Over the next five weeks Me and my partner that we got paired with today will design useful and functional pieces of Furniture and to learn new skills. This Field Project introduces you to the skills and concept development processes needing to be deployed when designing Furniture. The Furniture designer needs to fully consider a number of different elements when preparing designs for a new situation, be that a ‘one-off’ or bespoke piece of furniture, or a batch or mass manufactured piece of furniture. We will be exploring how different materials can be used either singularly or in combination with others to create a unique design which responds to a design brief written in response to a client interview.
The project is to make a piece of furniture that works and is safe that also stands up and is comfortable. It should be cleve and sympathetic in the way it combines newly designed components and pre existing materials.
We will be making this chair for a member of staff and our chair needs to be aimed at them and include things that remind us of them. We will be asking out client a few questions to get a feeling of the likes and dislikes and what type of person she/he is.
‘The Design Brief’
We are required to design and make a ‘bespoke Chair/stool or seat’ responding to a specific Project brief based on the results from a staff/client interview. We will create a moodboard for that member of staff, and this will help create the detail for our individual project that we will respond to when designing our chair. Our moodboard will be in the format of an A3 poster, (one per team member.)
Stage 1– Furniture Design Sketchbook roll
For this project we will each construct our own sketchbook roll. This will be made from a roll of lining paper, (wallpaper) weight should be 1000.
We will use your sketch-roll to record all parts of this project.
Stage 2 – The Personal/client Interview
Me and my team partner will be conducting the Personal interview with a member of staff. We will meet her at the arranged time and our interview should take no longer than 20 mins. We will focus our attention on our client and will understand more about our client’s individual experiences, their needs, and wants. It will draw out information that might be used for further research in a literal, or lateral/abstracted way when we start the concept development stage. Draw a visual representation from the responses given to the Personal Questionnaire on our sketchroll and from this construct a moodboard which illustrates and describes our client’s character etc.
Stage 3 – Dimensional Research
With my team partner conduct primary research into the ergonomics and anthropometrics of the following: a Sofa or Armchair, Dining or desk chair, and operators/workstation chair. Record our full sized dimensions on our sketchrolls, use line drawings of the pieces of furniture you’ve chosen to measure, see handout notes to guide you.
We should end up with approx’ 6 sets of dimensions. The dimensional data you need to record is: seat height; seat depth; seat width; seat angle; backrest height; backrest angle; armrest height (if present). This data will help support decisions you make through the scale model-making and full sized prototype stages.
Stage 4 – Modelmaking Exercises
Next we will explore 3D form using line and plane. Create multiple models using wire (line) and card (plane). Both exercises test our abilities to model to scale and use of creativity. We can use a 300mm manikin to create and visualise these models. Remember to divide full size measurements by 5.6, this will give us the correct scale dimensions for our models. Record these line and plane designs in my sketchrolls, and develop these using sketch development, try combining both my line and plane concepts sympathetically and carefully and in so doing creating new designs using both line and plane.
Stage 5 – Materials
We will be given 16 square feet, 4’x4’x12mm, or 1200x1200x12mm sheet of birch faced multiply per team. This will be our principal building material, and our design development must take this material into account. Secondary materials used in our design are our choice, however the use of these must be recycled or up-cycled, (not bought) and may have some literal or lateral connection to your client.
Stage 6 – Dirty Sketch Models & Refined Concept Models
Next reflect on your line and plane models and take the best of these to develop further, this time paying more attention to the detail design. The ‘Dirty Sketch models’ refers to scale models that can be constructed from any appropriate materials. Your ‘Refined Concept Models’ refers to models made from more accurate modeling materials which will resemble the final desired design, these models can be made using the laser cutters and laser ply. Joe Venables in the soft modelling workshop will be giving laser cutter demos, times are given on the project timetable. You can use the scale manikin to indicate scale and realism. Record all design decisions and photos of all models in your sketchrolls.
Stage 7 – Full size Marquette
Transfer dimensions from your refined concept model and scale up to full size. Once you are satisfied that these measurements are correct you can then start to build your full size prototype. You will be given advice on the joints you can use, and how these are made on the CNS router. You should consider testing this full size prototype before refining further into your finished chair design. Re/up-cycled materials will probably need attention, repair or reconditioning, this may be cosmetic, or structural repairs, again ensure you document this work in your sketchrolls, and in your blogs.
Stage 8 – Chair Manufacture – CNC Router in FabLab
Plan this part of your project carefully so that you make full use of the workshops available to you. Remember you’ll all need to use these, and it may take longer than you think to gain access and get things made. The manufacture of your chair is to be done using the CNC router in the FABLAB. You will be instructed on how to use this under supervision, and will include which drawing package to use for best transfer to the machine.
Stage 9 –Chair/stool/seat Critique:
Thursday 14th December – 3.00-5.00pm, Heart Space, B Block
Your clients have been invited to inspect their chairs as part of the critique and formative assessment. It is strongly recommended that you carry out a ‘dry-run’ assembly prior to the assessment day ensuring your chair fits together perfectly, and ensuring that they properly completed and assembled before the critique day.