EQ3, Ergonomics, and Response to Our Environment

4 10 2008

“EQ3 is a Canadian lifestyle concept inspiring the intimate and emotional place we call home. Globally influenced, EQ3 designs and manufactures innovative, affordable furniture and accessories for modern living.“

-http://www.eq3.com/cat-eq3/splash.html

A day spent at the EQ3 manufacturing plant was a great way to link design with the proportions of the human body.  The majority of what is being produced in the factory was furniture.  Designing furniture is not as easy as stapling some pretty fabric and cushions onto a wooden frame.  The process has to begin with the human figure and then it has to be able to accomodate the many varieties of that figure.  The dimensions of the product is what is going to appeal to most buyers.  They may be attracted to the fabric initially, but if they sit on it and comfort is comprimised, the likelihood of them buying it is slim.

It was great to actually meet the design team and be able to relate to them through education.  It did make me realize all the opportunities that could come along with my design education.  We are designers of the entire built environment: cities, buildings, interiors, and furniture.  Anything to deal with humans and their surroundings.

This field trip relates to our last studio project, The Body and Space.  We were talking about how our bodies move is the spaces that we are in.  Spaces today are designed to make us feel a certain way, especially places that we will be spending money in.  The other night I really wanted some hot chocolate, and since I did not have any in my cupboard, I decided to go and get some.  My options were Tim Hortons or Starbucks, which I think both have similar quality of hot chocolate.  But my dilemma wasn`t the quality, it was that I wanted to sit in one of those big comfy chairs and drink my hot chocolate in the dim lighted atmosphere of Starbucks.  Of course by the time I payed for my chocolatey treat and one for my friend, I had payed three times more than I would have at Tim`s.  But for that extra six dollars I didn`t have to sit in the McDonalds of coffee shops and sip on my beverage.

This scenario is similar everywhere:  if you shop at Wal-Mart (big open spaces, bright lighting) or if you go to a local shop, Safeway`s or a specialty grocery store, Earl`s or McDonalds.  Certain spaces are designed to make us feel like we are getting a deal, while others are designed to let us know we are going to be spending more cash.  We pay for the more luxurios design.

-Vikki Drapeau

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