All units on The Reach is designed to be installed and disassembled with ease to put in new units or control where each units will go with ease.
The Reach is designed to fit the needs of users who lack living space and would like an area to store some of their lighter, commonly used belongings. The Reach would be the most convenient for people who use lofted or bunk beds. This product takes advantage of the vertical space in their room that is often left unused. In today’s market there are several designs made for storage, however there are not many designed for people who use elevated beds. Its adjustable height allows one to choose a dimension that best suits his/her needs. Due to its sturdy and structured design, the Reach would not need to be bolted down to any surface, making it ideal for college students, renters, and those afraid of commitment. The Reach can also be easily taken apart for storing purposes.
Often, people are faced with the issue of the lack of living space within their apartment or college dorm room. In order to maximize the amount of space, some choose to loft their beds or use bunk beds. However, elevated beds become inconvenient due to the lack of storage space offered at raised heights. Lofted and bunk beds would force the user to climb in and out of bed each time they wanted to get an item. Therefore, people who use lofted or bunk beds are in need of a product that uses vertical space to maximize storage efficiency.
APPROACH TO OUR DESIGN
The most important product life cycle dimension explored was the psychological aspect of consumer decisions that impact the lengths of a product’s life. The Reach introduces a new interaction method between the user and bedside furniture: a multi-functional room-organizing tool that has a durable long-lasting stainless steel pole with customization modular units that re-identifies the products purpose.
Pole (main frame)
Two separate poles (Adjust height)
Outlet/USB located at the top
Easy/Strong tight mechanism
LED (brightness control)
Light switch (remote included)
Multiple Modular Units
Large Platform: round edge
Small Platform: concave surface
LED (night Light)
Round curved edges
Hide wire inside (base)
Light shooting angle (base)
Good experience: College students strive for good experience
User-friendly: easy to use
Customization for users to re-purpose the product to fit their needs
Redefine: introduce a new type of furniture
The Reach aims to increase the amount of storage space given in a typical dorm room. In order to determine where storage space was more necessary and what type of storage units were in greater demand, a series of surveys and interviews were conducted among typical college students. In the interviews, students were asked to describe, in detail, situations in which they struggled with lack of storage in their dorms. The results showed a correlation among students who reside in lofted or bunk beds. Therefore, the target user was altered to pinpoint a more precise group of college students (those who have a lofted or bunk bed) and the product was made to utilize vertical space for
storage efficiency. The survey consisted of a few questions that were used to determine what type of additional storage units students typically bring to their dorms and the considerations they make when choosing what storage compartment to purchase. The results showed that most students purchased their items based on portability, prize, and customizability. The survey also demonstrated that students brought extension cords, plastic baskets, hooks, desk organizers, and bathroom caddies the most. These results were used to carefully determine what type of units The Reach should incorporate and the needs they should convene.
William S. Kim - Project Lead
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Product Design Studio III
In The Future
For future product development, it would be ideal to look into different materials for the pole mechanism, and to design more attachable units. Currently the material used for the pole mechanism is 440C stainless steel. Although this material is sturdy and durable, different metals and polymers should be investigated to minimize the cost and weight of the product. Included in the packaging for the Reach, are two shelves, two hooks, lamp, base with night light, base pole and the top pole with an outlet. Other units can also be designed to offer more ways to organize user’s belongings and offer convenient use of vertical space. These additional units will be sold separately.The most important part about The Reach is that it sets a new installation point for furnitures. Traditional furnitures were mostly set to the ground using gravity as the source for stable installment. This limits ground space usage. The Reach is simply redefining why we needed all the furnitures in our room in the first place. And this product givse a new installation grounds for future furniture units without replacing the current pole.
PRODUCT LIFE-CYCLE RESEARCH
One way of assessing a product’s impact on Earth is by analyzing the product’s durability and reusability. For a product to last, it needs to be physically, functional, and stylistically durable. That is, the Reach aims to be a product that resists damage but also gets better and more desirable over time.
Product durability is impinged upon by many factors, starting with the selection of materials. The Reach is mostly made out
of stainless steel, wood, and nylon. Stainless steel was ideal for the foundation of this product due to the metallic mechanical properties that make the material strong and the aesthetic properties that allow change in color and give it artistic versatility. Stainless steel is a steel alloy with approximately seventeen percent chromium content and one percent carbon content. The amount of chromium present allows stainless steel to form a passive film of chromium oxide which prevents further corrosion, making this material more durable than other types of metals. More specifically, when compared to other metals, 440C stainless steel had the highest strength to weight ratio, second highest endurance, and shorter elongation (higher stiffness), which allow the material to last longer before deformation. The second most used material in The Reach is Woodstalk Gold MR Fiberboard used for the base of the pole and many of the attachable units. This is an environmental friendly material that has been made out of wood-based fibers bound together using a formaldehyde resin. This alternative to wood-based particleboard is very cost-effective. Compared to other products, it is 10-20% lighter. Tool wears and replacement are also reduced. The consistency of the board improves the cutting, laminating, and routing operations, which can lead to a higher quality product as well as providing both energy and monetary savings. This material is also easy to use and customize. For example, it is very simple to laminate and to coat with a variety of materials and there are less rejected products because of its consistent machinability. In addition, the material is designed to have high quality and durability, such as higher hanging strength and a smooth and uniform surface which gives designers a lot of constructing and styling opportunities.
Additionally, small amounts of nylon were used to keep the units in place. Because nylon is a synthetic plastic, it is engineered
to be highly resistant to attack from natural nesters such as molds, insects, and fungi making the material durable in many environments. Nylon is not affected by alcohol, solvents, and oils, and has a very high heat and absorption resistance. Since nylon is such a light, thin, and flexible material, we have also considered using it for a few of the units that can be attached to the pole. The adaptability of nylon allows for multiple uses and distinct fashions which contribute to aesthetic durability.
Nevertheless, functionality and the quality of the system designed for the user experience of this product play the largest role in its durability. The Reach incorporates a system that allows the product to evolve as technology and user intent change. The user interaction of this product works similarly to that of an iPhone. That is, because the units are separate from the pole itself, units can be consistently updated so that they fit the users wants and needs without ever having to get rid of the main product. The user might replace a few units, but the foundation of the product can be used perpetually.