Edward Euclide

The Bobbing Bottle

Exploring the prototyping process, I designed a new water bottle for full-stack coding students.
It is a kinetic desk-sculpture that assists programming students through their learning with its rhythmic, rocking motion and toy-like quality.  A bottle that has students wondering,

"I want to know how far I can push it?"


Immersive Research

As a student myself, I was was completely immersed for my observational research, affording me candid, in-depth data surrounding Prime's water bottle and campus culture.  I found that students have a diverse taste in water bottles, and varied needs.  Most water bottles spend the majority of their time as desk architecture.


Not Just For Drinking

The bottle acts as a kinetic desk sculpture with a pendulum like motion.  It assists students through the learning process, inspiring focus, curiosity and play.


Designing a Gift

A good gift reflects both the value of the recipient as well as the values of the giver.  Where previous water bottles were labeled "boring" by Prime students, the Bobbing Bottle's bold and sculptural aesthetic sets it apart from students other vessels.  


Immersive Research

As a Prime student myself, I was able to unobtrusively observe Prime Digital Academy's campus & students at very close range.  Over 5 days I candidly conducted interviews with students surrounding their water-bottle use/culture by simply asking, "Hey, is that your water bottle?". Most students responded rather quickly with an anecdote describing exactly why they had that specific bottle saying,

"Yeah, it fits perfectly in my bag."
"I love this little loop."
"I take this thing everywhere."

We also found that most students do not carry their water bottles throughout campus, aside from refilling, and noticed that almost all student water-bottles spend the majority of their time as architecture atop the desk.  

While these students certainly expressed values surrounding their water-bottles that we anticipated: travel-ability, leakage, grip.  They already had a water-bottle fulfilling those uses in a meaningful way and they also don't seem in need of another surface for a Nerdery sticker.

My covert position also afforded me in-depth insights surrounding Prime campus culture en totale.  Students are under intense stress and are constantly racking their brains trying to problem-solve.  When the going gets tough, students often signal to each other that they are distressed or in need of assistance: groaning, pacing, putting their heads on their desks.  



Designing a


This water-bottle is a welcome-gift from the Prime administration to its new full-stack development students.  The programming students described the previous bottle as "boring".

The sculptural, bold aesthetic of the Bobbing Bottle sets it apart from students other vessels and is anything but boring. This aesthetic presentation is a critical moment in this gifting process, the ribbon and bow.

A gift also reflects the values of the gift-giver.  When you get a cheap, plastic water-bottle at a conference/festival, the kind that sits at the back of a cabinet for years until finally being sent to a landfill, you know exactly how much that venue values you.

The Bobbing Bottle proudly embraces its place on the desk, becoming a part of the landscape itself.  This bottle welcomes students to embrace and own their new space on campus.

Image uploaded from iOS (2).jpg
Image uploaded from iOS.jpg

Not just for drinking its

for thinking

After a couple rounds of design-concepts, I landed on a kinetic, sculptural design aimed at assisting the learning process.
I then built a couple of low-fi prototypes to get some early student feedback and test the gestural motion concept.

The idea that a desk toy can assist with learning and focus is not a new idea.  The Bobbing Bottle includes a few tried and true qualities of effective desk toys.  It is sensory, rhythmic, perspective-shifting, curious and fun.

The bottle articulates at its base with a slow, swinging motion akin to a metronome.  Combining water with this slow motion gives the bottle tranquil and meditative qualities that can assist with focus and easing a busy mind.

I tested the prototype out on 5 different Prime full-stack students and found that the motion was successful in inspiring curiosity and play with students saying:  “Wow!  It feels like a toy, is this a toy?” and, “It demands to be touched!  Can I push it?” and,

"I want to know how far I can push it."

When I heard that, I knew this was headed somewhere meaningful in terms of inspiring curiosity, in blurring students limitation.  Not only did we prove the concepts fun, students referred to the experience as "relaxing".  One student described the experience with the prototype as, "...almost like a clock.  This is nice."