Initially offered as a required course at the undergraduate level, Furniture Design takes on a new form for graduate students who choose to enroll in the course with Dr. Marlo Ransdell. The lab spaces at Studio D and Dr. Ransdell’s pedagogical approach of encouraging students to take the reins of their educational experience provided these designers the room for trial and error—a helpful learning tactic that is also inherent in the manufacturing process. Through process sketching, using software programs, and creating laser-cut 3D models, students worked through many iterations of their design before completing the final piece. Culminating in a month-long gallery exhibition, students enjoyed the opportunity of displaying their final furniture pieces for the university and the recent international AMPS Experiential Design Conference.
The gallery show, “Surfaces,” showcased student’s unique table or storage case pieces, each limited to the use of a single 4’x8’ sheet of ¼” plywood. Students were also challenged to use subtractive printing with the CNC machine and friction joinery techniques rather than glue or nails. The results were nine thoughtful and creative pieces, each revealing a bit of their maker’s personality.