Making for the Real World: Harshali’s Laser-cut QuickAccess Storage Unit

Harshali

Harshali is an enthusiastically inquisitive designer. The way the world works and its intricacies fascinate her and she wants to contribute to its betterment in a meaningful way.  She believes in the collective power of people and that people are the ultimate source of knowledge, and books are the best companions. Writing is her fondest way of expression, Link to her blog. Harshali wanted to make a Lasercut Modular Storage Unit for the Recreational Space which was being set up in the studio. Everyone had to share their objects in the form of an Instructable. Harshali’s insturctable got featured as well, which means that the documentation was done in a very precise and easy to understand way, supplemented by a lot of images, sketches and dimensional diagrams. Detailed information about the storage units can be found at Harshali’s Featured Instructable. This is what she has to say about the objects she made.


With every new approach to design that I try, I am left feeling like the oblivious, fresh out of high school child that I was before I got into NID.

What if we all started making everything we use? 
With designs and instructions available on the internet, one could be empowered to make absolutely anything! In that case, the role of product designers would be to simplify the process of making for everyone and demystify everyday objects such that they are easily makeable.

Keeping this in mind, I set out to make a storage unit which was modular, easy, and aesthetic. One that was fun to make and would fit in any given space.
I wanted to keep it simple, such that it could be a project taken up by anyone without any help- and yet keep the process engaging.

Selection of material- MDF- was on the basis of lightness and durability. The joinery- interlocked nodes- allowed ease of assembly. Documentation was the most important part of the whole process- it wasn’t just about getting to the final product, but about the audience being able to understand how to make it. Compilation of all the images and text was quite a task, but the excitement of sharing with the web kept me going. Publishing the instructable gave a sense of completion to the project.

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All in all, Making for The Real World was a wonderful exercise that got one thinking about an alternate approach to design.

Kudos to Sahil and Praveen for having made this workshop possible.


Working on this with Harshali was fun, initially we had spend some amount of time to figure out the detailing of the ways to join two modules but once that was figured out, the making was easy. I see a smart designer in the making, who will fit well in design advocacy and education.

 

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Making for the Real World: Archana’s Multi-functional Space Dividers

Archana

Archana Valecha is a super talented chilled designer who is into solar cooking, music, collage art and a lot of interesting conversations. She wanted to make a Multi-functional space divider for the Recreational Space which was being set up in the studio. Everyone had to share their objects in the form of an Instructable. And the one Archana wrote got featured as well, which means that the documentation was done in a very precise and easy to understand way, supplemented by a lot of images, sketches and dimensional diagrams. Detailed information about the divider can be found at Archana’s Featured Instructable. This is what she has to say about the objects she made.


The need for the space dividers was simply to create a space within a space, a demarcation. A sort of enclosure which would give the sub space a different feel. Since these space dividers were for a semi formal work space I wanted them to have a professional feel, still not letting go of the element of fun.

The use of panels for my design simply helped in blending this sub space into the larger space as it wasn’t a complete block out from what was outside of the sub space. It would let some amount of information and light pass through when inside the sub space. The use of panels also gave the design a feel of lightness which would otherwise not come across if an entire opaque material was used. the pop colours used was purely to introduce a fun element, a visual stimulant.

Multi functionality came with the fact that the dividers could not only be used to demarcate but could also be used to do other things like putting up of sheets, posit notes and other little bits on the white panels, one of which is a magnetic board. This feature gave the dividers an interactive element.

The making of these dividers was a new experience for me as I had never worked on such a large scale before. It also gave me a chance to get my hands on some new materials and understand the way they behave. The design turned out the way it is because of the underlying thought that it could be replicated by anyone at any corner of the world. Sharing to let the idea grow further was an interesting takeaway from the course.


Working on this with Archana was super fun and meaningful. I see an amazing designer in the making, who cares about people and things at a deeper level and is dedicated to the core.

Making for the Real World: Recreational Space

A team of 8 product designer started ideating on a recreational space which they could setup in the product design studio (or anywhere else). After a few hours of questioning the needs of the space, we started looking at the objects which were required in this space. And emphasis was laid on the fact that all of the objects made should be simple and easy to replicate. There were few objects which we came up with:

  • Storage
  • Space Dividers
  • Floor Seating
  • Chairs/Stools for using when ideating in space
  • Table
  • Lighting (Artificial/Natural)

The next phase was to figure out the materials, color and finish. And all this was to be done keeping in the mind that at the end of making the objects would share the same design language. Some of the materials which we shortlisted to work with were:

  • Fabric
  • Ropes
  • Wood
  • Metal Channels/Sheets
  • MDF/Plywood
  • Leather/Rexine
  • Foam

After this shortlisting we started looking at various objects for inspiration and created a common moodboard for the group with various details, material finish, colors, geometry. And eventually we realized that the 8 of them wanted to create geometric objects. Objects were democratically assigned to everyone and finally we had 8 objects

  • Aniket: Stool
  • Archana: Multi functional Space Divider
  • Binayak: Table for 3 People
  • Shubrajit: Natural Light Controller
  • Harshali: Storage/Organizer
  • Shilpa: Floor Seating
  • Vyoma: Divider/Display Unit

Once the objects were known the ideation started and all of them came up with various concepts and a display and discussion was done on each and every idea and eventually a few approaches were picked up and they begun the phase of making detailed sketches and started thinking about the material, making processes, colors, finishes etc.

After having a certain level of clarity about the objects, materials were procured from the local market and hence began their journey towards making their objects. While making, all of them came across something new (processes, techniques, materials, systems). Some of them employed traditional methods, some of them used digital fabrication tools.

These 8 guys were brilliant and it was an enriching experience working with them. Being with them was being back to the school again when I was 17. I’ll be posting their individual work and their instructables in the coming posts.

 

NID Workshop: Making for the Real World

People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experiences, in the process maybe changing what we believe, or discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge, perception and consciousness. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know or shall I say what we don’t know. The best way to learn is to simply start doing and tinkering the world surrounding us.

Since the industrial revolution the aim of industry has been to produce high quality good at a lower price and it has changed the very way we live our lives. Industrial Design has played a major role in making the dreams of millions and millions of people a reality. So, what is Industrial Design?

“Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production. Its key characteristic is that design is separated from manufacture: the creative act of determining and defining a product’s form and features takes place in advance of the physical act of making a product, which consists purely of repeated, often automated, replication. This distinguishes industrial design from craft-based design, where the form of the product is determined by the product’s creator at the time of its creation. All manufactured products are the result of a design process, but the nature of this process can take many forms: it can be conducted by an individual or a large team; it can emphasize intuitive creativity or calculated scientific decision-making, and often emphasizes both at the same time; and it can be influenced by factors as varied as materials, production processes, business strategy and prevailing social, commercial or aesthetic attitudes. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions for problems of form, function, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, sustainability, and sales.” -Wikipedia

  • Is it really about the art or the process of designing manufactured products?
  • Is Industrial Design concerned about making things beautiful, low cost, mass manufactured, consumerism, and planned obsolescence?
  • Or is it something more than that, something which is more fundamental in nature?
  • Is following a predefined process (called design process a lot of time) and coming up with the product the only approach to Industrial Design?
  • In the present scenario of customized user dictated market is there actually a need to differentiate Industrial Design from Crafts?
  • Is Industrial Design about making sense of the world we live in?
  • Is Industrial Design in the present day only about making renders and intangible artefacts, which will remain just as bits of information in the system or is it about making artefacts which people can interact with or have associations with?
  • What role does technology plays in the evolution of Industrial Design?
  • What can Industrial Design take from school of thought of D.I.Y, Maker Movement, Open Source, Sustainability, Redistributed Manufacturing and Digital Fabrication?
  • Is the role of an Industrial Designer just constricted to creating and executing design solutions? Can they be a part of a bigger system responsible for knowledge creation and sharing?
  • How important is a systemic way of data, information and knowledge creation?

 

Why is there a need to get back to the roots of Industrial Design?

After the introduction of computation to Industrial Design a lot of things changed. The process started becoming digital, so did the deliverables. Instead of having real life scale models, hi fidelity prototypes, tangible experiences came the era of renders, animations, mock-ups etc. It became easy to make a change in the computer system rather than creating the artefact itself. The physical disconnect a product and the designer became wide during the designing phase. There is something intimate about an actual prototype and a digital render or a CAD model just cannot replicate that.

A shift has come recently in the way digital Industrial Design was practiced. Digital fabrication started getting attention of a lot of industrial designer because of reduction in cost. Digital design tools and techniques started to facilitate efficiency gains, shorten development times, and aid collaboration between members of product development teams. As the range of digital tools available to the industrial designer increases, the viability of a totally digital industrial design strategy and opportunities to employ the methods in design education also increases. But overall there is a general lack of use of digital design tools and media by industrial design students and practitioners.

“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”

If digital fabrication and design tools are employed with the conventional making process a new sort of Industrial design emerges which is futuristic but is still rooted in the experience and knowledge which has been accumulated over centuries by the human race.


What can Local Manufacturing do?

When you are designing something it has to be done keeping in mind the context in which it would be used. What are the local practices, materials, processes etc become important. Because of Internet access is not an issue. Everything you need is available at the click of a button; it has become convenient to buy something from another country than to buy it from the local market. But what often is ignored is the effect which is brought in when things are sourced from outside. Shipping, availability of spares, local manufacturing process and materials make a huge difference. There is a need to priorities what should be sourced locally and what from outside.

Because of the maker movement and DIY culture, small scale production by consumer’s often using peer to peer resources has taken off and is being referred to as distributed manufacturing or local manufacturing. Initial life cycle analysis indicates that distributed production can have a smaller impact on the environment than conventional manufacturing and shipping because of reductions in transportation embodied energy.
Digital Fabrication has lead to digitization of fabrication, where you don’t just digitize design, but the materials and the process. The computer program doesn’t just describe the thing but becomes the thing. So, this thing can take the local form using the tools. Example a stool in Ahmedabad can be CNC milled in teak wood which is commonly available in local market. The same stool can be CNC milled in London using Birch Ply which is common there. So, the digitized design is the common variable, rest can change according to the local needs and even the digitized design can be tinkered with the available tools.


Why should Industrial Designers practice Making and Open Source?

Maker Culture Maker culture accentuates informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and fulfillment. Maker culture encourages novel applications of technologies, and the exploration of intersections between traditionally separate domains and ways of working including electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and, mainly, its predecessor, the traditional arts and crafts. The rise of this making subculture is rooted in the phenomenon of hackerspaces emerging themselves from the counterculture movement.

Community interaction and knowledge sharing are often mediated through networked technologies, with websites and social media tools forming the basis of knowledge repositories and a central channel for information sharing and exchange of ideas, and focused through social meetings in shared hackerspaces Some say that the maker culture is a reaction to the de-valuing of physical exploration and the growing sense of disconnection with the physical world in modern cities. And Indian cities have such beautifully ingrained affordance for collaboration, making, information and knowledge sharing.

Many products produced by the maker communities have a focus on health (food), sustainable development, environmentalism, local culture and can from that point of view also be seen as a negative response to disposables, globalised mass production, the power of chain stores, multinationals and consumerism.

The maker culture is a social movement with an artisan spirit in which the methods of digital fabrication – previously the exclusive domain of institutions – have become accessible at a personal scale, following a logical and economic progression similar to the transition from minicomputers to personal computers in the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s.

In the end maker culture isn’t about robots or 3D printing or electronics or even building things. It’s a new Renaissance, post-industrial, that is led by each person and every person being fluent with the idea of meaning making, ethics, politics of technology, and conscientization. The maker culture is not about the STUFF we can make, it’s about the MEANING we can make.

Open Source Open Source refers to the model of providing goods and services which includes the possibility of the enduser’s participation in the production of these goods and services. Open participation and collaboration – which implies the vulnerability to share work in progress, without ego, power struggle, and insecurity. The core values are efficiency, and the ethics and wisdom to understand what we should be efficient about. In practice, we should strive to find effective ways to document our work – to create an open collaboration platform – where collaborators can come on boards rapidly. While it is difficult to document – the real-time, online collaborative tools (like Instructables) of the information age make it easier – and we should aim to tap these new tools to document and develop together.

Open source movement has lead to opening access to the information and technology which enables a different economic system to be realized, one based on the integration of natural ecology, social ecology, and industrial ecology. This economic system is based on open access- based on widely accessible information and associated access to productive capital- distributed into the hands of an increased number of people. Companies like Local Motors, Esty are practicing this.

A highly distributed, increasingly participatory model of production is the core of a democratic society, where stability is established naturally by the balance of human activity with sustainable extraction of natural resources. This is the opposite of the current mainstream of centralized economies, which have a structurally built-in tendency towards of overproduction.

The integration of the natural, societal, and industrial ecologies – Open Source Ecology- aims at sustainable and regenerative economics. We are convinced that a possibility of a quality life exists, where human needs are guaranteed to the world’s entire population- as long as we ask ourselves basic questions on what societal structures and productive activities are truly appropriate to meeting human needs for all.

At the end of the day, the goal of design is to liberate our time to engage in exactly that which each of us wants to be doing – instead of what we need to do to survive. All have the potential to thrive.

One really important part of Open Source is the creation of repositories which share a common language and can be replicated, iterated, manipulated by the users according to their needs and context. Hence, it becomes really important to document the process, so that it can be shared seamlessly across various platforms.

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From a Student to a Visiting Faculty

Change is the end result of all true learning.

It’s been almost four years since I took a leap of faith and arrived in Ahmedabad and jumped into the relatively unknown and under-appreciated realms of design. National Institute of Design has been my home for these past four years. I came here to unlearn and relearn and also to look at the world which at times I felt was to superficial. I’ve spent a considerable amount of my student time at NID in the place we called KMC (Knowledge Management Center, Yeah the name is a bit wacko!) and read some crazy nice stuff a list of which is available on the book list blog post, and I was fortunate enough to have come across and having interacted with some of them most humble and creative people from across the globe. People like Praveen Nahar, Shujoy Chakraborty, Vikram Singh Parmar have been really great mentors and I gained a lot from whatever time I spent with them. 

I owe a lot to two of my friends, Swapnil Vibhute and Tanisha Vernekar for being part of the Systems Design course I did with them. This single module had been a transcendental experience and something which has defined my work in the past two years.

One of the most important thing I figured out in the last two years is that there is so much power in open and collective sense making. As Christopher McCandless said “Happiness is only real when shared.”. So, is knowledge, information and resources. These things are meant to be shared and not kept captive by a few. When the entire world is starving, hording doesn’t do any good.

Studying at NID has been a very hands on, mind on, senses on experience, it is like a long drive along the hills or a beach, you come across such beautiful and life enriching things. A lot changed in me as a person on this crazy ride, I became more appreciative of the little things and realized that in the end everything comes down to making sense of the world around you and fostering relationships which are lifelong. The time at NID as a student was really meaningful as a lot of people contributed positively to it and the entire idea of working with open source systems, collaborative and personalized making had run deep within my value system. I wanted to share the same experience with others.

After convocating I’ve been thinking of doing some small workshop on getting people introduced to ideas of my thesis “Design Democracy and Tinkering”. So, I sent a workshop brief to Praveen and he was kind enough to let me take a module with the 7th semester Product Design students. The basic idea of this module “Making for the Real World” was to get them introduced to concepts like open source, digital fabrication, redistributed manufacturing, technology, DIY & maker culture, sustainability and the most important thing of documentation of work and publication. I also made a manifesto on the same principles and can be read on this link.

We tried to run an intense studio for a span of 8 days and everyone is making a real life objects and not renders. I was a mere facilitator in the process and working with the students was a really fun and enriching experience for me (and hopeful for them as well!). The course is official over, we are still in the process of making the objects. We’ll soon be sharing the workshop details and the outcome.

 

Sonic Architect SA/CDA-250 Amplifier

Amplifier is the heart and brain of an audio system. In the past I have been using amplifiers which were sourced either from USA or China. The quality of amplifiers from both the places is exceptional. But there were a few logistical and economical issues. It takes around 4-5 weeks for the amplifiers to reach and then because I make very limited number of systems I don’t have an importers custom ID. So, a lot of time the amplifiers are stuck in customs and take another 3-4 weeks for processing. I found a vendor who sells and sometimes stocks the amplifiers I was using but the downside is that they turn out to be too expensive.

I wanted to use something which was built locally (Made in India) as it saves a lot of shipping time, cost and fuel. I came across an OEM for making custom made amplifiers. I had already decided on the specifications of the amplifier, and there were a couple of option for the chipset. As I’ve built a considerable number of systems, I went ahead with a Class D amplifier setup which gives a clean sound with exceptional efficiency. These boards use the same chipset as the ones which I was getting from USA and China. The boards have been branded as well as this is an OEM product.

I was facing the problem of mounting the amplifiers from USA and China as they had the volume potentiometers soldered to the board, so placement and accessibility was a problem. The custom made amplifiers which I have, the volume potentiometer and 3.5mm aux jack are connected to the board using ribbon wires. This makes the placement, access and replacement of the board very easy. Board can be kept at one place and the potentiometer and AUX can be kept wherever is the control panel.

 

 

Specifications of the SA/CDA-250 board are

  • 50 Watt Per Channel Power
  • 20Hz – 20KHz Frequency Response0
  • 4 – 8 Ohm Impedence
  • Bluetooth 4.1 aptX Connectivity
  • 3.5mm Auxiliary Input
  • Taiwan Volume Taper Potentiometer
  • 12-24 Volt Voltage Supply
  • 2A-4A Current Supply (Preferably 2A)

 

Open Design Manifesto

manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual’s life stance.

– Wikipedia

Open Design Manifesto is something which I believe and have been practicing for past 2 years. It lists down some mindsets, attitudes, intentions which are necessary if one wants to practice open design.

Poster/Card format. PDF download Link Open Design Manifesto

 

Open Design Manifesto Poster condensed.

Open Design Manifesto Poster

 

A bit on Open Source Movement

Open Source refers to the model of providing goods and services which includes the possibility of the end-user’s participation in the production of these goods and services. Open participation and collaboration – which implies the vulnerability to share work in progress, without ego, power struggle, and insecurity. The core values are efficiency, and the ethics and wisdom to understand what we should be efficient about. In practice, we should strive to find effective ways to document our work – to create an open collaboration platform – where collaborators can come on boards rapidly. While it is difficult to document – the real-time, online collaborative tools (like Instructables) of the information age make it easier – and we should aim to tap these new tools to document and develop together.

This concept has already been demonstrated in open source software and hardware. The crossover between software and hardware has lead to Open Design.
Open design is the development of physical products, processes and systems through use of publicly shared design information. Open design process is generally facilitated by the Internet. The goals and philosophy is to lead to the development of physical products rather than just software. Open design is a form of co-creation, where the final product is designed by the users, rather than an external stakeholder such as a private company.
Open source movement has lead to opening access to the information and technology which enables a different economic system to be realized, one based on the integration
of natural ecology, social ecology, and industrial ecology. This economic system is based on open access- based on widely accessible information and associated access to productive capital- distributed into the hands of an increased number of people. Companies like Local Motors, Esty are practicing this.

A highly distributed, increasingly participatory model of production is the core of a democratic society, where stability is established naturally by the balance of human activity with sustainable extraction of natural resources. This is the opposite of the current mainstream of centralized economies, which have a structurally built-in tendency towards of overproduction.

The integration of the natural, societal, and industrial ecologies – Open Source Ecology- aims at sustainable and regenerative economics. We are convinced that a possibility of a quality life exists, where human needs are guaranteed to the world’s entire population- as long as we ask ourselves basic questions on what societal structures and productive activities are truly appropriate to meeting human needs for all.

At the end of the day, the goal is to liberate our time to engage in exactly that which each of us wants to be doing- instead of what we need to do to survive. All have the potential to thrive.

Today, an increasingly smaller percentage of the world’s population is in this position.

“Design for the Real World” is one of the most important book for Industrial Designers

ethical-issues-large

Image source: Cody Thompson

I started reading Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek a few days ago and after spending a lot of time thinking about the philosophy on which the book is written is something which makes so much sense in the present time. Designers who are thinking of doing something meaningful and who are on a quest to make sense of the world should give this book a read. It encompasses a lot of topics ranging from sustainability to bionics, disability to transportation, pedagogy to ethics, mass manufacturing to planned obsolescence and a lot more. Numerous examples have been given and a few methodologies have been discussed along with a couple of diagrams.

I have been thinking about the way industrial design is being practiced for a long time and have formed an ideology of my own and after reading this book, the same ideology has been reinforced.

Since the industrial revolution the aim of industry has been to produce high quality good at a lower price and it has changed the very way we live our lives. Industrial Design has played a major role in making the dreams of millions and millions of people a reality. So, what is Industrial Design?

“Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production. Its key characteristic is that design is separated from manufacture: the creative act of determining and defining a product’s form and features takes place in advance of the physical act of making a product, which consists purely of repeated, often automated, replication. This distinguishes industrial design from craft-based design, where the form of the product is determined by the product’s creator at the time of its creation. All manufactured products are the result of a design process, but the nature of this process can take many forms: it can be conducted by an individual or a large team; it can emphasize intuitive creativity or calculated scientific decision-making, and often emphasizes both at the same time; and it can be influenced by factors as varied as materials, production processes, business strategy and prevailing social, commercial or aesthetic attitudes. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions for problems of form, function, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, sustainability, and sales.” -Wikipedia

There are a few things which come to my mind when I think about Industrial design or design in general and also the book in some way or the other is questioning these points.

  • Is industrial design really about the art or the process of designing manufactured products?
  • Is industrial design concerned about making things beautiful, low cost, mass manufactured, consumerism, and planned obsolescence?
  • Or is it something more than that, something which is more fundamental in nature?
  • Is following a predefined process (called design process a lot of time) and coming up with the product the only approach to Industrial Design?
  • In the present scenario of customized user dictated market is there actually a need to differentiate Industrial Design from Crafts?
  • Is industrial design about making sense of the world we live in?
  • What are the ethical implications of industrial design?
  • Is industrial design in the present day only about making renders and intangible artefacts, which will remain just as bits of information in the system or is it about making artefacts which people can interact with or have associations with?
  • What role does technology plays in the evolution of industrial design?
  • What can industrial design take from school of thought of D.I.Y, Maker Movement, Open Source, Sustainability, Redistributed Manufacturing and Digital Fabrication?
  • Can an industrial designer afford to create and stylize for the 5% of the world population when the rest don’t have access to basic necessities?
  • Is the role of an industrial designer just constricted to creating and executing design solutions? Can they be a part of a bigger system responsible for knowledge creation and sharing?
  • How important is a systemic way of data, information and knowledge creation?
  • Has design education just become a commercial entity which seems to teach too much design, and not enough about ecological, social, economic, and political environment in which design takes place.
  • Is the purpose of education is to be a process in which the environment changes the learner, and the learner in turn changes the environment?
  • Is a design school degree only meant to provide a safe job? Or it’s purpose is to bring in change in the individual, the environment and the ecology.
  • Should Kymmenykset (Finnish equivalent of Tithe) concept of giving one-tenth of the working time of designers towards social problem be made part of the school curriculum and of practice in design firms?

After reading the book, there is this one thing which really stands out which Victor states

Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical in the truest sense. It must dedicate itself to nature’s principle of least effort, in other words, maximum diversity with minimum inventory or doing the most with the least. That means consuming less, using things longer and being frugal about recycling material.

I’m going to try to explore some of the above mentioned points with a group of design students over a period of few days and build an understanding of where do we stand when it comes to practicing Industrial Design.

Sonic Architect Marconi: Behind the scene

Marconi is handmade using Pine and Teak wood. The process is as:

  1. Cutting the components on to approximate dimension using a paper template glued to wood. Cutting done using a bandsaw or jigsaw.
  2. Sanding the components to the proper dimension using the template lines as guides.
    Sanding the Grill
  3. Gluing the four enclosure panels together using 90 degree clamps. Fevicol is used.
    Clamps
  4. Centerpunching the holes on the grill using a 1mm centerpunch and mallet.
    Centre Punching the Grill
  5. Drilling the holes on a drill press using a 6mm drill bit.
    Drilling the Grill
  6. Countersinking the drilled holes using a 10mm 90 degree bit.
    Countersinking the Grill
  7. Drilling holes in the enclosures sides using a 3mm drill for putting dowels.
    Drilling Dowel holes
  8. Gluing the 3mm dowels using Fevicol.
    Gluing Dowels
  9. Making volume knob by using 30mm circular cutter. Gluing a 2mm thick teak wood panel on the knob to cover the drilled hole from one side.
    Knobs
  10. Drilling two 15mm holes on the back panel and then using jigsaw cutting out a capsule shape. Sanding the edges for a smooth transition.
  11. Chamfering the capsule shaped cutout using a 45 degree chamfer bit on router. Sanding the chamfered edges.
  12. Sanding the dowels to make it flush with the rest of the wood.
    Enclosure with Dowel
  13. Lasercutting the back plate to make space for a switch, charging and charge status.
  14. Staining grill, battery plate, knobs and handle using oil stainer.
  15. Soldering the switch, charging board connections and mounting them on the back plate.
    Back Plate
  16. Mounting the back plate on back panel.
    Back Panel with Plate
  17. Hot gluing the speaker to the speaker mounting plate. And soldering wires.
  18. Gluing the speaker mounting plate on the enclosure.
    Speakers mounted on the Enclosure
  19. Soldering the connections on FM receiver. Mounting the receive on the front panel.
  20. Fitting the knobs
  21. Gluing the Grill and front panel on the front edges of the enclosure.
  22. Mounting the battery on the enclosure and testing the electronics and the acoustics.
  23. Gluing the back panel and battery panel edge to edge.
  24. Gluing screw plates on the enclosure sides.
  25. Drilling holes in the back panels and countersinking them
  26. Screwing the back panels using powder coated dry wall screw.
  27. Mounting the handle using 5mm dowel.
  28. Sanding the entire speaker with 320 grit sandpaper.
  29. Finishing using linseed oil.

Marconi is ready to bring back the childhood memories of radio.

Why I started making Watercolor Illustrations?

Since I was a kid I was fascinated with watercolors and for some reason I could never control the way they worked. Maybe it was because of the tiny hands trying too hard to be perfect or because eventually as I grew up I had a problem which makes my hands tremble. I became afraid of using the medium which had this attribute of entropy in it. I could use sketch pens, markers and pencils easily as they still had some control.

So, what exactly changed after so many years of fear?

As I got more time to work on things in a very hands on, physical, tangible way; I started exploring various materials, techniques, process, tools in making things. The entire mindset of getting into making things rather than looking at them in tutorials and thinking one day I’ll do it made the difference. I was no longer thinking about the entropy which came with any sort of tools. I learnt something new with every mistake I made.

And one more thing which was important was that I set goals which were achievable and then once I could get past them, I’ll set a new one which would be complex in varied ways. It could be using the same technique with a different tool, it could be using the same tool in a different way or it could be employing a process in a setting where I had never used it before. And all this re-observing and re-learning lead to the belief that I could venture into getting started with watercolors which I wanted since I was a kid.

I started making small cards which were 8cmx9cm to begin with. And I didn’t try some really fancy technique or handwork. I just started by making rectangular blocks of watercolors, sometimes mixing two or even three of them, I saw a lot of YouTube videos. They really helped me to get the basic and the physicality of the process. I would use these colored cards and do hand lettering on them. Pinterest came to the rescuse. I found some of the most beautifully done hand lettering there. In between I’ll do some on my own as well. And also because I wanted to make these cards for someone I really liked, so I was in a way putting my heart and soul into it.

Eventually I ended up making a lot of these cards and giving it to a lot of people as a token of love, gratitude and care.

From the 8cmx9cm cards I moved on the A5 size notebook. I wanted to try out the same technique of merging colors as I wanted to have a certain sort of mastery in it. I again made hand lettered pages. And all this I was trying on cartridge sheet or ivory which is really not meant for watercolors. These sheets will get all crinkled because of water and I’ll just iron them out. I still had the fear of using a good quality sheet.

And recently I thought that it’s time to use watercolor sheets and make complex forms than hand lettering. I started looking at complex forms which I have been fascinated (themes like space travel, animals, life in passing, movies I like) on Pinterest and Google. Found some crazy good stuff specially the animal series by Kerby Rosanes. I took out black and white printouts of the illustrations I liked and after getting the delivery of watercolor sheets I headed down to the giant lightbox at NID. I started tracing the illustrations using Pigma Micron fineliners. And soon I had a bunch of them which I wanted to watercolor on. As I had learnt color merging it became easy for me to color the illustrated sheets. The hand was still the same but the mindset had changed, so I was fine with making mistakes and during this entire process beginning from the small cards I sort of had found ways to rectify the mistakes. I’ve become better at handling the material, tools, technique and I think I’ve improved a bit in illustration and sketching as well.

My current setup is

  • Brustro 200gsm Cold Press Artists’ Water Color Paper
  • Camel Artists’ Water Color Cakes 18 Shades 300 – C -18
  • Sakura Koi Water Brushpen Medium
  • Chinese Water Brushpen Large
  • 50mm Flat Synthetic Bristle Brush
  • Technical Art Mechanical Pencil 2.0mm
  • Grafo Mech-Pencil Lead 2.0mm
  • Jinhao Ink Pen
  • Pilot V7 0.7mm Pen
  • Pilot V Sign Pen
  • Pigma Micron 005 01 02 03 05 08 Fine Liner
  • Pigma Brush Pen
  • Uniball Signo 0.7mm White Gel Pen
  • Oddy Correction Pen
  • Staedtler Rubber Eraser

Watercolor Setup

Some of the channels I follow on YouTube