Plotting & Mapping
Collecting & Storytelling
Electronics & Open Design
Animal welfare is a term that is receiving more and more attention. But what exactly does animal welfare mean? Why is animal welfare so important? And how to address the animal welfare issue with the skills and knowledge that I've obtained during this Minor? These are the question that I will take with me during this project.
Goal of the project
The goal of the project is to raise awareness on the animal welfare issue. During the project I will do research on how this awareness can be achieved, and based on that I will make an object to achieve this awareness.
I think the process of this project would be really interesting. I have some clear ideas about the final object, but it can change anytime during the process. I will be making an object that’s combined by different ideas, also different skills will be combined into one object.
- Duy-Linh Pham, “Bio-industrie? Hokdieren? Dierenwelzijn?” (2018) https://duy-linh.github.io/Opdracht_A/
- Frida, “How can I use paper engineering to design interactive paper object that teach children about animal rights?” (2018) http://minormakerslab.nl/?week-3-readingweek
- Inspiration from working with the techniques, materials and methods during week 1-7 of the Minor Makerslab (2019)
My expected outcome would be an object which makes the animal welfare issue simplified and rememberable for people.
Assignment for week 8-10
Activities and planning
2 days: research
2 days: sketching ideas
1 day: writing a story related to the animal welfare issue
2 days: making a small prototype
8 days: making the final object
2 days: documentation
Foundational skills and knowledge
- Experience with the Laser Cutter during week 1-7 of the Minor Makerslab.
- Experience with Arduino components/coding
- Knowledge about the animal welfare issue, which I did research on during a project previous year.
My learning goal would be making an object that’s finished in concept and form.
I might need some help with installing electronics of Arduino. If I get stuck during the process with the technical stuff, I will ask for some help from Moritz, Kaj or Wouter.
Paper 300gr (Makerslab), Wood (Gamma) and Arduino electronics (Makerslab).
Day 1-3: Desk research
My first idea was: “How to raise awareness about the animal welfare issue?”. I did some research before on the animal welfare issue. The term animal welfare is described as the possibly measurable quality of life of an animal. The problem is: the economic interest of producers and consumers clash with the views of the citizens (society) about how one should treat animals. The citizen who has high animal values, always chooses as a consumer the lowest price. Almost all of the meat producers only look at the supply and demand, this has ultimately impact on the welfare of animals.
So, how can I address this problem? As Audrey said in her zine in the context of recycling plastic: "Beyond techniques and innovations, recycling also involves a change in mentalities and habits." That's when I asked myself these question's like: How can I change the attitudes of the consumer? How can I change the mentality and habits of a person towards buying meat?
My second idea for the project was: “How can I improve the experience of having a book/toy for children?” As a little kid I used to have different kinds of toys, each toy had it's own character and special ability. I spent many hours by just holding the toys and using my own imagination to hang a story to it. Nowadays whenever I visit my parents house and somehow find myself scraping in old boxes. I realize these old toys still hold some value to me. They remind me of how these toys shaped me to the person who I am today, they remind me of how simple life was as a kid and also how fast time goes by.
So, how to improve the experience of having a book/toy for children? I want to make a physical object that's telling a short story and improves the experience of reading it. This could be achieved by adding light, depth, sound, motion or interaction to the object. Nowadays everything is getting digitalized, the physical is disappearing. Instead of blaming technology, how can we make the physical more attractive?
Unintentionally the two ideas were related to each other. Changing the attitudes of the consumer is difficult, you can't change a person's mentality and habits by just telling him or her. Somehow the person need to have some realization by himself or herself. This self realization could be achieved by playing on early childhood experiences, early childhood experiences are a great importance on one's development. Like I said in one of my zines: "Every experience you’ve had in your past, made you to the person you are today. We’re constantly experiencing and changing. Most experiences are soon to be forgotten, only a few will be remembered. The ones you remember are impacts from something or someone."
I then decided to combine the two ideas, so my main question for the project would be: “How can we make the animal welfare issue simplified and rememberable for children?” I wanted to do this by improving the experience of a book/toy for children.
Day 4: Inspiration
Looking for inspiration
After the desk research I went looking for inspiration to portray my idea. I went looking for elements that could strengthen my first week's project. Soon I saw some nice examples on Pinterest, one of the examples uses lights behind the layers.
Day 5-8: Diving deeper
What do I have to research/sketch out?
Form of the object
I already had an idea about the final form of the object. In the first week I made this cube with layers of paper inside (https://dlpham.hotglue.me/week1). The final object will be an extension of the cube.
The story I want to tell (related to the animal welfare issue)
I had some trouble coming up with a story I wanted to tell the kids. At one point I just thought; why don't I just tell them where the meat comes from? But then I stumbled upon a problem: how to tell kids where meat comes from? It's a difficult topic for some children, it should be brought with carefulness but the answer must also be straightforward and honest (https://theartofsimple.net/browneggsjamjars/). That's when I decided a fairy tale won't work, the story should show how the animal welfare issue in reality takes place (but simplified).
After a while of thinking I divided the story into 4 chapters. The whole story is about where exactly meat comes from. The 4 chapters are:
1. Introduction: explaining that humans eat pigs and cows just like birds eat worms or lions eat antelopes (https://www.fatherly.com/parenting/how-to-explain-meat-to-kids-vegetarian/)
2. Factory animals
3. Wildlife animals
4. Farm animals
Sketch of the story
After having a clear idea about the 4 different parts of the story, I wanted to completely work out one part. I decided to work out the part about the factory animals.
After sketching the first story, I started to develop it into a small prototype. I looked at the list of elements that needed to be included in the story. I made the figures in illustrator, which I then placed under the laser cutter. I used my holder of the first week to insert the figures in. I added a RGB-led to see what this will look like.
What does the sketch need to say about factory animals?
- Small living spaces
- Darkness > Surroundings
- Lot's of animals in one place
- Led light > stall light (red) and mood of one chicken (red)
- No fresh air
- No sunlight
While looking for inspiration, I talked to Loes about my concept. Loes then directed me to Jie Qi. Jie is a designer, educator, inventor and entrepreneur based in Tokyo. Jie loves to make things that blend paper craft and personal expression with programming and electronics. On her site she has exhibited a large number of documented experiments.
After a quick inspiration of what could be possible, I went deeper into what I want to tell and visualize with the object.
Illustrator all stories
This took a bit of time...
Day 9-18: Making the final object
Making the wooden outer case
First I made a small sketch of the box, after which I started to draw the components and added the dimensions to it.
I had to write a story for each chapter. When writing the stories I have to make it as easy as possible for children to understand.
Lines for layers
To be able to place the layers in the wooden case I thought of laser cutting lines in the bottom and top of the case, only the lines have to have the right depth. I tested this by differentiating the power and speed on a piece of MDF wood. After finding the right power and speed, I tested if the layer would fit, unfortunately this was not the case. I then asked Sander (Makerslab) if the thickness of the laser cutter could be increased, he then explained the greater the distance from the material, the greater the thickness of the laser cutter becomes. The people at the makers' lab had even made a kind of ruler that could be used to adjust the height of the laser printer (bottom right-hand corner).
- During this project I was partnered with rick. We both made our own project, because we both didn't know that the project could be done together. That was a missed opportunity, because looking back we could've combined his projector skills with my illustration skills. Despite that, rick was able to help me write the stories for the different chapters. I also asked for feedback on whether certain things were clear.
Maker Skills & Attitude
- Learned to increase the thickness of the laser cutter.
- Deep research into a subject and a message, which I have been able to visualize well in an object.
- Due to a lack of time, I have unfortunately not been able to add different interactions using Arduino components.
Inspiration from pinterest
Eloctronic Popables by Jie Qi
How to make sharp turns with foil tapet
Sketch factory animals
Small prototype of the first story
Final of all illustration designs
Final illustration: Factory animals
Final illustration: Farm animals
Final illustration: Wildlife animals
Final illustration: Introduction
Result after laser cutting: Factory animals
Final result: Introduction
Final result: Introduction
Sketches of the whole case and measurements
Illustrator design of the case
Stories for the bottom part of the case
Lines in the bottom and top of the case
Differentiating the power
Increasing the thickness of the laser cutter
Functioning of the bottom part
Result: Factory animals
Result: Wildlife animals
Result: Farm animals