Jamie McFarlane's fourth year thesis project, Quickset 19, is a line camp furniture system for forest fire fighters developed in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, which led to my receipt of the Carleton University School of Industrial Design Award of Excellence for top performance on a fourth year thesis project.
Currently, 4 member fire crews reach a remote location via helicopter and spend a full day fighting fire. Then the chainsaw operator spends 3 hours constructing makeshift furniture from fallen trees in the dim evening light.
With Quickset 19 crew member brings a unit in an existing standard fire pack. The crew leaves the fire line for camp together and each member sets up their own unit in a matter of seconds. The crew now sit to eat and work comfortably.
Early rough concept sketches explore different storage and configuration opportunities. Progressively the project became more defined, reflected by sketches exploring specific mechanical, manufacturing and aesthetic details.
Progressively Refined Models
Early cardboard and styrene models followed by laser cut acrylic and finally a full scale wooden model were used to discover and perfect a mechanical linkage enabling the desired single motion deployment.
A functional prototype was crafted, using CNC technology and hand techniques, from wood and aluminum. Each component was shaped and finished to maintain dimensional integrity and mimic the proposed materials.
Context and Use
The furniture unit is designed using robust materials and with features ideal for outdoor use. The back rest provides the necessary ergonomic support lacking in the current solution. Adjusted using a quick release lever, the back rest folds into a flat surface for eating and doing paper work.
Maintenance and Repair
Quickset 19 is designed for disassembly so that broken parts can be individually repaired or replaced. This feature allows it to seamlessly integrate into the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources existing maintenance and repair system.
Semantic cues like the knurled carrying handle show users how to operate the unit. To close the unit the user simply lifts up on the handle collapsing the entire system.