Course:
Senior Project, Interaction Design, Spring 2014
Faculty advisor:
Tad Hirsch
My role:
Scenario development, industrial design, interaction design, research, and bartending.
A special thank you to Chris Curry for your spectacular bartending skills.

My friends and I partaking in a more modern interpretation of punch, circa 2019.

Design opportunity
Punch Permutations is an exploration into the long history of punch, the precursor to the modern cocktail.
As my graduation capstone, the goal of this project was to use design thinking and create a novel food experience that teaches people about what they eat.
Its culmination was a sort of live exhibition at our senior show, where I was demoing drinks and engaging guests.
It's also a good excuse to bring a bunch of booze to class. You know, for research.
Background
When most people think about punch, they imagine bright red, sugary, fruit punch. Yes, like the Kool-Aid Man. The kind of stuff your grandparents were served at high school dances or during their holiday parties. 
But punch is actually even older than that. Its origins are in 17th century seafaring culture and the British East India Company.

"I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar, the odour of burning rum, and the steam of boiling water, as Mr. Micawber did that afternoon."

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Etymology
The word "punch" is derived from the Hindi word "paunch", meaning "five", referring to the number of components in the drink.
The general recipe was encoded by sailors in the 17th century as a simple mnemonic:
One of sour, two of sweet,
three of strong, and four of weak,
a dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice.
History
Punch held an important part in all social classes of British culture. The punchbowl itself was a focal point of many social gatherings. 
As a large format drink, punch invokes the idea of unity and society, by having a group of friends commit to finishing an entire bowl of the same booze.
This is in contrast to the cocktail, where instead they are a solo endeavor and personalized to the drinker's tastes.
The punch bowls themselves were ornately decorated, made of materials like porcelain and glass, and were even passed down as family heirlooms to newlywed couples. ​​​​​​​

Patch, Thomas. A Punch Party in Florence. 1760, National Trust, Dunham Massey.

Hogarth, William. A Midnight Modern Conversation. 1732, Yale Center for British Art.

Rowlandson, Thomas. Naval Officers and a Bowl of Punch. Undated, Yale Center for British Art. 
HE DID THE MATH: 
This rhyme can be visualized as a math equation with each flavor component as a variable in the right proportions. Anything can be plugged in, just so long as it is considered as a sour, sweet, spirit, base or spice.
After much experimentation, I selected dice to foster exploration and introduce randomness into the equation. I was inspired by the game Liar's Dice, a popular drinking game for sailors.
ingredients list:
Each individual die is a variable with each face representing a different specific ingredient. They feature some bartending staples like whiskey, gin, and bitters. 
They also showcase some really regional ingredients. Things like black tea and gin we get from the British. 
From the Caribbean we get rum, citruses, and batavia arrack which is a very aromatic liquor distilled from sugar cane and red rice. 
There we also get syrups like orgeat, which is made from toasted almonds, and falernum which is a spiced almond syrup. 
From these 30 ingredients across five dice, there are 7,776 possible combinations.

Each of the five dice represents a different component of the drink.

How to play
Players are invited to create their own punch recipe by rolling the dice and then placing them in the correct board slots.
From there, they can record their shanty on "punch cards" for consumption later. They can name their recipe, which is a tradition many historical societies did for their custom concoctions. 
At the live experience, my bartending team then mixed and served guests their own customized punch drinks.
Process
Below are some behind the scenes photos of me struggling in the wood shop.
The dice were made in the woodshop from a larger piece of walnut. It was cut down into a 1.5" x 1.5" strip and then into individual cubes on the tablesaw.
The dice were made in the woodshop from a larger piece of walnut. It was cut down into a 1.5" x 1.5" strip and then into individual cubes on the tablesaw.
If only I were confident enough to make just 5 final cubes and call it a day. I burned through and experimented on over 30 blocks until I had my final set.
If only I were confident enough to make just 5 final cubes and call it a day. I burned through and experimented on over 30 blocks until I had my final set.
After cutting and initial sanding, simple blue painters tape covered the entire dice. The laser cutter etches the text into the dice, creating a precise mask in the tape.
After cutting and initial sanding, simple blue painters tape covered the entire dice. The laser cutter etches the text into the dice, creating a precise mask in the tape.
Mistakes happen and they happen often. I burned through 30 dice learning how to align pieces in the laser cutter.
Mistakes happen and they happen often. I burned through 30 dice learning how to align pieces in the laser cutter.
Using the tape as a mask, the etched text was filled with simple white acrylic paint.
Using the tape as a mask, the etched text was filled with simple white acrylic paint.
After a second coat of paint the tape was carefully peeled off (gotta watch for those tiny counters). Then each face was sanded down smoothly and then given a coating of tung oil, for color and protection.
After a second coat of paint the tape was carefully peeled off (gotta watch for those tiny counters). Then each face was sanded down smoothly and then given a coating of tung oil, for color and protection.
In an early iteration, I tried CNC milling the board to create the dice slots. While it allowed for great precision in the measurements, the drill bits create rounded corners which were difficult to manually file into right angles..
In an early iteration, I tried CNC milling the board to create the dice slots. While it allowed for great precision in the measurements, the drill bits create rounded corners which were difficult to manually file into right angles..
The final board fresh out of the laser cutter and so.me scrap dice with different type treatments
The final board fresh out of the laser cutter and so.me scrap dice with different type treatments
In these two prototypes, you can see the difference in the square slots. The laser cut board has right angled corners and milled board has rouded ones.
In these two prototypes, you can see the difference in the square slots. The laser cut board has right angled corners and milled board has rouded ones.
Final product
Some sexy product shots of the finished board, dice, and cards.