Nice Fit

An investigation into the subtle satisfaction of things fitting together.


CLIENT
Private

WORK
Interaction Design, Industrial Design, Communication Design

Nice Fit logotype animated by Nathan Gilliss.


WHAT IT IS

A 16-month design thesis in collaboration with Jeff Werner exploring how objects fit together in subtly satisfying ways. 

The project developed over three phases and resulted in two manifestations:

In addition to exploring conceptual and applied realms of industrial design a personal goal of Nice Fit was to work with multi-disciplinary experts: we employed photographer Jason Edwards, animator Nathan Gilliss and filmmaker Benjamin Loeb.

 

Nice Fit refers to objects that: 

  1. Are out of place and are then moved into place;
  2. Have an element of confirmation:
    ex. sound, light, pressure;
  3. Perform a use incidental to their primary use;
  4. Do not interfere with their primary use;
  5. Use simple, physical interaction;
  6. Have a “tipping point”;
  7. Have a repeatable action.
  8. Have a resting, incomplete, and active state.

THE CHALLENGE

To capture the somewhat elusive concept of what 'Nice Fit' was, we performed some tests to see which objects and situations elicited the feeling we were looking for. We also produced a proof-of-concept prototype lamp that subscribed to the principle. The lamp base itself contained hidden LEDs, and the user would place bulbs in perfectly fitting indentations, which would light them up.

 

MY ROLE

While the ideation process throughout the project was quite organic, and the Nice Fit principles were a true collaboration between the both of us, at the final production stage I - being a communications designer - tended to work more on the book and Jeff - being the industrial designer - focused more on the table.

The original inspiration for the project - a ball and a groove.

Exploring subtle object fitting mechanisms.

A closer look at the objects.


THE THEORY

The book documents the eight principles of Nice Fit that outline the desired conditions and qualities that should be in place to create satisfaction. This ‘fit framework’ can then be applied in incidental ways to existing and newly-designed objects to make them more usable and enjoyable.

1_TobiasOttahal_BreweryCreek_Logotype.jpg

THE TABLE

A demonstration of Nice Fit. The table creates indentions for objects to fit into on demand; when the object is removed, the table becomes flat again.

Table at rest

Table at rest

Detail of table in responsive mode.

Detail of table in responsive mode.

The table reacts to objects within its vicinity.

The table reacts to objects within its vicinity.

Objects fitting into responsive recesses created in the table’s surface.

Objects fitting into responsive recesses created in the table’s surface.

Detail of table underside.

Detail of table underside.


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