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  • Writer's pictureSarah Hashiguchi

My Sixth BCI Session – Visualizing My Design

10/28/2021 – My Backyard in Portland, OR

Local Conditions

It feels like we're in the heart of fall. Colors are abundant and rapidly changing as the temperature continues to drop. This evening, however, feels warmer than most recently. The rain has started and stopped at irregular intervals and the wind has picked up since the gentle summer breeze just a few weeks ago.

Focus & Intent

For this sixth BCI session, I contemplated the reality that my design was already done and performing several functions using bio-inspired strategies. I imagined how much more sustainable and innovative my design is compared to the conventional counterpart.

Session Reflection

This evening I returned to my backyard with a fresh perspective on the season. I settled in at the picnic table under our covered patio and rested my head on my crossed forearms in front of me. I let my head feel heavy as I intentionally released tension stored in my jaw. I noticed the rhythmic beat of my heart, stronger now than other sessions before. After a few minutes I shifted to better align my posture and fell into a state of comfortable contentment. The aroma of wet leaves filled the air with a hint of the pigs from next door. Sounds of cars racing in a hurried fashion cascaded in from all directions. A dog barked incessantly in the distance for several minute in a row. The rain started and stopped several times, seeming uncommitted in its outbursts. The pitter patter of drops on the metal covering above me registered as a new sound among all my BCI sessions. With each gust of wind, leaves also blew free of the trees, landing with a metallic splat overhead. The color has returned to the grass and is amplified by the rain in the trees.

Upon opening my eyes, I began the contemplate and imagine stages. I got excited thinking of additional functions, especially since I felt stuck earlier in the week focusing on anything other than keeping the internal temperature cool. I though about a cooler that:

  • is robust

  • has a better end life scenario

  • is packable

  • can access different compartments

  • uses an evaporation system for cooling

  • is bear-proof (for camping scenarios)

  • prevents food from getting soggy from melted ice

  • is easy to drain – or don't have to drain at all

  • has sufficient storage space

  • has cool vs cold storage

  • has a snack compartment? – more frequently accessed section, as to not heat up other compartments in the meantime

  • has a built-in cutting board, table, bench, cup holder

  • is easier to transport – handles, wheels for various surfaces, light-weight

I imagined my design being manufactured in a life-friendly way with materials that could be reused or composted. I imagined the innovative potential of modifying the external structure to improve the main function rather than simply adding more insulation. The thought of modularity also crossed my mind, so people could have a version they take for a day trip to the beach vs a week-long car camping trip. This BCI session allowed me to freely brainstorm and got me excited about broader ideas that I had yet to explore.


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