Interaction Design: Making object

The brief I have chosen for this project being to create a device that the user interacts with without a screen, and so what I have decided to make is a plush toy which reacts and responds to the user’s touch and presence.

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I decided to base the shape of my object around my tiger bean Mameshiba plush toy that I own. I find the shape of Mameshibas to be perfect to encourage people to hold and cuddle them, which is the reaction I want for my own toy. By looking at the shape and the Mameshiba’s seams, I tried to deconstruct the pattern so that I could then cut it out for myself.

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I cut the pattern out of some cheap fleece fabric that I had, to test out whether it was right and get a sense of what it was like put together without having to waste my expensive fur fabric.

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This is what it looked like pinned up and filled with stuffing, I was happy with the size and shape but through doing this I found a few small areas where the pattern needed to be revised.

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Using the first attempt’s pattern as a guide, I traced the revised outline onto the fur fabric

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The outline didn’t show up too well on the camera, so I’ve made it a bit clearer by going over it in MS Paint

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So now we have our final template of the pattern, I just have to sew it all up!

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So now I have a.. fluffy little cocoon creature? It’s certainly great to hold and cuddle, but I decided it needed some features to make it more relatable. I decided early on in the design process that I didn’t want it to have a face, as I think that leaving it blank allows the user to project their own personality onto it more. Having looked at a wide variety of plush toys for my own amusement outside of research, I am very aware that what one person may find adorable, can be really offputting to another. For example, I personally love Mameshiba faces, but I know many people with whom they do not appeal to.

I decided that the creature needed ears. This is most likely also influenced by my love of Mameshibas, but I wanted it to be distinct enough that it would not be confused for one.

short ears

short ears


medium length ears

medium length ears


long ears

long ears


I felt the long ears were the best option, and gave the object a nice playfulness with something that is distinct and loose from the body. I also imagine that if I were to make more of these, that each one could have a different colour or patterned ears, with the body remaining the same.

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The final product! or at least the prototype. It currently has no functionality beyond being soft and cuddly, but it does that pretty well. Suffice to say I am very happy with it

 

 

 

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