Monthly Archives: September 2013

Brainstorming to Kick-off Our Ideation

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What is a better way to start a project than having a brainstorming session? When it comes to design, getting in small groups and discussing different ideas with your classmates is really more helpful than you can imagine.

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On Friday, September the 20th, our studio decided to have a brainstorming session; therefore we were divided in groups of 5 or 6 people. Instead of picking our own groups, the groups were randomly chosen in order to push ourselves to be out of our comfort zone and let our creative juices flow.  The day before, we had been asked to bring to class 3 pictures of our favorite things from mid-century modern design, the Wilsonart house and the theme of space. This allowed us to think ahead and be prepared for the brainstorming session the next day. On Friday, once we were in our small groups, every person had to explain his or her 3 favorite things along with the pictures that were brought, then the other people will respond with feed back and ideas. This was really helpful because we were all in a good mood and had an open mind to everyone’s ideas. Also, It was interesting to see all the directions that every one is taking with the project, specially the different interpretations of theme “space”. This creative exercise definitely helped us have a more clear direction to move forward and made most of us develop new ideas for our chair.

By Daniela Veronica

The Wilson House: A Mid-Century Modern Time Capsule


As our field trip to Temple, Texas came to an end, our guides from Wilsonart saved the best stop for last, The Wilson House. We didn’t quite know what to expect; we knew the story of the house and its importance in the laminate “world”, but what we didn’t know was that we would be stepping into a laminate treasure.


Walking through the door of the seemingly average house on a dead-end street was like hopping into a portal that took us back in time. After taking the first step into the house, we couldn’t help but feel happy; the vibrant colors that surrounded us plus the amazing people that received us, made us immediately feel at home.



Before the awaited tour of the house, we sat down and enjoyed a delicious lunch the people from Wilsonart prepared for us. Thank you guys!



After the delicious treats we sat down to hear the novel-like story of how the house was saved from being demolished, told by the hero herself, Grace Jeffers. She did not only stop the demolition but convinced the company to keep the house and went on to lead the restoration of what is now a National Historic Landmark!


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Grace took us on an exclusive tour showing us the use of laminate throughout the house; the material is everywhere but ceilings and floors. It is truly incredible!

Visiting this amazing house gave us a better understanding of the use of laminate and the mid-century modern style, making us even more motivated to find out what we can do with the material. Thank you to everybody from Wilsonart who took the time to make this field trip amazing! And thank you Grace for saving the house!


By Adriana Ayala

Wilsonart LLC. Tour

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Wilsonart founded by Ralph Wilson in 1956, has not only a great story but also great working facilities. Their factory produces more than 1.1 million square feet of laminate daily. In their factory, they provide great working conditions for their employees. The factory keeps their working floor very clean and organized. The way that their facilities are organized is amazing. They keep track of every department and their daily production. Their concern and appreciation for their employees is amazing.  They have zero waste program which ensures that no scrap goes to waste. Their concern for recycling is amazing since there are many companies that have no interest in the conservation of the environment.

By Arturo Barrera


Lecture on Chair History and Morphorlogy

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On September 13, Grace Jeffers was kind enough to give us a lecture on the history and the anatomy of a chair. She expressed a great passion for the history and the evolution of all of the chairs that she showed us. We were given specific instructions at the beginning of the lecture about how we weren’t allowed to take notes, but instead we were encouraged to draw the one hundred chairs that she showed us. Throughout the lecture we were introduced to some of the most amazing details on chairs and the names of the different parts of the anatomy of the chairs. We got to see the development of these chairs, and how different styles influenced new designs. To most, a lecture on chairs may sound dull and unimportant, but to a group of aspiring designers such as ourselves, this lecture allowed us to grow and to see the design of chairs in a new light. The details and that craft that was demonstrated to us in this lecture has had an impact on the way we look at design.

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We did rough sketches of every chair that she showed us, and labeled the different parts of the anatomy of the chairs. In our drawings, we paid attention to the small details that made up the entire chair and labeled them so that they could be identified later on in our process of design.

By Brenda P Arguello

Technical Demonstration


On September 6th our studio had the opportunity to meet with some of the knowledgeable employees of Wilsonart.  The day started with coffee, donuts, and gifts, then proceeded to more exciting events.  To most people learning about laminate it may sound dull, however when you are teaching a class of aspiring Industrial Designers about a new material, it can get a little wild.  The fun didn’t stop after Rico’s brief presentation about everything laminate because the wonderful men who has been sent to us came with power tools, laminate, adhesives, etc.


Time to get our hands dirty.  Our class broke into four groups and used the products that were generously donated by Wilsonart to practice our technique for the competition.  We tested a variety of adhesives; spray can adhesives, roll-on adhesives, water-based adhesives, and pressurized canisters that shot out pink webs of adhesive.  We were given demonstrations by people with experience, and even had an interesting talk about the financial aspects of selling adhesives.

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Tommy is teaching students to line up the laminates to the cube. The demonstrations from today made us even more excited about the competition.  We can’t wait to see what is next.  A big thank you to everyone who came down to help us today!

By Kasey Rowe

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