Two design strategies that are always on the table
to designers include "starting from scratch"
or redesigning something. Start-from-scratch is almost
always harder, at least for novice designers. The following
are three basic approaches students can take in redesigning
their shopping bags. You may want to convey these suggestions
sparingly, by directly hinting at them or by pointing
out examples of students' work that illustrate these
1. Make the Material Stronger
After taking careful note of where stress lines appear,
or where the potential for a tear seems evident, the
designer may choose to strength the material in places
it most needs it. By double bagging, or folding bag
material over on itself, students will be in effect
making the bag's material stronger. Other approaches
include reinforcing the bag's material to improve its
strength by adding tape, patches, sticks or cardboard,
where the aim is to increase the stress-bearing capabilities
of the material.
2. Distribute Loads More Evenly or Broadly
Some bag designs use a piece of cardboard at the bottom
-- this helps more evenly distribute loads that could
be quite concentrated and cause failure. Simply placing
a piece of cut manila folder into the bottom of a bag
does not change the strength of the bag, but it does
distribute the load more broadly.
3. Improve Upon Bad Designs That Weaken the
Students can start with a bad design that results in
the bag's materials not being used to their full strength.
For instance, plastic can be seveerly weakened when
cut with sharp corners, and paper bags are weakened
when their materials are folded and created.