HIHO – It’s off to create, make & play we go
- Monash University
HIHO is a conceptual Industrial Design project that studies how products might change in the future of the Share and/or Access Economy.
This project envisions the types of tools people will be using in the future by designing an example of one, a smart power drill. In addition to this, exploration towards how these social changes will affect the workflows of future makers is embodied in an over-arching systems design, complemented by an app.
The Sharing/Access Economy has begun, and is changing the way users will interact with, use and access products and services. It’s also changing the way products are going to be designed and developed. This project explores how products might designed differently at the peak of this type of Economy. It argues that to truly be accessible and capable of being shared on a large scale, products utilised within these systems must be designed for sharing instead of sole ownership.
The benefit of creating a tool sharing system can also be seen through its effects on sustainability. Many new users will often purchase tools with a low upfront cost. However, they’re aware that the tool is low quality and may be more prone to malfunction. This not only creates a scenario where cheap tools (that aren\’t sustainably manufactured) are adding to landfill, but also potentially taking up storage space at home as “high-idling” products. HIHO addresses these sustainability issues by designing an accessible system for users that is financially feasible with ready to use high quality tools that are a more efficient way of using our earth\’s resources.
The technology incorporated into this power drill are those that are either available now, or currently being developed. It is through a combination of self-healing materials, small sensors and interaction design that enables the user experience of this product to be one that is both intuitive and accessible to novice users. So that the learning curve is reduced when picking up a new device for the first time. These technologies help create a smart product, capable of reacting to the user’s needs and increasing the product lifespan.
HIHO seeks to retain the positive aspects of tool sharing libraries, while alleviating maintenance difficulties of the tools. Upon visiting and interviewing a local tool library it was discovered that one of the downsides to having a multitude of tools donated was that all their different brands, makes and models were hard to maintain and find replacement parts for. Which is why HIHO is a power tool with a modular technical package that not only speeds up the maintenance process, but also standardizes it. Ensuring that these tools can constantly circulate the economy and be used to their full potential.
While the project is an Industrial Design project, the idea of product design is addressed beyond the tangible object. The design approach to this project is one that is holistic and considers the many touchpoints along the user journey, in order to enhance the user’s experience. The solution considers the user’s needs both the inception before they have need of the physical product , as well as the journey after they have finished using the product. Designing the system, app and tangible product in tandem allows them to complement each other and provide a cohesive and integrated experience.