Project Overview:
The Pike hose reel is an outdoor household good designed to better facilitate the unreeling action of the hose. By integrating a tail gate style folding system, the Pike hose reel can unreel effortlessly in any direction the user needs and then fold up nice and tidy against the wall giving it a low profile when not in use.

Solo project
Duration: 4 weeks
A Home Good:
The scope of this project was to design a home good product that was both modular and mass customizable. Home goods were constrained to products not requiring specialized installation or assembly.
Modular: a product comprised of multiple parts that can be manipulated to form a either better adapt to a space or form one complete product.
Mass Customizable: a large scale manufacturing and design technique which combines the flexibility and personality of customizable products with the low input costs of a mass produced product.  
Before I could start research however I needed to narrow down the scope of the project further and identify what part of the home environment I wanted to address. I broke the home goods market into 12 categories and decided to choose the outdoor home environment as this space has always interested me and had potential to offer interesting opportunities.   
Interviews, Surveys, and the Like:
After narrowing my area of interest down, it was time to do research and gather insights on what issues I could address through my design. I focused my efforts by implementing a triangulation technique utilizing basic research methodologies- field observations, interviews, and surveys. After gathering information about the outdoor home environment I analyzed, condensed, and then developed clear goals and insights.
Pin up of the condensed research
Insight:
The research seemed to keep leading to one core idea, control. Peoples' enjoyment of the outdoor home environment seemed to be stumped by a lack of control, or even perceived lack of control, of the environment. The goal then was to design a product that would give the user a sense of control over their outdoor spaces. 
Uncovering the Problem:
Having observed people unreel garden hoses, it was clear that the current design was the limiting factor in the unreeling motion. People would often times have to first unreel the hose a good distance and then carry the hose across the lawn in the direction they needed to go. Because the unreeling motion would only let them take the hose in line with the hose reel, people couldn't simply walk to the desired spot as they unreeled the hose. Mitigating the issue of accruing slack in order to walk in any direction became my design goal. 
Hose reels are notoriously bad at unreeling in any direction other than in line with the direction of the unreeling motion as a result of being mounted perpendicular to the ground. 
Design a product system that allows for an unrestricted unreeling motion by implementing a tail gate style folding system making the hose reel parallel to the ground.
Ideation:
The main focus of the ideation stage was the folding mechanism that would allow the hose reel to move between the vertical, not in use position, and the horizontal, in use, positions.
Quick sketches gaining understanding of how the hose reel would mount and function in relation to the wall.
Exploring different mounting designs and how they might incorporate decorative front plates became quite the engineering feat however I managed to settle on a concept which is represented here as form C. 
Addressing the concerns
The Pike Hose Reel's tail gate style folding system allows the user to unreel in any direction and the interchangeable decorative front plates allow for customizability.  
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