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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design

Bag Redesign

Two design strategies that are always on the table to designers include "starting from scratch" or redesigning something. Start-from-scratch is almost always harder, at least for novice designers. The following are three basic approaches students can take in redesigning their shopping bags. You may want to convey these suggestions sparingly, by directly hinting at them or by pointing out examples of students' work that illustrate these approaches.

1. Make the Material Stronger
After taking careful note of where stress lines appear, or where the potential for a tear seems evident, the designer may choose to strength the material in places it most needs it. By double bagging, or folding bag material over on itself, students will be in effect making the bag's material stronger. Other approaches include reinforcing the bag's material to improve its strength by adding tape, patches, sticks or cardboard, where the aim is to increase the stress-bearing capabilities of the material.

2. Distribute Loads More Evenly or Broadly
Some bag designs use a piece of cardboard at the bottom -- this helps more evenly distribute loads that could be quite concentrated and cause failure. Simply placing a piece of cut manila folder into the bottom of a bag does not change the strength of the bag, but it does distribute the load more broadly.

3. Improve Upon Bad Designs That Weaken the Bag
Students can start with a bad design that results in the bag's materials not being used to their full strength. For instance, plastic can be seveerly weakened when cut with sharp corners, and paper bags are weakened when their materials are folded and created.


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