Anti-Affordances

Been a fan of Don Norman since I first came across his works in 2010, so glad that I went to get a copy of Don Norman’s ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ and as he explained in his book,

“The term affordance refers to the relationship between a physical object and a person (or for that matter, any interacting agent, whether animal or human, or even machines and robots). An affordance is a relationship between the properties of an object and the capabilities of the agent that determine just how the object could possibly be used.”

Simply put it, Affordances is about understanding what an object can afford to do. E.g. A cup can afford to hold water, stationery and many other things if we continue that line of thought.

I began looking at objects that I encounter on a day-to-day basis. I started sketching some ideas out consisting of everyday objects such as toothpaste, cup, comb, toilet bowl, chair etc. I went to the pound store, grabbed some household items and started analysing these objects – exploring its affordance and looked at potential ways that I could re-design them.

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Experimented with materials of a cup, and made a tissue cup.

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The cup can no longer afford to hold water.

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Simply by replacing the handle of the cup, the user can no longer have hot drinks as it’ll be difficult for them to hold it comfortably nor can the cup be placed on the table without spilling.

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The elastic handle influences the interaction with the cup. The user becomes more careful in hopes that the elastic band does not snap.

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