The goal of this design project was to reverse engineer a motorized household item in a way that makes it better based on actionable insights discovered through research and user interviews. Improving the sustainability factor as well as the user experience was also an important factor in this project. I chose to redesign a pedestal fan in a new, innovative, and sustainable way.
Design a next generation pedestal fan that improves upon all actionable insights found through research
Pedestal/standing fans are outdated, inefficient, take up storage space, and most likely end up in a land fill after a few years.
What is a pedestal fan?
A fan that stands at about 3' tall
Pole for adjustable height
Oscillate back and forth
Where is a pedestal fan used?
Where is a pedestal fan used?
Rooms without A/C
How does a pedestal fan work?
The fan has variable speeds and oscillates using a four bar mechanism
Black & Decker
Oscillation, Variable speed control, Timer shut-off, Silent Mode, Remote control
Portable fans in the world
New fans sold every year
Of world electricity used by fans
What are some common safety concerns with the product?
Dust build up is the most common catalyst for fan malfunction because
Overheating + Dust build up = Fire
Users getting electrocuted is also a cause for concern but this is a known risk when using a product with a power cord
Questions for pedestal fan users to better understand the product
Where do you store your fan when not in use?
Does it bother you how much space it take up?
What are some features your current fan lacks that you wish your fan had?
What is the most you would pay for a stand fan?
Is sustainability important to you when purchasing a fan of this nature?
Do you sleep with your fan on?
"I don't like the way my fan looks, I wish I had one with a more modern aesthetic"
- Ben B. 22, Male
"My fan takes up way too much space in my closet when I'm not using it, which is most of the year"
- Lola L. 20, Female
Do you care about the aesthetic of your fan?
Has your fan ever broke/been replaced?
Which room is your fan most commonly used in?
User Contact Points
To understand the product and its functionality better, I did a product tear down. I disassembled every last component of my own Lasko Oscillating Stand Fan and labeled each component and its material. I found that the majority of the fan was made of polypropylene as well as a few metal components.
*exploded view diagram retrieved from
I drew inspiration for my product design largely from nature, but more specifically the Lily Impeller (as pictured above).
Jay Harman & the Lily Impeller
When I was researching biomimicry and trying to find a fan in nature that I could imitate for my design, I came across the Lily Impeller, designed by Jay Harman over the course of 20 years
Jay Harman designed the Lily Impeller for the purpose of a boat propeller, originally. This design at only 6 inches tall can circulate millions of gallons of water and is currently used in water tanks around the world. The nature of this design is much more efficient, so I decided to use it in my design to save energy with a low-power motor.