Thoughts into Reality- Daisy Horr

After successfully gathering numerous amounts of research, patents, and design ideas and executing them into our second Design Proposal, after being consulted with our Bio-medical teacher, receiving both positive and constructive comments, the team has come to the final conclusion to re-modify our original design of a full innovative chair into a more attainable attachable/detachable seat/back cushion design. The first thought of re-creating a product after all of our hard work into creating a full chair layout was at first unnerving, but we came to an agreement that this change was definitely for the best, the creation of a seat/back cushion set would appeal to both school boards and office working environments for its do-ability and simplistic nature. Using the new information we had learned from creating our Design Proposal, we were able to come to an agreement about the new design, establishing the emphasis on lumbar and spinal support by creating thicker, softer, foam material for the design.

A quick layout sketch of the new seat and back cushion set with 3 inch foam cushion installments with detachable buckles.
A quick layout sketch of the new seat and back cushion set with 3 inch foam cushion installments with detachable buckles.

We have recently ordered 2 blocks of 15in x 17in x 3in Poly-Fil Nu Foam by Sew Perfect as well as 8ft x 1-1/4in Nylon Cam buckle lashing straps from Home Depot for the construction of our prototype, along with 2 yards of Galaxy Royal Blue Vinyl fabric from Warehousefabrics for the cover of our cushions.

In the featured image above you see Susette creating a 3D model of the average chair present in schools to serve as the basis of our design model, we plan to add 3D creations of the 2-piece chair with buckles as we further study the best possible creation of the cushion design. The 3D element allows us to better see the reality of the prototype and incorporate ideas into the design and analyze the benefits or adjust features to make the best possible prototype before construction. Gabriela has created a report on Google Docs with sketches of a school chair with measurements to help the Comfort4U team have a understanding of the average length,width,and height constraints our cushion set will have to be built within. From our Design Proposal we are discussing possible shaping of our seat cushion to further improve support and comfort. From research we have found that a curved, slope-like seat, with increased foam material in the spinal region, has proved to improve support and relieve pressure.

Gabriela creating a report of the benefits of the slope-like structure of the bottom cushion to provide structure and relieve pressure.
Gabriela creating a report of the benefits of the slope-like structure of the bottom cushion to provide structure and relieve pressure.

Although the team originally felt restricted on the design process of our chair design by having to ditch the creation of a full blown chair, through further research I’ve found interesting ideas and examples of innovative seat pads for office employees that may spark more features to our own design.

Darma is a seat cushion created to help customers find the healthy balance between sitting and standing. This is something the Comfort4U group has never really thought of exploring, until now! With a seemingly simplistic appearance, Darma is a seating pad that allows the user to be conscious of their own posture by tracking their posture, length of seating time, heart rate, and even respiration using sensors embedded in the design of the cushion. The information gathered by the sensors is relayed back to the user using an iPhone and Android app. I was really impressed and inspired by this design because it allowed the user to be responsible for their health and posture. The interaction between the cushion and the person using it is incredible and promotes a self-awareness that can solve the reoccurring problem with people being unconscious of their posture and overall healthy living. The use of the app to notify the user is a fun, easy, and interactive touch that will increase the usability of adults and youths alike.

It’s innovations like Darma that inspire the Comfort4U group to find new, inventive ways to improve the health, and more importantly, the comfort, of our customers.

An example of the seat and person interaction using the app function to improve posture. View  the video to see more examples of the coaching provided by the Darma app by clicking this image.
An example of the seat and person interaction using the app function to improve posture. View the video to see more examples of the coaching provided by the Darma app by clicking this image.
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