Laura Vo Design Portfolio

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Laura Vo's Industrial Design portfolio,February 15, 2013

Text of Laura Vo Design Portfolio


Bobby BuoyA waterbottleManufacturing DetailsPurpose To make a bottle suitable for seafarers and can easily be retrieved if fallen overboard Cork and polypropylene Blow molding 10 3/4 x 3 3/4 750 mL Material Manufacturing method Dimensions Volume

The challenge was to create a waterbottle that satisfied an unaddressed need. Inspired by cork and buoys, a floating bottle was fashioned to cater to water athletes and seafarers of all kinds.

Cap Nautical Rope Cork



Inspiration and ResearchThe manner in which buoys float became the inspiration for the waterbottle. The product emulated their buoyancy and the beauty of their simplicity of form.

Form inspiration - the buoy

Concept sketches

Buoyancy research was done by attaching numerous foam floats of various shapes and sizes on plastic bottles filled with water

ProcessTo begin the process, low fidelity foam prototypes were made, then a basswood mold was lathed out to thermoform the final model


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6. Finishing

RationaleThe extra nautical rope allows the user to secure it safely to the boat

If the bottle is in the water, the hole in the cap allows boaters to easily retrieve it with a boat hook

The bright red cap signals its whereabouts if fallen overboard

The nickname for Bobby Buoy - the bottles identity. Giving the bottle a name humanizes it, and endears it to the user

The porous texture of agglomerated cork allows the bottle to float upright, allowing the lid to be easily seen. It also allows better grip, is naturally anti-fungal, heat resistant, and therefore, perfect for the rough, wet elements

VolA shoe dryer

This product incorporated intensive studies in ergonomics, human factors, and research into mass production. The goal was to create a working model, while maximizing user interface by always keeping a user-centered philosophy.

Inspiration and Research The goal was to create a product that effectively dried shoes using centrifugal air flow - drawing air from outside the shoe and circulating it into the toes.Mechanism: The centrifugal laptop fan inspired the shape of the product because its air flow direction was ideal for drying shoes

Current Situation:Existing dryers on the market are bulky and can ruin shoes if heat is used. Reviewers stated that the products were loud and did not thoroughly dry out their wet shoes.

Fan research

Electrical research

Observational research

The centrifugal air flow would reduce drying time and inhibit bacterial growth, thereby preventing foot odour. As a result, the longevity of a persons shoes would increase, it would reduce waste, and ultimately save the user money.

User researchCurrent Solution:Most users currently place newspaper in their wet shoes and leave them to dry overnight. However, this is a slow process and the carbon in the paper dirties the shoesEveryday users Commuters Athletes

I constantly need to buy new shoes because mine get ruined all the time.The dryer was intended to target the general public - any person whose shoes become wet from perspiration or precipitation

ProcessThe desired shoe dryer would encourage a change in habits and attitude towards a persons bodily comfort and therefore, increase their quality of life.Initial sketches were drawn to figure out basic air flow mechanicsForm exploration

Low fidelity models

A working configuration prototype

Colour exploration

User testing was heavily emphasized. Using in-depth observational research and interviews, a human-centred end product was produced.

User testing and Rationale1. The shape of the dryer had to fit comfortably in the hand, as well as in the shoe

The dryer was fashioned using human-centered design by taking ergonomics and a products psychological impact into consideration4. Blue was the most universally desired colour and proved the most marketable

2. The holes in the grill had to be spaced out wide enough to give the illusion that it can effectively intake enough air to dry the shoe

5. The spout had to be long enough to convince the user that the air output would be able to reach the toes

3. The air output direction needed to be instinctual in order for the dryer to be placed in the shoe correctly 6. Air vents along the bottom of the dryer allowed for full circulation throughout the entire shoe

ProcessTop plate

The shoe dryer parts were 3D printed and laser cut after it was modeled in Solidworks and rendered in KeyshotR31.751.36 3.18 1.59





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Centrifugal fan







On/off switch

Rechargeable lithium ion battery





Bottom plate


Keyshot rendering

Technical drawing - Orthographic views

Context ShotInstead of just having a person gingerly holding the product, like so many other concept shots, a different photograph was conceived. I decided to make a timeline showing wet, and unhappy shoes becoming alive again after using Vol.


Sheet Metal BoxA lesson in mass production

Sheet metal blanking, bending, and forming

Understanding the complexitites of mass production allows for a more thoroughly thought-out product.To learn the nature of sheet metal, an aluminum housing for a chipboard was designed and fabricated through metal braking, shearing, milling, and punching. Great consideration of blank layout and part assembly was taken.

Soft GoodsA trio of pouches

As a personal project, three different pouches were designed and sewn for three different users.


Laptop cords case

iPad case

Cellphone case

Using felt, cotton, vinyl, and suede, three pouches were sewn to house three distinct electronic gadgets

SketchesA demonstration of pencil, pen, and markerReinterpreting the IKEA brand to include multi-functional camping equipment.

Napkin sketches

IllustratorAdvanced rendering

The original photograph

An Advanced Computer Applications course provided us with proficient skills using 3D digital modeling and graphic manipulation software (Illustrator, Photoshop, and Solidworks)

An Illustrator rendering of Brauns S60 Razor.

Chair Plus OneIn the summer of 2012, we started a design competition

Promotional Posters


Alteriors Presents...

Alteriors Presents...A competition by CIDSA

Alteriors Presents...A competition by CIDSA

A Comp etition

Chair+1MORE THAN A chair



The goal was to showcase new designers and fresh, local talent. The challenge was to create a chair that transformed itself into another product. These posters were an early exploration into the advertisement for the competition.

Due date: May 2013Send name . email . and phone number to by April . 1 . 2013 to enterMore info: a

Due date: May 2013Send name, email, and phone number to by April . 1 . 2013 to entera More info:

Due date: May by April . 1 . 2013 to enter CIDSA@gmail.coma More info:

Send name, email, and phone number to

Form and CurvesExploration of a new mediumThe objective was to create curves that melded into one another in order to create a beautiful form. The end product needed to be aesthetically pleasing from every angle. Having never sculpted, I really wanted to challenge myself, so the project was taken one step further. Black clay was used to explore the subtle and complex curves of a female form. The sculpture measures 4 1/4 by 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches.

Algonquin College

2003 - 2005

Carleton University

2010 - Present

Registered Massage Therapy Education

School of Engineering and DesignThird Year

Laura is a designer whose affinity towards adventure has translated into an insatiable need for discovery and perfection in her designs. Travelling to many parts of the world gave her insightful perspectives into cultures and traditions, and being a massage therapist gave her a perceptive understanding of human factors and ergonomics. Having an inexhaustible endurance to seek out the best ideas, she continually strives to acquire new skills to constantly evolve as a designer.


Work Experience

Volunteer Experience2011 - Present

ProficientAdobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop Adobe InDesign Solidworks Model making Technical drawing Sketching

AdequateRhino Keyshot Soft goods

Visual Merchandiser and Educator

2009 - 2010

Lululemon Athletica

LAURA VO+ + 1 . 613 . 806 . 2505

Visual Merchandise Co-ordinator and Sales

2010 - Present

Social Vice President and President of Year End Dinner Committee

Workshop Boutique & Flock Boutique

Carleton University Industrial Design Student Association

Thank you!