Research for Design — Part 3
This week, while continuing our primary and secondary research, we also reconnected with our stakeholders and discussed further about the design of an ideal face mask for lipstick consumers.
We asked our stakeholders questions based on our research purpose for this week. I have organized the questions for our stakeholders:
After interacting with our stakeholders, we asked them to design their ideal face masks. Stakeholders were welcome to express their thoughts and visions through different method (sketching, prototyping, etc). In this week, our stakeholders did really amazing jobs in interpreting their imaginations through detailed sketches. Their considerations were thoroughly expressed in details. Below are the sketches that we collected from our stakeholders:
Houming was responsible for communicating with the stakeholders this week and getting them to design the ideal face masks from the consumer perspective. Our participants did a fantastic work and explained well about their expectations. Their contributions helped us a lot in studying, analyzing, and understanding the actual consumer needs in society.
Meanwhile, as researchers, we also participated in the process of sketching, designing, and prototyping of our own face masks this time. Designing a face mask that could be a truly beneficial product to beauty consumers and a game changer in the lipstick market in the future was not an easy process. Besides my desire to create a more aesthetic, lightweight, and innovative looking face mask, I had to be also careful about the materials I would choose to include in my design. Since safety and effectiveness are the priority, I consistently reminded myself — are these materials strong enough to block the pathogens in the air?
I thought about my video call with Tiffany last week and went through the notes I wrote down during the interview. As a lipstick lover and consumer, Tiffany did not necessarily expect a lipstick friendly mask to be transparent. According to her, KN95 mask was the most effective in blocking the virus and preventing her lipstick from migrating all over her face so far. Although a black mask could be helpful in concealing the mess of makeup inside and outside the mask, it would be tough to wear when the weather got warmer since black attracts most of the heat. Most importantly, she reflected that she would be more than happy if the fabric of face mask could be thinner and more breathable. Something that would help prevent makeup from melting in the summer.
Breathable, Cooling, Stretchable
These became the features that I focused on in this week’s research and design. I found many intriguing examples related to these themes online.
Façade Urbane: Origami-inspired 3D Printed Face Mask
The iSphere, Plastique Fantastique.
Found these spherical designs funny yet somehow adorable at the same time.
Joe Doucet: The Futuristic One, The Fashionable One
The Civility Mask, The Glass Mask by French Engineer Pierre Blondon.
The Xylinum Mask, Sum Studio.
As for my individual designs, I started with looking for simple materials in my apartment that I could use to materialize my concept and build a rough prototype. Based on the three ideal qualities — breathable, lightweight, and stretchable, I decided to utilize materials such as masking tapes, plastic wraps, aluminum foil paper, and fruit packing foam. Since this was just a beginning process of translating of my imaginations into models, I purposely ignored the fact that these were not the medical materials that were actually effective in blocking the pathogens. So far, I was just concentrating on building potential models of various looks. As for the materials that would actually be put into use, they would be our research to conduct in the next part of the project.
Below are some crazy thoughts:
- What if the mask is super stretchy and resilient like a 1,000 times stronger fruit packing foam. We’ll be able to breath more easily.
2. What if the mask is a tape-on. We just tape the materials on our faces. No more loops and we can tape our ‘masks’ in a million different shapes. The tapes are adjustable in forms and lengths. Create a bulged space so your makeup won’t smear.
3. What if the mask is a thin layer, we just wrap our faces like we wrap potatoes in aluminum foils.
4. What if the mask can be worn like a headscarf and people will see your lips again.
The Research Progress
As I continued on my research this week, I found many new aspects on the “wearing lipstick under face mask during the pandemic” consumer phenomenon. I put different reasons why people consumed lipsticks during Covid on a powerpoint slide and updated our mess map. I combined both Houming’s and my first mess maps together in one map.
Lipstick Consumption during the Covid-10 Pandemic
Lipstick Consumption & Face Mask during Covid-19 Mess Map via Kumu (Click here to get a closer look)
Finally, we also tried to look at the project from a different angle (the producer perspective). We might reach out to several startup beauty brands on Instagram in the remaining project and ask their opinions on a lipstick friendly mask.
I researched for some beauty companies that could be our potential subjects: Glossier, Ilia, Lawless, Axiology, Stowaway Cosmetics, Josephine Cosmetics, Bite Beauty, Tower 28 Beauty, P/Y/T Beauty, Noyah…
It would be fabulous if we could hear what kind of features and materials beauty brands would envision the face mask to have if it is put into use in the market? Additionally, how they reacted to the pandemic and how they used social media to pump lipstick sales and teach consumers how to wear lipstick under the mask during the pandemic.