Industrial Design
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Spring 2018

Form Library

 Jake Scherlis, Max Plummer, & Benal Johnson

Our goal is to catalyze sensitivity to form through explorative play and self-directed experimentation.

This is a studio resource intended for sophomore Industrial Design students. Making is the only way to truly develop sensitivity to form, and we hope to supplement that process through this set of forms. 

We demonstrate a series of variations of three basic features. Every transformation is applied to a control form, a rectangle, allowing the user to understand exactly what feature they should focus on. Each feature is shown in three levels of softness, three levels of amplitude, two positional transformations, and an inverse. We also provide examples of combinations of multiple features applied to the same base form.

The user is free to expand upon this framework, and to develop their own forms, features, and transformations. 

This Form Library is now a permanent resource available to Industrial Design students at Carnegie Mellon University.

In-depth process can be found on our medium page.

Form form fooooooorm


This lil dude shows all three basic features; Pinch, Cut, and Sweep; applied to the same form.


This pointy dude shows one of the basic features: Pinch.


Lots of forms

Look at all these forms in one place. It's a lot of forms ain't it.


Further Research

We looked closer at some of the services we explored in our narratives with more specific generative workshops.


Living Spaces

Private areas are important, but flexibility is the priority in a small space. Services such as food delivery can lessen the space requirements of a living area.

Food Mobility and Access

 Autonomous transport systems could help food become more locally sourced. Future technology can improve access to food by providing instant delivery of foods to communities.

Community Health

Participants were asked to talk about the people and technology involved in getting to a hospital. The preferred mode of transportation varies based on what is available and how urgent the need is.


Concept: Community AutoSpaces

To tie these services together, we framed them in the context of a community. Here, autonomous spaces serve as platforms for services that support a community of any size. 

This drawing shows autonomous spaces providing mobility, community space, and mobile health and wellness to meet most of a community's needs.

Secondary Research

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To explore this idea of a community supported by services, we researched present day systems, branching out from the vehicle scale to explore everything from micro apartments in NYC, to accessible healthcare in Portland, to mobile health services around the world.

We looked into the fundamental building blocks of a happy and successful community to understand how to incorporate autonomous platforms into communities through living spaces, working spaces, and services.

Video Production


We created our video with stop-motion paper animation, to allow the viewer to focus their attention on the services that the platforms provide, rather than the vehicles themselves.



Sample Progress Report

We sent weekly progress reports to FCA during our research process. This is an example of one of our reports, in which we finalized our research by choosing a video setting, and prepared to begin video production.