[SYD14]

2014 Sydney Design Awards - Deadlines

5 August 2014 - Extended Deadline
6 August 2014 - Judging
13 August 2014 - Finalists announced
17 August 2014 - Rating Closes
20 August 2014 - Awards Presentation


Website

Winner 

Project Overview

A table is a piece of furniture that encourages human collaboration; people naturally gather around a table for social interaction at work, in leisure activities and at home. At nsquared we have enhanced the table by enabling interactive digital content to appear on the table top. This is undoubtedly the future of all meeting spaces, whether they're designed for learning or selling or business planning. Tables are standard meeting spaces, and a table with the ability to take advantage of the computing power we have available to us on a day to day basis is a powerful tool.

The nsquared digitable55 is a table technology that responds to direct human touch and has the ability to connect to other devices. It is a tool that captivates. It is designed to provoke deep curiosity, stimulate creativity, and engender profound connections between people and ideas.

Organisation

nsquared (N SQUARED SOLUTIONS PTY LTD)

Team

Dr. Neil Roodyn - Director, nsquared.
Kristen Kosmala - Project Manager
Hayley Wood - Industrial Designer
Richard Rachowski - Software Developer
Jesse Perry - Software Developer
Jessica Ayad - Graphic Designer

nsquared has been creating shared screen experiences for the last five years. At nsquared we are passionate about helping people communicate and collaborate in the same space at the same time.

The nsquared team was instrumental in bringing the world's first commercial table top computer onto the Australian market in 2010 and has been a leading light in the development of digital table technology globally.

As a team, we knew that we needed to bring a product to market that would support our mission of moving the world forward by bringing people back together. We've worked with a number of table top computing solutions. Each one has its extraordinary benefits. what we wanted to do was bring all of the best available design and technology components together into the one device

Project Brief

Personal mobile devices have opened up many opportunities to us and we're empowered by them in many ways. Ironically, with their widespread and constant use, we're becoming more isolated and distracted than we ever were. The very devices that promised to bring us closer together are paving the path to an unusual and profound disconnection amongst us.

It’s time we got back together again to share our ideas, learn from each other, solve problems, and make great decisions more quickly. We know that tables are key to this for all settings. Our worldwide customer base tells us that this is also true, yet the Australian market lacks impetus. In trying to figure out why the Australian market hadn't yet taken up on the digital table promise, we discovered that the perception of lacking accessibility was the key. It was time to create an Australian product that could stand on a world stage.

The nsquared digitable is a timeless piece of furniture with an active table top area of 55 inches. It must be future-proofed by design with a robust yet refined nature, and state of the art computing capabilities that can be upgraded as required.

Project Innovation/Need

For the first time ever the nsquared digitable55 project brings together a unique set of qualities to create an amazing piece of furniture.

Never before has a digital table experience been presented as a timeless piece of furniture that incorporates such a large, massively multi-touch screen while supporting active stylus interaction.

Bringing together industrial design, leading edge hardware technology and rich interactive software, this is the first time a complete end-to-end digital table solution has been available to help increase engagement in meetings, education and social environments.

We know, because of the feedback we get from our customers and their clients, that the product is helping to solve problems in all types of settings. In addition, its seemingly magical ability to create instant and long lasting emotional connections between people and ideas is creating continuing interest that is driving our customers' clients to investigate purchasing the product for their own needs.

Design Challenge

Our design challenges needed to take our sustainability goals into account. These are outlined in more detail below however the main goals were to create: -
1. a completely flat table surface
2. a table that can be treated like a table
3. an easy to use interface
4. gorgeous furniture that suits a variety of locations
5. space around the screen to place personal items
6. easy to access computer components for maintenance.

In form and function it had to be a table, not a computer. The interface had to be easy to use in a variety of environments as diverse as those in boardrooms, sales rooms and classrooms. Housing the necessary computing power proved one of the biggest challenges but it became a design feature. We required space on the tabletop for the "peripherals" generally brought to the table - books, phones, tablets, drinks, and food. We had to make it safe to use with these, and we wanted to create a flat seamless tabletop. In addition, the digital table needed to be as walk-up-and-use as a traditional table. The result was the development of outstanding software, useable from all sides of the table.

Sustainability

Sustainability was a big item on our list. We're tired of watching growing piles of rubbish accumulate when there is little or no functional need for the waste.

Our three main goals were to: -
- deliver a product that was future-proofed in as many ways as possible.
- make a uniquely Australian product that would benefit the local market.
- use manufacturing processes that produced minimal waste.

To achieve our goals we invested in timeless, aesthetic furniture design and supplied state-of-the-art computing technology in an accessible enclosure. As new technology becomes available, the computer is fully upgradeable without requiring other components in the table top to be replaced.

The design work was done in-house at nsquared. The thermoformed ABS enclosure was created in Brookvale, Sydney. The internal components were created by metal workers in Sydney's south. We used local CNC cutting technology with Australian bamboo blockboard to produce the shapely legs and internal support structures. Our all-Australian, all-cardboard packaging can be recycled and or re-used in the garden to grow the packeted seeds we'll include as a reminder of the environment's value.




This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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