Monday, January 21, 2008

Drafts and Portability

It is interesting to design something that will be used by animals; completely different from considering human scale alone. Also, it turns out that chickens have some strange habits and preferences which must be considered. For example, to stay warm they create a cushion of air with their feathers, so sleeping in a drafty area can kill them. But, a good chicken coop must also have adequate ventilation.
One of the biggest problems that I have encountered so far is the problem of portability. I want the coop to be big enough to allow the owner to walk inside, yet able to be moved by just two men. It would also be a plus if it could fit into the back of a standard pickup, since the garden may relocate. This has lead me to design a coop that has two distinct pieces that lock together; one for nesting and one for roosting. The larger of these two areas, the roosting area, will have hinged walls that will fold flat for transportation. The roof over the nesting box will lift to allow egg collection from outside the coop. I do have some reservations about including too many hinges, since they wear out and break over time. I suppose that the lifespan of this coop will probably be determined by the movable parts, because the rest of it will be a simple frame with attached panels.

Lizzy Nick and Andrew

Designing a chicken coop has been more difficult than expected! Its interesting how such a relatively simple design problem has posed more issues than with more complex programs. A program of this nature requires complete development of efficiency, effectivness, accessibility (for chickens and humans).

One design idea has involved using a track system, similar to those on barn doors, that allows for flexibility of enclosure and accessibility. A system like this may enhance the overall success of a chicken coop for humans and chicken alike.

Here's the link to our work!


First Blog

Hey this is Leigh,

So this is my first blog actually, which is pretty neat. But the studio so far is really interesting and somewhat unconventional, which I like a lot. Doing the chicken coup project, which is at a smaller scale to a building is proving to be quite a challenge. But I have already learned about 10x as much about chicken coops as I knew before, and it's funny how similar the division of space for chickens parallels that of humans. Each needs their own amount of space and each is very picky about the type.

Right now I am starting to explore the concept of this chicken tractor idea, as far as the portability aspect of it, and synthesizing that idea with a more stationary form of a coop. Rather than mobility being the focus of my coop, it is more so an option, but it is one that forces all the other elements to account for it. So weighting and balance of the design has to account for the mobility; almost like a suitcase where heavy things are backed at the bottom closer to the wheels to aid the feasibility of travel.

At the beginning now, I am keeping the design very simple and weight/balance driven. Design-wise it is nowhere near where I want it to be, but that is fine, its just the foundation to which I will branch out and then start to bring in the characteristics and ideas my partner Aaron and I have been exploring. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008