The goal of this project was to develop a form for a water vessel to serve a specific method in how it stores and dispenses water as well as where it would be found. Since the use case was self-defined, I chose to create a medium-sized pitcher that could be found in around the house, perfect for dispensing refreshing water into standard cups.
I began exploring shapes and features that would serve the pitching interaction. A constraint that guided the development was the height, and by extension, size of the water vessel – too short, and one would have to lift the pitcher to pour water; too tall, and you run the risk of missing the cup's opening when tilting the pitcher forward to pour.
Modeling floral foam and extruded polystyrene (XPS) only using hand tools (hand saw, files and rasps, sanding blocks) required extensive thinking about how to execute any given shaping step. Additionally, without the quick pace afforded by power tools, I could really focus on finite details in shaping the final water vessel.
The above image shows the progression of models. Starting from the left, the first explores clearly indicating spout and handle ends. The second has a rounded bottom underneath the spout for easy tipping to pour and considers balance so that it can be pitched forward with a single finger. The third volume was a quick physical visualization of an idea I had in my sketchbook of a tea kettle (a very specific type of pitcher) with an integrated handle and the same tipping-to-pour movement as the second. Finally, with the fourth model, I approached a form that I felt balanced the pouring action with a pure geometric form, proportioned appropriately for the nature of the vessel. A channel with a circular profile on top serves as a path for water exiting the container as well as semantically indicating front and back ends.
Because I wanted to clearly indicate which end was the spout and which end was the handle, I asked peers and my professor, Matt Zywica, to approach my fourth water vessel and act out pouring water in a cup. While most attempts matched what I had envisioned, there was some initial confusion because vessel's top (where the channel is located) is parallel to the ground plane. This insight informed my final water vessel, which integrates a slight slope on the top edge to semantically communicate how one approaches and uses the object.
final form and process video