Generating Some Initial Ideas, The Shelter…

Having collected a good number of damaged umbrellas, we set to work on developing some ideas for what we can do with the materials. Rather than restricting ourselves to a brief yet, we decided that using a hands on approach to design, by feeling and playing with the materials, and going against the grain of the now natural Product Design Process, would help us best find an outlet for recycling umbrellas. The first idea my project partner and I toyed with, was to make a simple shelter for the homeless. As the umbrella’s key feature is to keep rain off the user, we know that the material is capable of providing some protection against rain. With this we put together a rudimental parasol structure, with an extended pole made from two umbrella poles. The concept was based on the bell tents used by the likes of the military and the scouts. Upon  consideration of the idea, we decided that given our time frame for this project, this product is simply not viable for us, however we do believe this design has the potential to be effective and worthwhile, and with more time I believe it would provide some help, if not solution, to the increasing issue of homelessness. We finished this day by sorting through our materials, separating the fabrics from the frames, machine washing the fabrics and hanging them to dry, and stripping the frames to their constituent components.

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