Modular wall system
My daughters needed to sublet a section of their apartment in order to afford the rent. There was no easy way to create a new, private space in the apartment without harming the floor, ceiling and walls, and so I designed and built one.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
DIY: Lightweight & easy to assemble & disassemble with only an Allen wrench
Adjustable: Works for any ceiling height up to 3.5 meters
Versatile: Set up in an infinite variety of straight and angled configurations
Sturdy: Poles handle 20 kg of lateral stress when installed
Undetectable: The system leaves no marks on the floor or ceiling after being disassembled
Storable: The system components lay flat and store easily when not in use
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Do-it-yourselfers can create entirely new and private spaces in the existing rooms of their homes with only a 4 mm Allen wrench used to tighten connecting bolts, a level to make sure the walls are level as they go up, and the ability to heft a 12 kg door panel. XoomRooms provides the poles that anchor the wall system between the floor and ceiling and connecting members used to connect the panels to the poles and to each other.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in January of 2012 in Washington, DC, and was completed in Carlisle, PA, in January of 2014. Prototyping was completed in Carlisle, PA, Sherburne, NY, and Middleburg, PA.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The design process for this product made extensive use of trail-and-error. Many of what I thought were my most promising design ideas collapsed (sometimes literally) when tested. By the end of the process I had developed a saying: You do not know anything until you actually test it. Working with and listening to mass production professionals was also key. A great design solution that is intended for a mass audience is nothing if it can not be replicated in volume.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Pole base: miter-folded MDF clad with laminate; 5.7 cm x 5.7 cm x 230 cm
Pole extension: aluminum; 1.9 cm round x 152 cm high
Bottom plate: HDPE; 5.7 cm x 5.7 cm x 1.9 cm
Top plate: Plastic; 7.5 cm round x 3 cm high
Connecting pressure plates: MDF; 1.9 cm x 3.8 cm x 230 cm
Wall panels: Consumer choice, the wall panels in the design submitted here are laminated MDF; 1.6 cm x 50 cm x 230 cm 
Modular, temporary, portable, residential, wall system
Research: Participant observation
Objectives: Generate value for the end user at a reasonable price
Methodology: Transformation (creative thinking) and convergence (prototyping)
Data: Semi-structured interviews
Experiments: Lots of trial-and-error (mostly error)
Results: A product that will change the way people live their lives
Insights: XoomRooms is a game-changer . . . There is nothing like it in the market.
Real-Life: Nearly everyone I have met has a potential use in mind for XoomRooms in their lives
I set out to create a modular wall system that would:
- Be easy for a single person to put up and take down
- Be able to endure multiple assembly-disassembly cycles
- Be sturdy and safe
- Leave no marks on the floor, walls, or ceiling when removed
- Be easy to store when not in use
- Be able to be mass produced (to keep price-point low)
- Not violate fire code
- Be sustainable
- Be aesthetically pleasing
The hardest part was meeting ALL of these design criteria at the same time.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
James Hoefler, 2013.