After wrapping my mind around the bucket for around a week now , my brain is fill with question. So when it is the time of research , in order to make sure I don’t get lost in the infinite questions I had to come up with a research goal or question. Again the challenge here was to come up with a question that incorporates all the essential aspects . I short listed some questions out of the ones I came up with during the task analysis.

Task Analysis
Short Listed Questions

The research question should be open enough to answer all this questions but restricting enough to prevent me getting lost in too much and irrelevant information. So , I kept the question centered to the product.

‘How does the environment factors (living and non living) interact with and affect bucket and visa versa?’

To start my research , I started by making sub questions . First one is

‘ What are the reasons behind the current form of the bucket?’

There are numerous reasons behind the seemingly simple circular form .

  1. The volume to surface area ratio is highest after sphere (which would be highly unstable). That means cylinder allows to have largest bucket with the least amount of material. Thus saving material cost.
  2. The form has no corners, thus less chance of breakage upon impact. The chances of breakage upon impact is the highest , so by with reducing the corners the chances of breaking reduces.
  3. Reducing corners also reduces the chances of people getting hurt while carrying it. Be it the carrier or the people around , there is always the chance of getting hit by a bucket filled with liquid because of the added momentum , swings the bucket while carrying it.
  4. Lack of corners also make the bucket easier to clean. While washing anything in the toughest parts to clean are the corners. They house all that wishes to stay and are difficult to access.So by eliminating them , we reduce the time and effort that goes into cleaning them.
  5. The radically symmetrical form allows the user to pour out the liquid from any orientation.
  6. When it comes to manufacturing , it only requires 2 dimensions radius and height to manufacture.
  7. The forces applied by water at the bottom of the container of the same volume is less in a frustum .

As good as it seems the circular form comes with it’s own drawbacks.

  1. It roll away when put on the side . Have you ever tried to fill sand in a bucket? If yes , you know we need to hold it with one hand to prevent it from rolling away. The same reason account for it’s difficulty to be transported on the back of a bike.
  2. While stalking , this circular shape accounts for a lot of wastage in space. On first glance , it doesn’t seem a big problem , but when we think of mass production and how precious is space in today’s market, suddenly it can cost a lot.

After having a look at the overall shape , I paid some attention to the other prominent details to the product . As I tried to make sense of each details I realized the attention that has been paid while making it. Some details are present to ease off user’s efforts ,others to cut costs for the manufacturer.

Details seems like telling the story of the product. From the thought that went in to the plastic pellets that went into the bucket.Paying attention to these details told me that the bucket and the bail was manufactured separately even before starting my research. The main body was made through injection molding due to the parting line .

Industrial Designer , NID Andhra Pradesh