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Design Project Experience: Making a Speaker Phone Dock
Written by Hanseung Cho | Published. 2020.01.11 10:05 | Count : 194

In Seoul Foreign School, one of the classes that a student must take during the Primary Years Program (PYP) and Middle Years Program (MYP) is Design. Essentially, Design requires students to identify and develop a solution for a real-life design problem. Design is meant to develop a student’s problem solving and organization skills, and therefore is one of MYP and PYP’s mandatory courses. Each semester of Design presents its students with different challenges, and many students enjoy the process of designing their own products.

This year, the sophomores of Seoul Foreign School, were presented with a challenge to design and create a speaker phone dock. It had to meet the requirements of the client. This project was divided into four different sections: criterion A, criterion B, criterion C and criterion D. In each criterion, students were required to complete specific tasks that would eventually lead up to their final product.

For criterion A, students had to plan and conduct some initial research on the project. During this phase, students were required to research about the different requirements of their client, the factors of a speaker phone dock that make one successful and also some design specifications that would help guide the process of creating the actual product. For criterion B, students were required to decide on a final design, and prepare any materials or electronic files for the next criterion. They were also required to submit 3D models of their speakerphone dock designs. Because the students were given a choice between building their speaker out of acrylic, wood or 3D print filament, this preparation step was essential in making sure that the next criterion would work out smoothly. Criterion C was the highlight of the project, as this step was the phase of the project where students were constructing their speaker based on their research and preparation from the two earlier criterions. For criterion D, the students had to complete a “reflection” on the quality of their final product, and list some possible improvements they could make next time. 

As for me, the client I chose was a family friend that enjoys listening to music. During the first two criterions, I interviewed my client to get detailed information on his preferences in terms of speaker designs and themes, and then designed three speakers reflecting his wishes. My client chose one of them, and I was now going to build the final product for my client. 

Criterion C, the highlight of the Criterions, is very stressful as students must finish the construction of their project within the designated time period. For this project, the students were given four weeks. Failing to finish your product in time heavily impacts one’s grades. The heat was on. As for me, finishing my product before the deadline did not seem like a problem until the last two weeks of the project. 

By the start of the third week of the construction period, I was on pace with my schedule that I had created for myself earlier in Criterion B, and was about to start attaching my 3D printed pieces. I had printed some black-colored components for my product earlier using a 3D printer, and now I had to attach them to the wooden box using glue as pictured below.

[Initial design of my speaker on an online software. Photo Courtesy: Hanseung Cho]

But during the process of printing out my 3D components, something unexpected happened, which delayed the process of construction. Because 3D printing takes a long time, my teacher told me that if I started the printing process in class, he would put the finished product on the storage shelf for me to use the next class. However, when I went to look for them in the next class, they weren’t there on storage shelf. After frantically asking my teacher and my classmates if they had seen my pieces, I was flabbergasted to learn that they had been stolen, along with my speaker as well.

Consequently, I was forced to reprint the 3D parts and make the speaker again, which ultimately delayed my schedule. So instead of applying paint and gloss which would improve the aesthetic qualities of the speaker, I had to repeat my schedule from halfway through. In the end, I ran out of time and could not paint or apply gloss, and my finished product looked only half finished. 

[Picture of the finished product. Photo Courtesy: Hanseung Cho]

Overall, I really enjoyed making the speaker for my client and learning about different skills during this project, though, I must say, I was really disappointed that someone saw it fit to steal my hard work. Although my grade was not impacted (thanks to my teacher’s understanding of my situation), I was still angry that I wasn’t able to completely finish my product. 


Hanseung Cho
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Seoul Foreign School

Hanseung Cho  student_reporter@dherald.com

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