An Outdoor Cover System

The project entailed creating a housewares system. The product had to be part of a system, lending to customizability and adjustability.

We conducted research with a group of four, and then each took the insights and ran with different solutions based on what we each felt garnered the most attention.

5 Weeks

Soft Goods

Exploring Systems:

In research, we first explored what a system is. We went to IKEA, Design within Reach, REI, and Home Depot in order to explore this concept.

Following this, we decided to hone in on the outdoors portion of the house, and this led us to interview home owners, as well as look at people's yards. How do people feel about their yards, especially in relation to their houses. We also conducted a number of interviews over the phone and in person. Based on these observations, we were able to group them and find a couple common themes.

We began compiled the observations and interviews, beginning to find common threads, and looking at the contradictions in what people said. There were clear disconnects between what people said and what they did. We continued to parse through this in order to figure out why.

We grouped our observations and quotes using an affinity map to come to two key insights.

Ideation began based on these key insights and looking at solutions based on our research.


We began sketching based on these principles, in order to conceptualize the signature elements. It is driven by being able to visualize and plan the canopy using augmented reality, have it custom made, and then attaching the points in order to hoist up the canopy for use. Once installed, it can be easily put up and taken down.

Gradient Shade:

The canopy gives variable shading as you get further and further from the house side of the the right side. It slowly transitions, easing the user's experience from the "inside" to the outside"

Solar Powered Charging:

Canopy can charge over the day using the panels atop it. Using similar technology to the MPOWERED Luci String Lights, power is contained in a small battery on the right side.

Attachment Points:

The canopy is affixed in the three corners by adjustable straps and g-hooks. The g-hook then hooks onto fixed straps that are attached to the porch and neighboring trees.

Transition to Dark

The solar panel only takes a couple hours to charge. The user can then use the same app they used to map and order the canopy to turn on and off the string lights. The lights can also communicate with the internet of things in the house.

Nighttime Lighting:

The canopy at night then lights up, creating an transition into the backyard from the porch. These LEDs are strung together and are powered by the battery pack on one end of the canopy.

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Designed and Created by Josh Chan