Understanding how something is built is a crucial aspect of design. Especially when working with electronics, there are always going to be limitations. This project challenged me to redesign the radio, using existing components to arrive at a unique and functioning redesign.
Role & Timeframe
Primary Industrial Designer
Form Development, Prototyping, Interaction Desing, Electrical Design
2017 - 10 Week Project
Radios get to be too complicated.
An endless number of buttons or no idea how to control the stations. They may be going out of style but there's no reason they should ignore user mapping. To better understand the use of manufactured components and housings, I tackled a redesign of the radio to be simple and intuitive for the user.
Breaking things down
As much as I would have liked to build a radio from scratch, we were instead tasked with disassembling a pre-existing radio, using only its internals as the foundation for our design. Below is the radio I used, both intact and broken down. It was extremely useful to see how the various functions were actually controlled and how we were going to need to translate these actions into our new concept!
When ideating I wanted to find a shape that would indicate it's function to the user. I played around with sound waves as form inspiration and tried to articulate the mapping of buttons between volume and station. Eventually, I moved forward with a design that showed its function through movement. Only once the speaker grill was revealed would the system turn on.
I explored various forms using paper prototypes. Modeling the shape and then printing it out to be assembled physically. Although tedious it allowed a better sense of both scale, proportion, and mapping.