HUMAN-CENTERED KNIVES SET
2018 | Graduation thesis
Ever since I can remember, I have always loved biology. Natural processes and creatures have always fascinated me, phenomena that seemed magical and were clarified in a simple scientific explanation. Every direction I explored in this field eventually led me to the process of evolution occurring in nature, whose purpose is to ensure optimal adaptation to the environment. As for the object we use, however, I discovered that many of them evolved due to cultural, social, or technological limitations, and not always to suit the human physical features and needs, often sentencing harmful long-term consequences on our bodies.
I was curious to learn about the transfusion of energy from our body to our tools and objects. How do we activate them and how could we do it better. My research reflected on my observation of the physical encounter between humans and objects and suggested a novel human-engineer design approach that aims to enhance our bodies and maximize our physical abilities. Through design, I strived to bridge us and the objects we use, physically and mentally. In my research, we were the material being tested, stretched beyond our conventional boundaries, guided to operate our muscles and energy better.
An early sketch of my observation on the human body, range of motion, and energy transfusion
After examining several territories to implement my study on, I chose the kitchen environment as my arena and focused on food-making and in particular kitchen knives, given that it would answer a basic need all humans share. I developed a dedicated research protocol in order to find the right solution and designed numerous tools to experiment with types of movement and grip, the centers of gravity, and the weight ratio. I measured the success of my designs using both advanced medical technology, which allowed me to analyze the body’s muscles and energy division, and users' feedback, which included their emotional reaction as well and helped me develop a better interaction between humans and tools.
Offering alternatives to hand and muscle motions
My research has led me to design a set of kitchen knives that offer a better way to transform human energy into cooking. The knives are versatile and allow different power sessions and pressures applied in use. They are meant to enable the users to maximize their body's potential and energy and work continuously for a long time without tiring, while also preventing them from possible long-term physical damage, even after extensive use.
Exploring kitchen tools functions through shapes
In addition to the functional testing, I realized that a new object, especially a sharp one, has to be very readable and intuitive. And so I established a model I call FORM FOLLOWS HUMAN, when the shape is designed according to the physical and mental human aspects. Through this model, I defined how will the object make the person move, and also how would it make him feel, and what senses it would activate in the process.
Minimal tools research, experimenting with wireframe constructions
Proposals for single and double hand uses to divide the workload
Exploring hand postures
Sectioning knives into families
Manufacturing process suggestions, searching for structural strength through shape in the pressing process
I wanted the tools to be an extension of the body, to work with it and not against it. Through human engineer hacking and technological analysis of muscle tension ratios while working, I designed products that rely on our strong core muscles, instead of the external muscles usually used, and utilized them to ease the workload and impact.
Hand motion comparison, analyzing muscle movement using ordinary kitchen knives vs my design
During the developing process and in order to choose the best forms for the knives, I have worked closely with chefs and ergonomic experts and created a product line that locates the user in the center, while broadcasting professionalism, sleekness, comfort, performance, and durability.