This time, we wanted them to concentrate on ‘function’. The rules were to write at least one sentence each time they created a model, explaining to the user how to use the new object.
We bought some polystyrene cups and asked them make a list of all the things they could do and create with them.
Then we put a porcelain mug and a polystyrene cup next to each other on the table and proposed that the two kids compare them.
-one has a ‘holder’, the other one has not, Jon said.
-the mug is heavier and frailer than the cup, the mug is more precious! Lewis said.
I asked him to guess the weight of the cup. ‘25g, I guess’.
Then, we suggested he make them equal in term of weight and value. He had an idea: he ordered us to break some china and to put the broken pieces into the cup for him. ‘Yes Sir! At your beck and call!’. We obeyed and took some precious dishes out of our kitchen cupboard, smashed it and filled the cup with the pieces of China.
"Triple Decker Tea cup"
Jon added to the cup another bottom to create a tea cup. The tea powder is enclosed in the removable part and acts as a filter/strainer. It seems to be a double decker more than a triple decker.
Lewis wanted to extend the volume of the object and increase the quantity of beverage to drink. He created a large excrescence with a cup that he truncated and attached to the other same polystyrene cup.
Lewis was interested in combining the cup and the Tea pot. The Cup-pot enables the user to serve the tea he is drinking from his own cup to his friends.
Another exercise was to transform the cup into something else.
Lewis did a pair of binoculars with a rubber lace, to observe some little things that you can only see through his magic tool.
Jon created a magic light switch. You can take it with you anywhere and it will give you the power to switch on and off all the lamps, the street lights, headlights, etc...
They discovered the magic potential of the material when they put one of the cups in the oven and observed the transformation of the polystyrene: melting, distorting and shrinking.
They were interested in using the techniques for their designs: Lewis drew some patterns on a cup and put it into the oven.
Jon put a rubber band around the cup:
The result became ‘the cup of Mystery and Wish’ that keeps the wishes enclosed until they come true.