The Making of Schnap Hammock
Below is my process that leads towards the completion of my project, Schnap Hammock.
For as long as I remembered, I am always fascinated with products that are not only aesthetically pleasing to look at, but also solving mundane problems. When I had the chance to design a product that aims to solve an everyday problem as one of my course’s projects, I was excited. The process was rough, however. After multiple mental breakdowns, dozens of weird ideas, sleepless nights (this is ironic) and multiple iterations, I finally managed to create a product that people apparently adore! I eventually named it ‘Schnap’ which was essentially a shortened form of school nap. It is essentially a hammock that allows the user to take a nap anywhere and anytime that can be installed under the desk - that is, of course, as long as there is a table long enough for someone to sleep under it.
A designer should always be aware of his/her surroundings because inspiration comes from the simplest things in life that most people ignore. Initially, the problem I chose to solve was completely different, irrelevant, and complicated (it was a lighter that slowly disintegrates as the user uses it to light up his/her cigarettes - I know...it's weird). Frustrated by how weak this idea was, I decided to reflect on myself, particularly as a design student. I observed my classmates and realized a concerning problem. Students were working long hours to finish their projects and losing sleep because of that. However, OCAD University is not accommodating our needs as we did not have a lot of comfortable spaces to sleep. This problem has affected students' health and reduced their productivity, and my goal was to find an easy yet effective way to solve this problem.
Photos obtained from OCAD U's student group: OCAD's Sleeping Beauties
Supported by the abundant amount of tables at OCAD U, the idea of creating a comfortable sleeping space under the desk emerged. What if we had a portable hammock that can be installed under the desk?
Scraping my previous idea and restart the process was not easy, though, especially because the project was due in one week. But I truly believe in this idea - so now I just have to figure out one big question: "how the hell am I going to make a finished, functional product in one week?"
One thing I love about craft and design is the importance of process in the sense that there is always room for change and improvement. It was my first time designing a product, let alone a one-of-a-kind design that needed to be finished in 1 week. Therefore, time management and a range of craft skills are essential at this point. This project opened up an opportunity for me to explore different skills I might not learn as a graphic designer. From learning how to sew and setting files to be laser cut, in the end, I managed to finish a product that I adore as much as I enjoyed the process.