The undergraduate furniture class in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design at FSU began the Cardboard Chair project in the spring of 2010. Students at FSU have designed, fabricated and delivered 250 chairs over the past five years. The Department of Interior Architecture and Design and assistant professor Marlo Ransdell have partnered the project with different organizations over this time including: The Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, Scottsdale Academy, Growing Room Development Centers and WT Moore Elementary. This year interior design sophomore students delivered 40 chairs to WT Moore Elementary on March 25.
This project asked students to design and fabricate a chair for a child to sit, read and connect with a book. Interior Design students were given books chosen by local school librarians and teachers and each book was identified for a grade/age level: pre-kindegarten, kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Each chair was designed to support the functional needs of the intended grade level through correct proportion and interaction level; younger children who are not reading alone may need a chair that allows another to sit or lean up to to provide more social interaction, where as, older children may need more focus to concentrate and read and can have an enclosure that would give more personal interaction with the book. The form of the chairs are inspired by the book and each chair is designed to include storage for the book.
Students spent six weeks working on the chairs at Studio D: Design and Fabrication Lab at the Carnaghi Arts Building. These are constructed primarily of cardboard and packing tape.
After Interior Design delivered the chairs, Bren Hader of WT Moore Elementary School wrote, “Thank you so much for the amazing chairs your students made for kindergarten. They are very creative and the kids absolutely LOVE them!” Hader continued, “All the teachers sat in their class chairs and read the stories to the students”.
The Department of Interior Architecture and Design housed in the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance, encompasses a CIDA accredited undergraduate curriculum and master’s studies for the First Professional, Advanced Professional and Master of Fine Arts student. Recently, the graduate program of Interior Design has been ranked by DesignIntelligence, a yearly publication of the Design Futures Council, as the “#1 Most Admired” in a national survey of deans and chairs of the discipline. Students focus on design theory, history and technical skills as well as studio classes addressing residential and commercial spaces such as health care, retail, office environment, hospitality and designs for special populations such as children, elderly and others in need of supportive housing. The curriculum prepares students to work in interior design firms or as interior designers in architecture firms–as well as in a number of other design-related settings.
Learn more about FSU Department of Interior Architecture and Design at interiordesign.fsu.edu.
Elementary student photos courtesy of Bren Hader, of WT Moore Elementary.