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STIHL HTS Harness

Hedge Trimmer Accessory

This project was centred around designing for other people, ergonomics, and a user-centred design approach, where designers experience the world through other eyes. The brief tasked us with the analysis and redesign of a product or activity that delivers a high-quality user experience for older people, as well as the wider group of users. At random, I was allocated the area of designing for housekeeping, which included outside and inside. We had 6 weeks to research, conduct interviews, test our concepts using various test rigs, design, and develop our concepts to produce a final model.

The first phase of the project involved a series of primary and secondary research. I interviewed my grandfather, a successful strawberry grower and heavily involved in the horticultural industry. I established problems he had housekeeping, in particular outside. A stubborn 80 year old, he insists on being independent and doing the housekeeping himself, rather than paying someone. He listed a number of issues, but the one that stuck out was trimming his barberry hedge. A wide and prickly hedge, he had a single hedge trimmer with a short range. This caused him stress, straining his body by stretching his arms and shoulders to make up for range, and forcing him to use time consuming solutions for reaching the top. Secondary research established wildlife and existing products as inspiration for lifting and reaching solutions. A key insight out my research was the opportunity for the combination of an extendable pole trimmer with a fishing gimbal.

Having settled on a concept, I created test rigs for a hip support system. It was evident from my first design that there were two major factors of the product; the comfort for a wide range of people, and it’s subsequent form. At the beginning, it was too large, and the form looked like underwear. But, through a number of iterations and user testing, I was able to establish a comfortable shape. I wanted my product to ‘theoretically’ exist within a brand, to bring context to my work. Having used STIHLs electric products before, I choose the brand, researching their design as inspiration for my products design language. I’d like to recognise the use of STIHL, the logo and aesthetic inspiration. It’s also important to note it seems they approve of my decision, as product managers from STIHL Germany have reached out to me since its’ development. The final design not only took inspiration from STIHL product design, but the human hips. Designed as an accessory for hedge trimmers or pole-based gardening products, the hip support unit would increase users working strength, moving the pivot point to the unit and leaving an extra hand free, doubling the manoeuvrability.

To compliment the STIHL branding of this product, I followed their naming convention, using a German acronym derived from the products description: STIHL HTS; hüfte tragsystem; hip support system.

Year
2019
University Project
Massey University, Wellington School of Design
No items found.
Hedge Trimmer Accessory

STIHL HTS Harness

Hedge Trimmer Accessory

This project was centred around designing for other people, ergonomics, and a user-centred design approach, where designers experience the world through other eyes. The brief tasked us with the analysis and redesign of a product or activity that delivers a high-quality user experience for older people, as well as the wider group of users. At random, I was allocated the area of designing for housekeeping, which included outside and inside. We had 6 weeks to research, conduct interviews, test our concepts using various test rigs, design, and develop our concepts to produce a final model.

The first phase of the project involved a series of primary and secondary research. I interviewed my grandfather, a successful strawberry grower and heavily involved in the horticultural industry. I established problems he had housekeeping, in particular outside. A stubborn 80 year old, he insists on being independent and doing the housekeeping himself, rather than paying someone. He listed a number of issues, but the one that stuck out was trimming his barberry hedge. A wide and prickly hedge, he had a single hedge trimmer with a short range. This caused him stress, straining his body by stretching his arms and shoulders to make up for range, and forcing him to use time consuming solutions for reaching the top. Secondary research established wildlife and existing products as inspiration for lifting and reaching solutions. A key insight out my research was the opportunity for the combination of an extendable pole trimmer with a fishing gimbal.

Having settled on a concept, I created test rigs for a hip support system. It was evident from my first design that there were two major factors of the product; the comfort for a wide range of people, and it’s subsequent form. At the beginning, it was too large, and the form looked like underwear. But, through a number of iterations and user testing, I was able to establish a comfortable shape. I wanted my product to ‘theoretically’ exist within a brand, to bring context to my work. Having used STIHLs electric products before, I choose the brand, researching their design as inspiration for my products design language. I’d like to recognise the use of STIHL, the logo and aesthetic inspiration. It’s also important to note it seems they approve of my decision, as product managers from STIHL Germany have reached out to me since its’ development. The final design not only took inspiration from STIHL product design, but the human hips. Designed as an accessory for hedge trimmers or pole-based gardening products, the hip support unit would increase users working strength, moving the pivot point to the unit and leaving an extra hand free, doubling the manoeuvrability.

To compliment the STIHL branding of this product, I followed their naming convention, using a German acronym derived from the products description: STIHL HTS; hüfte tragsystem; hip support system.

Year
2019
University Project
Massey University, Wellington School of Design
No items found.