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Zen steamer is a portable mini humidifier that can also transform into a handheld steamer. 

People are now living in smaller and smaller houses

The globalization push people to move/to work/to travel around the world

 Compact and functional products are needed

Whether at home, at work or go on a travel

Zen Steam could help you 

keep your suite in a good state
Keep your body in a good state

Mar-Jun 2017 

Undergraduate Final Project 

Design by Yutong


01 About 


I made this concept for my mom. She is a businessman who needs to travel frequently. I noticed that there are three problems that annoyed my mom the most during her traveling:

1. The suits can be wrinkled after they placed in a suitcase, but some hotel doesn't have the iron steamer.

2. The air is too dry in transportations or at her destinations. (Our family lives in a very humid city, which makes my mom hardly to adapt to dry climate)

3. Homesickness, of course. Especially under great pressure or exhausted after work.

As both problems can be solved by the steamer,  I then come up with the routing structure which lets a steamer transform from a humidifier to steam iron.

Besides the function,the research on the user's emotion and exploration of the form is another big part of this design. The shape of the Zen steam not only combines traditional Chinese architecture and culture but also goes well with the function.

02 Research

- Target group: Businesswoman
   Priority needs: convenient and portable

This design project aims at the modern businesswoman, aging from 25 to 45 years old, who often travel to different places.   Most of them have a high quality of life requirements. BUT when going on a travel, sometimes it is hard to meet the requirements. Therefore, products which could help them and improve the life quality of traveling are needed. 

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​- Problems Research


After talking with several business women, I conceived these three typical roles to represent the users of my target group.



In order to dig more about the problems and their needs, I create this typical workday rout base on the interview of our users.


03 Idea forming

/ Brainstorming

​1. Problems - Needs - Solutions

/ Sumup

Base on the problems summarised from Part 2, I then did the brainstorming to find some possible connections between problems, needs, and solutions.

Summarise the mind map to a diagram helps me to analyze the problems-needs clearly.

For more detail

about branding :

2. Idea

According to the diagram organized from brainstorming, I divided the design into two parts: function, and emotion.

/ Function

For the function part, I notice that the steam iron and humidifier both need the same structure - the steamer. Maybe I can combine them to be a multifunctional product Which can solve two problems-the dry air and the wrinkled suit, and easy to carry as well.

/ Emotion

For the emotion part, I want to add the elements of home into the from design. The product is not a pile of functions but a good friend.

3. Sketch

/ Sructure

Exploring different ways to combine the two functions into a product. 

I then come up with the  “rotating head ” idea- when you rotate the head of the steamer, the iron on the top begins to heat up, which turns the humidifier function to steam iron function. Comparing to other ideas, the way of a rotating head is simple to achieve. Also, the physical transfer in function and shape creates an angle that allows people to easily ironing their cloth. 

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/ Form

In terms of styling, I want to keep it simple,  while incorporating some Chinese traditional elements: Zen style architecture, the pattern of Yingyang, Chinese paper-cut, bamboo...

Above all these elements of "home", I think the form of traditional Hui-style architecture is a good matching of the design in function.

Summaries the features of Hui-style architecture

- Elements from the environment:

   Rain, mist, water, stone

- Elements from the architecture:

   White& black, straight line, square little window, slightly raised eaves


The form goes with the function:

Rain/mist - two functions: humidifier/steamer

Hui-style architecture - the body of the steamer

water - water box

window - switch

​eave - expand the area of steam

stone - heat up to ironing cloth 

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04 test & Prototyping 

​1. Ergonomics

/ Reseach


- How many waters it can hold?

- What is the weight of this product?

- Is it easy to use/carry?

​Whit the questions in my head, I find a good product to start my research: The shampoo bottle. As it is designed to last months, the shampoo bottle has better quality than the water bottle. Also, a richer variety of shapes, and large range of weight. Those factors make it a good resource for me to research my portable steamer's  design parameters, such as :capacity, bottle shape, cross-sectional shape, and comfortable.

/ Analyze

I compare and analyze ten different shampoo bottles from the four angles above:(see the chart on the right)

/ Conclution

According to research and analysis, combined with product practicality, the most practical and comfortable parameters are finally obtained: 


Shape: Rounded cuboid, overall straight, but the middle part is slightly slimer (comfort and easy to carry )

​2. Prototyping

06 final

​2. Presentation board
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