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Creating a playful personal space to induce relaxation.


This project had the aim to design
a portable light for university students

with the purpose of inducing a relaxed state of mind.

The design of this product had to fit in Starbucks' brand identity.

Fall 2017

Portable light for relaxation


What is Stec?


Stec is a portable light, or better a portable light space. It is designed to engage the user in a creative and playful interaction in order to create an atmosphere, change the environment where stressful thoughts are not allowed. It is specifically designed to fulfill the students need of portability and efficiency. It can be used both for study purposes and relaxing situation, everywhere they go.

About the project

Learning outcomes:

User-centered design |

Research | Design Process.

My research team:

Anna-Lena Gölz (IDI)

Yilva Norlin (IDI)


3-weeks project

What is stec?

How can these students change their “space” to reach a more relaxed state of mind?




The analysis of the user group was the first step of this project.
Specifically the main task was to define through interviews what they consider relaxing.

From this phase, lived in strict contact with the users, the concept of space emerged, a space that is both physical and mental, and that is directly related to the idea of relaxation.

A space in which the users can find a moment of peace, forget about their problems and find a distraction from their stressful daily lives.

IMG_3862 Redux.jpg
" finding a quiet and relaxing place in the university is usually really difficult "
" we have to move a lot during the day, from one building to another, it is really frustrating "
" to be relaxed my eyes don’t have to be stressed with strong lights "



Could interaction help in this case to create a relaxed state of mind?
I initially started to explore this concept with two different mockups based on lights and both physical and virtual animations.


The idea consisted in creating interactive light surfaces to play with, and to get lost in, creating in this way a relaxing atmosphere inducing a distracted and relaxed state of mind.

3D screen

The second concept featured instead a circular, three-dimensional moving surface, with LED illumination all around the perimeter.

To give a clearer idea of how the concept was supposed to look and work I realised a simple 3D animation in processing.

Proto stec

The last mockup was instead developed more as a toy, with a foldable and more versatile design.

The structure itself allows the users

to always create new shapes and light environments.

" It is really portable and easy to fold and unfold, especially compared to the other solutions "

Students about the 3rd mockup.

Creating a playful experience also allows the user to find a distraction. Digging deeper into the toy concept, and trying to emphasize the interactive characteristic of this project I took inspiration from a specific kind of wooden toy, with elastic joints, to further develop the design.

user testing.gif

Playfulness as a way to escape stress


This idea of adding a playful element to the concept brought me to the final design taking inspiration from the famous wooden toys with elastic bands in their joints.


Such a structure allowed me to maintain a compact and portable size. 





The final design was therefore defined in materials and shapes. Six triangular section elements, made out of wood are connected through elastic joints.

8 2.jpg

On each element, LED strips are placed on the corners.

The wood gives a warm and soft feeling to the touch, and the triangular section allows all the elements to fold and fit in an elegant and ultra-compact solution.

The portability of this product is therefore taken to its extreme.

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