The initial goal of this project was to design something to improve the sharing experience. When sharing a living space with other people, things get a little more complicated.
Initial research involved asking people who have lived with roommates where the points of tensions were. After looking through all the responses, the two main places where people had trouble sharing were the bathroom and the kitchen.
Common Problems/Design Objectives
From the bathroom and the kitchen, I eventually focused in on the fridge. When asking people about their problems with sharing the fridge, the most common problems that came up included:
- Food being taken
- Roommates taking up too much space
- No one taking responsibility to clean the fridge
- Deep fridges cause people to forget about food
Since fridges are one big space, I found it necessary to create a clearly designated
break up of the space. Each side belongs to one person and the space inside is
sectioned off so there is no access to each others spaces. For secure access, each
door is locked with a fingerprint sensor on the handle making it extremely hard
to get into each others spaces. This prevents your roommates from taking your
food or taking up too much space. You have your own private space and there is
no interacting with others things.
To maintain cleanliness, the shelves are designed so it is easier to clean.
They can easily be taken off the fridge and they are small enough to be placed
in the dishwasher. The short depth of the shelves aims to make it harder to
forget about food at the back of the fridge.
My design also includes a shelving system that
allows for the user to personalize their storage area. There are lips on the
bottom and slots on the top where different attachments can be placed to organize your side of the fridge.
When sharing a fridge, there are usually common items that are not necessary to separate between roommates. Currently some fridges have a double door system for quick access to items in the front. I have repurposed this system to create shared space between roommates. The front area is divided between the back area creating shared space in the front section with private space at the back.