In Design for Extreme Environments studio, we were tasked to design and build a pod using only cardboard and hot glue. The goal was to create the smallest, lightest, and most comfortable pod that would allow a person to live inside for 5+ hours while being able use a laptop.
This was a group project which I completed with Gün B., Kush Z., and Yechen Z. The first letter of our names separated by the letter A create the name, DAGAYAKA.
Ejection seat from B-58 Hustler bomber
Fighter jet cockpit and canopy
Baby carrier and shade
Sports car interior and seat
Finnair's new non-reclining
business class seat
Mercury Capsule interior
How does one get in and out? What can one do within the space? We drew inspiration from various other human-centered spaces to assess their design and see how we could apply some of their best features into the design of our pod.
Sketches & Ideation
Seat Position Experimentation
Due to the short time frame of the project, most of the sketching was done in tandem with building so we could ideate and prototype at the same time.
It arose as a silly idea, but using gym equipment helped us try out different positions and assess their comfortability.
Building Phase 1: Chair
In finding the best position for all group members, we referred to Henry Dreyfuss' Human Factors in Design book for measurements in addition to our own bodies.
Building Phase 2: Exterior Structure
The geometric shape of the pod not only looked cool, but also made the pod look smaller and sleeker. We made sure that all support structures and reinforcements were fixed on the inside to keep the exterior clean. The pod was built around the chair to keep size and weight down. There is ample room to stretch out your legs.
Building Phase 3: Canopy
The canopy was our "wow" factor and was the most challenging part to build because it needed to fit seamlessly, be sturdy, and be lightweight. It also housed the desk and optional headrest with velcro attachment points inside. A ventilation fan was mounted to the outside the canopy which expelled dirty air while drawing in fresh air from the roof porthole. The "T" handle made it easy to close and open the canopy from inside.
Building Phase 4: Desk & Stowage
The desk was made to be storable to maximize use of the space. When stowed, it attaches to the canopy with velcro as highlighted in blue in the second picture. When deployed, it rests on two shoulders on each wall. The height clearance allows for up to 17 inch laptops to be used without issue. There is ample room to eat or write while using the laptop.
I got some food and water to begin the required 5 hours work and relax test. The space was surprisingly roomy and the chair was comfortable. There was space to stretch out and change sitting positions. I completed the powerpoint for the project while inside. After, I was so tired, I fell asleep until crit that afternoon.
Here's our professor trying out the pod!
This was a project assigned in my Junior year spring semester Industrial Design Design for Extreme Environments Special Topics class funded by NASA through the Rhode Island Space Grant and taught by Prof. Michael Lye.