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LOUE - The Lamp Of Unambiguous Emotion

A device for the work desk to mediate an understanding and inclusive culture at the office by making communication of emotions clear.

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The modern office is a place where teams interact to effectively create value. Individuals perform their best when they feel well, but with today's strong focus on delivering results, the individual's well-being is sometimes left out of the equation. To be able to share difficult life events, an inclusive, and open-minded company culture is required.

Inspired by how bees in a beehive communicate, when worker bees carry out their work, led to the creation of LOUE! It communicates the emotions of the people in the workspace, helping them cooperate efficiently and in a more considerate manner.

LOUE can shine in the color and brightness of your choice. The color and brightness reflect how you feel in reference to the office's color code. Utilizing Ph.D. Psychologist Robert Plytchnik's wheel of emotion (See links). The color expresses a feeling, and the brightness shows the intensity of this feeling.

LOUE was developed during my internship at Kintsugi Design (See links). Originally, it was developed as part of the Menopause Project. The Menopause Project is an ongoing project at Kintsugi design, creating technology to target different areas of menopause. LOUE was initially aimed at dealing with the stigma/taboo of menopause in the workspace. We wondered how come the workspace isn't a place where menopausal women can freely talk about how they feel and be understood? 

We came to understand that the problem of the stigma around menopause in the workspace is a wicket problem and broader than just making menopause a subject to share. We came to understand that for menopausal women to be able to share their feelings, and in some cases, the discomforts of going through menopause required an understanding culture and open work environment where everyone can share their feelings. Thus LOUE was created as a means to nudge toward a more open and understanding workspace.

I have been responsible for building LOUE but I couldn't have done it alone. Thus I want to thank the following:

  • I want to thank the team at Kintsugi Design, especially Vanessa Julie Carpenter and Keshav Koduvayur, for supporting, sparring ideas, and giving me feedback during the development of the project.
  • I also want to thank my girlfriend Emilie Kjeldsen for her support and sparring as well as for helping me make the video and picture content. 

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  • 1 × 1.6 m^2 plywood This was used to make the cabinet, buttons and various spacers inside the box
  • 1 × 0.5 m^2 acrylic sheet This was engraved to defuse light
  • 1 × Battery Box Light Strip Solmore 2 pack ordered on Amazon (This was what I used as it was something I had stashed up anyways this could have been done with any other lightstrip as well)

  • An Overview Of The Proces

    Thøger Kappel06/14/2021 at 13:01 0 comments

    Finally, this picture encapsulates the various prototypes built during the process of creating LOUE. Feel free to ask if you want me to elaborate on comment on any of the details of its creation. :D

  • Rapid Prototyping

    Thøger Kappel06/14/2021 at 12:55 0 comments

    Making the functional prototype I tried to build it as quickly as possible with what I had eliminating cost prizes, waiting time for delivery, and feeling great as it's also an environmental choice. The prototype was built at the fabrication lab at my university at DTU (Technical University of Denmark - Design Build Lab). I used the leftover scrab piece of plywood as well as scrab acrylic pieces once again as an environmental choice.

    The lamp inside is made from a battery-connected LED stripe which I had at home. This piece, ordered from amazon, was once used in another project but given new life in this one.

    I wrapped it around and glued it to a cardboard container I had making it light evenly 360 degrees. with the battery pack at the bottom.

    I glued its engagements buttons at the top making them accessible from my own wooden made buttons in the casing.

    As seen on this picture the box was cut from scrap pieces of plywood lying in the workshop.

    Finally, all parts were glued together using clamps to make sure the casing was held in place as the glue dried.

    In between wooden joints i used wood glue however between surfaces of wood to plastic like the ones between the wooden buttons at the top and the lightning contraption underneath I used a gluegun.

  • CAD Modelling

    Thøger Kappel06/14/2021 at 12:10 0 comments

    At a relatively early stage in the project, I made CAD models and renders. This was done in order for me to send high-quality pictures of the concept to my colleagues to get feedback on how they thought it should look like. Due to the concept's simple box shape, this was a super quick make. I have added the CAD models for download as Solidworks files under files.

    I could easily change the appearance of the hexagonal geometry to get a feeling of what it might look like once the lamp was shining in different colors.

    Finally, I made a render and made annotations for me to share with the rest of my team the different components of the lamp.

  • Model making

    Thøger Kappel06/14/2021 at 12:08 0 comments

    After having decided on the box-like shape I decided to make different models from cardboard. This was done in order for me to get a sense of the size of the box that came to be LOUE. I find that making boxes from cardboard is very effective as the fabrication is super simple and quick.

    I'm bending pieces of cardboard into triangular shapes and gluing them inside my model to make it more steady.

    First, I built this 20 cm^3 box as that at first seemed perfect in my mind. However, after building it. And seeing it in relation to what else was on my working desk I saw that it was way too big!

    Thus I proceeded to build a new box 15 cm^3. This was even better but however still to big as it didn't seem right in my relation to my hands.

    Finally, I built this small 10 cm^3 box. That size was much better in relation to my hand. However, this felt too small to be visible in the context of a real office environment where things move quickly. I wanted it to be more noticeable. Thus in the workshop when I built LOUE I made it 12.5 cm^3 the perfect size lying between the sizes of my second and third cardboard model. 

  • Initial Ideation

    Thøger Kappel06/14/2021 at 11:07 0 comments

    With our research in Kintsugi Design, we knew we wanted to build some kind of communication device.  It was important to us that this device was a tangible 3-dimensional object as we wanted it to be present on a work desk always throughout the workday of an employee. We had the idea that we could use light to communicate different emotions. Thus it was decided that I should draw different concepts of what that might look like.

    I drew different shapes and proportions of lamps. This was all done in an orthogonal view like what is seen on the underlying photo. The orthogonal view simplifies the drawing while still enabling clear visualization of the concept's shapes. This is advantageous since the drawings here are used as a process to come up with ideas and thus being able to get ideas more quickly.

    Initially, I thought our communication device would be round but then I started to draw boxes...

    I When i drew the boxes it made me think of the advantageous possibilities of laser cutting the lamps casing as well as the similarities with bees way of working thus the hexagons.

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