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A chair for the overworked and underpaid immigrant family

Phú Chair

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Feed The Family

The Tran family has recently  immigrated to the United States.  Most of the jobs available to them are low paying so they depend on each other to support the house.  With technology moving forward, many of them are  working from home.  Each member  needs space to work  to support the household.

84,988

 Refugees  arrived in US in 2016

1,183,505

 immigrants  claimed permanent US residence in 2016

18.2MILLION

 Children of immigrant parents  born from 2000-2017

Close Quarters

The house gets  very crowded  so space becomes very limited.  Every night,   towels are  layed out to sleep on.  Whenever the day starts, the makeshift sleeping mats are  put away to make space  to work.

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 Incredible pressure  is put on everyone to try to make enough money and to support the family.  Every member is working under heavy stress leads to  isolation and less socializing  within the family.

Overworked and Underpaid

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Staying Connected

Despite always being closely huddled up together, every family member is so  caught up in his/her own work  that they rarely talk, causing  loneliness and disconnection  throughout the family.  

How might we bring together and relieve stress from overworked immigrant families?

Family Business

8 weeks of ideating based around different aspects of living in a crowded family household.

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The small office (turned home) space 

What problems come up in a small work space that also becomes a living space? 

I liked the phone concept because it served a way to  disconnect to speak with family while not missing out.

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Technologically driven and socially aware youth

Technological solutions to social issues for the future centered youth. The youngest family members tend to be the most socially aware resulting in them being the most driven to change the future.  I liked the slipper the most as it  brings awareness to underpaid workers  in countries the families originate from.

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Old with new tricks

Equipping the elderly with new ways they can potentially work.   I liked the Push 1-800 the most as it is the most feasible to help elderly with shaky hands slide buttons instead of pressing them.

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Creating meaning in a stressed space

How might we find meaning when we  feel alone in our families?  Choosing to go for my hugging chair as the chair is the most immediate thing to grab when working on the couch.  Many traditional  Asian families don't talk about their feelings.  This could be a nonvocal way to call out for help.

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Crowded but lonely small space?

Designing for a workspace where family members feel  unable to speak to each other  about their issues.  Choosing to continue the hugging chair because it creates a vehicle for the user  for work and emotional expression  to call for others.

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Refining the chair to be collapsible into a floor mat.  This  reduces space usage  and references the towels/blankets laid down every night to sleep on in many immigrant households.

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Expanding ideas

Based on different folding techniques from traditional Vietnamese cooking and origami for  storing without causing clutter  while being able to expand the chair to  create a secluded space  to relieve stress.

Exploring different ways of expanding forms through origami

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Pop To Drop Tracker

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inspired by squeezing dumplings together in communal cooking to keep the family together

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First model was too low and unstructured to provide proper coverage

Antibacterial and sound absorbant

Low cost and soft

Cardboard used for strength when flat while still being flexible when lifted.  Also very low cost sustainable.

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Zip off liner for machine washing

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Flattens to store

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lean forward to engage

lean back to work on your own

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individual members still can have privacy

flattens into sleeping mat

faces with other chairs to encourage socializing