iPhone can be said as one of the most influential industrial products launched in recent years. I accepted my friend’s invitation, designed a convenient and unique iPhone Holder which can be placed on the desk with easy accessibility. After surveying similar products on the market, I found that there are three main categories. The first one is similar to Apple’s Duck- a very successful product, which fixes the device with its connector. The second simply place iPhone or iPod on the top of a flat or a table. The third is similar to the navigation system in cars, which fixes the device in a small box; yet it is not suitable to be placed on the desk.
Vertical, Horizontal, Plugged or Unplugged. “Turning, tilting, and rotating iPhone” is Apple’s important and new concept at that time. In order to echo it, the idea becomes the key to our design discussion as well. iPhone can be in either horizontal or vertical placement; it can be plugged or unplugged. Does it need a claw-like component? Lying platform or a groove stopper? Finally, through some investigation and research, I found two most important contact points (shown in the right figure). It will be sufficient to hold iPhone with the two contact points; in addition, the holes under can be avoided, too. Thus, we solve the problem of placement, which can be vertical, horizontal, plugged or unplugged.
The second issue is how to try not to scratch iPhone and secure it on the table, that is, material and centre of gravity issues. In response to the problem, I proposed a three separated concepts, from top to bottom are maple, cement, and stainless steel. This will allow products be placed at the bottom like a tumbler; and the wood itself, with a certain degree of flexibility which can avoid serious scratches on iPhone. Furthermore, the combination of cement and wood itself is a very attempting idea; a material combination like this can be expected to be quite beautiful.
An additional requirement of this task is that this holder should not have any forms of electronic components and it should be made from materials other than polyester fiber or plastics. In order to differ our holder from three current products on the market, we must create a whole new concept. After a series of discussions, I expressed the idea of an antler-like and genuine holder.
Speaking of materials, my first thought was concrete. For urban residents, cement is a kind of common material which has been neglected in their daily lives. It surrounds us. It is cheap and with unlimited possibilities. In cities, cement can be seen everywhere. At the same time cement has proved itself to us that it has limitless potential and inclusive character. However, creating a small scale cement production is not an easy task, but fortunately, one friend specializing in cement gave me a lot of technical assistance.
It begins with the acrylic model of the male die then dig out female die with silicon. Perfusion of cement experienced many failures where bubble volume control, mixing uniformity, and the ratio are all new experiences to me. Moreover, each time it turned out differently; there is no way to anticipate the result, so expecting stripping is a matter full of surprises. After stripping, it is necessary to strengthen and protect the surface and hardness of cement by painting it.
In terms of modeling, a composition of cement, wooden bracket, and stainless steel base is not only stunning but also harmonious. Its characterized function is that iPhone can be placed wither horizontally or vertical, plugged or unplugged, which is a feature cannot be seen on the market currently. Besides, excess wire can be wrapped up around the bottom of the pole, which is fairly convenient. The weight of cement and stainless steel help to stabilize and the maple bracket is light in weight and it does not scratch. In addition, with regard to the relationship between the angle of supporting bracket, such unilateral rather than bilateral symmetrical structure, is the result of careful consideration and experiment, but not only the preference of style. It is full of hand feel and the design is simple and with lightweight.
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