurture some promising ideas.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

poking around with spectar

So far, so good with the spectar. Much better than acrylic... Spectar has been able to take pretty much all of the shapes I've tried. I haven't been let down yet. But I will say it is a little more 'rubbery' than I thought it would be. I expected more of a flimsy material when heated. That is no problem though. I've played around with sanding for a frosted appearance... looking good - and also with extreme heat to gain a slick edge. I've found that unless the edge is already pretty smooth, you're going to damage the plastic with these torches. The ends need to look pretty nice already.

212Degrees+Spectar= Better wear gloves

By boiling spectar it becomes extremely flexible yet when it is cooled it doesn't get brittle. You need to work fast because spectar doesn't retain the heat very well. I also found that if you ,say take a strip of spectar boil it then twist it or roll it up ,let it cool, then put it back into the boiling water it will return to its original shape.

A day with Spectar

During the research process that Auburn's methodology covers, we experimented many different ways with the product. Spectar is unbelievably capable to form change and by process of elimination my fellow colleagues and I put it to the test. We froze it, heated it, torched it, bent it, reheated, and bent it again. It was good being able to find the limitations of the plastic we are working with and I think that there are many possibilities.

Material Destruction

First wave of concept sketches are complete, along with material exploration. Noticing that while Spectar handles initial heating exceptionally well, heating and then cooling tend to make the material brittle... In other words, seems like you have to get it in one go. Also, little known fact by Auburn U students: Spectar catches fire.
Heat gun > Torch.

Thicker sheets of Spectar seem to hold up to heating and bending a lot better though... Which probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but then again we have had so many mix ups with our acrylic supply, scratch-resistant Spectar, and normal Spectar that it wouldn't suprise me if I grabbed the wrong stuff. That being said, the thick orange sheets we have are great... Really hold thickness and form even on the verge of melting. Really great.

Getting to know Spectar...

Getting to know Spectar

During the last two weeks we all have had our fair shair of experimentation with the material Spectar. This product is almost amazing! It acts like a hard acrylic plastic, but you can bend, heat, mold, shape, create air bubbles, burn, color, scratch, crack, etch, laser cut, and reform this material! Spectar has way more possibilities than any plastic can offer us today. So far I have to tip my hats to the Chemical Engineers at Eastman Chemical Company.

Buy it, Use it, Break it, Fix it... Sketch it!

Spectar, the plastic of possibilities, went under many tests, such as heating, bending, thermo-forming and other processes. The outcomes got me thinking so I sketched out some ideas for form and structure experiments.

what can spectar NOT do?

During our "material exploration" phase I have heard people doing some pretty whack things to Spectar: boil it, broil it, melt it, freeze it, sand it, burn it, and everything in between. My light project didn't involve anything too hazardous, just some heat bending and some sand "frosting." I was impressed with Spectar's ability to be heated, shaped, re-heated, and re-shaped. I made a couple bending mistakes that could have been pretty detrimental had I not been able to just re-heat and bend.

Material Experimentation

This week we took a break from studio work and went down to the shop to experiment with Spectar. We heated it, froze it, bent it, wrote on it, scratched it, etc.....anything to test the strength and durability of the material. One of the most interesting properties of the plastic that I found was that Dry-Erase markers can easily be erased off of the Spectar surface, just like on a white board. This could be very useful with changing displays because companies could write current prices etc. on the surface of the plastic and change it easily.

Heating Spectar

Heating with a torch can cause some air bubbles.

A heat strip can be used to bend and shape Spectar.