During my field I went on Work experience with a ceramicist which was a great experience, this then led me to study working environments in constellation. I covered many aspect which might affect our working environments during my research, the most influential contributor is our mental health which can effect how we perceive everything. This made me want to experiment with creating an object which could help people with an aspect they’re struggling with in work due to their mental health.
Because of technological development, most people spend their time at work in front of computers as it’s faster and makes us work more efficiently, this requires less physical and social interaction which caries a high risk of developing poor mental health. These work factors can cause mental disorders such as stress, depression and anxiety.
Work can play an important role in our sense of identity, it’s very good for our mental health and personal well being. It can give us a structure and purpose, opportunities for development and use of skills and social interaction. Work can have damaging effects on health and well-being as well, risks to physiological health can occur through organisational or personal factors.
I wanted to create an object to reduce stress and be comforting to use in the work place, I thought of object everyone would use daily in a variety of working environments which could also encourage social interaction. Because I am currently working with ceramics and looking into a lot of research regarding homewear I though of creating a cup.
When designing the cup I wanted it to be satisfying to hold, in hope this would create a positive physiological response, which would encourage people to have more breaks and interact with other people in the work place.
I wanted to create a cup which would mould comfortably in our hands when we held it, these were result of ergonomic cups I saw online after researching briefly and their design have been focused to mould into our hands.
I started to experiment with the slip casting molds I created at the start of my Subject, I wasn’t using them as I had develop the design they were originally meant to be used for. During the slip casting process, while they were still quite wet I decided to experiment with moulding my hands around them, my initial thought was that the form looked quite sculptural after this, I didn’t want people to have difficulty understanding what the product was so I experimented again with more subtle changes to the form. While the cast was still wet, I would open one piece of the mold, leave a finger indentation and construct the mold back together so the form would hold back to it’s original state.
Because I kept using a test mold the result wouldn’t be the best quality, when slip casting a curved form the walls vary in thickness, this is very apparent when you see multiple cups together. I had to trim quite a lot the cup lips after taking them out of the molds which has made them all quite uneven. To resolve this issue I would need to create another cast which had a better lip so I wouldn’t need to do as much trimming after.
Because this wasn’t my main focus I decided to use glazes I was using for my other project and some spare glazes from previous projects as well.
I have a had a lot of positive feedback from this design, often when people hold the cup they will naturally hold it with both hands and engage comfortably in a conversation, with this research it could be evidence my design does create a positive physiological response which can contribute to healthy working environment. This was great practice for me to experiment with my constellation findings and apply research to develop my design skills.