Going 3-D

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So far our industrial design class has experienced a whirlwind of chairs, mid-century modern history, and facts about laminate surfaces. But this week has been especially challenging as we narrow down our chair design concepts. We now have the responsibility to determine the best ways to use Wilsonart laminates to construct a chair that would represent our individual interpretations of “space” at its best. After brainstorming, sketching, and much discussion about our intents we have come to the part of the ideation process where we build 3-D mock-ups of our favorite concepts. 3-D modeling can be very challenging but mostly educational in a sense that you are forced to work with a material in the way the material allows.

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The Wilsonart challenge is to build a chair using laminates as surfacing materials, however for our first quarter scale mock-ups students used a variety of materials including plastics, fiberglass, paper, and foam. This week every student presented to Professor Jeff Feng and the class with an intent to let others perceive an effective expression of the theme “space”.  Though we are in competition with each other, the idea of this week’s critiques was of reciprocity. The hope is that if we are able to offer helpful suggestions to our classmates in terms of how to clarify their design then they in turn will offer constructive feedback on how to improve our own.  The best tell of whether or not our chair designs are successful is to lay your design in front of everyone and listen to the response. Hopefully it communicates what you intended. For most of us this was not yet the case. So we were given a second chance on Friday to improve our ideas and also to get the opinion of our program director Dr. Eunsook Kwon. This time we also presented how we expect to utilize the laminate in our design.  Dr. Kwon had very new and valued observations to share with us, as she was seeing our concepts for the first time. Together Dr. Kwon and Professor Feng offered much needed input as we continue into the final construction and refinement stages of our design project. I think most of us will be moving forward with more clarity and purpose than we began with, and it is very exciting to have a preview as to what to expect from the class of their chair designs.

By Carrah Kaijser

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