week #4


The assignment for this week was to create an enclosure for a specific item. Considering my theme is "double trouble", I thought it would be interesting to create something that is both a cause for trouble to have and a cause for trouble to not have. The first thing that came to mind was our beloved smartphone — having it with us at all times is cause for anxiety, stress and dependence. But not having it nowadays causes the same things. So I started with sketching ideas for an enclosure for a smartphone, one that would allow us to still charge it for example, but not to view the screen. But as I was sketching I realized this whole idea didn't really make sense; mainly because it's unnecessary but also because I kind of lost interest in doing it.

So I pivoted to a different idea — a coin bank. Having back problems, I always try to carry as little as possible in my backpack. I go as far as taking any coins I have in my wallet and storing them in a drawer at home. It feels like their worth is just not worth their weight. Anyway, the idea was to make an adult-piggy-bank-type-of-thing, where it's something that fits nicely on a console table or something like that, but is still fun to open and count how much cash we managed to accumulate.

I had a design in mind with a set of hidden elastic chords (as per my aesthetic theme) that allowed the object to be stretch-to-open and let all the coins fall out — once a few months when I attempt to count how much money I have in coins, I like taking the whole thing and just spilling it on the table / floor. I think when dealing with a literal pile of pennies, you basically just have to do it like that...

The form factor didn't matter much, but I opted for a shape that I thought would fit nicely in most households and yet have some fun characteristics.

The main challenge was figuring out how to hide the strings so they're invisible from the outside. The design I made consisted of 14 layers (I measured the dimensions of the elastic chord's knot and based the needed height on that, which works, but in retrospective the final product feels a little small...)

There are 5 layers from each side (up and down) that have 7.5 mm holes that fit the chord's double knots without trouble. The two middle layers have smaller, 3.175 holes that fit the chord without letting the knots go through. This is essentially dividing the object into two mirrored parts, where one starts with a layer that just has a slit for the coins, and the other ends with a completely solid / full layer.

A double knot is tied at the very end of each of the four strings so that it wouldn't go through the middle layers

Left: knots fitting inside the bigger holes, with the strings going through the smaller holes. Right: after glueing the middle layer to the bottom layers

Bottom side is done, what's left to do is: cut and tie the strings so they fit exactly in the top part's holes without pushing the layers up, then glueing the top part to layer #7 which is the second middle layer.

...And of course, leaving it to fully dry overnight

It is not as stretchy as what I had in mind, and I think this is because the small holes in the middle layers are exactly to size (the string is 1/8" and they are too). The string barely went through the holes to begin with. I think this is causing too much friction so once the enclosure is stretched to open it doesn't really contract to close as I thought it would. I guess covering the inside of these holes with some smooth material could've helped too (something like silicon or some type of plastic that you can get in liquid form).

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Jasmine Nackash is a multidisciplinary designer and developer intereseted in creating unique and innovative experiences.