Posts Tagged 'Furniture'

Designing Furniture – A blog to read

In relation to my previous article: Designing Furniture, I thought i’d refer you all to a blog that I have recently come upon. It discusses the three pillars of design: Function, Construction, and Proportion.

So check it out: The Craftsman’s Path

ANU Graduate

I was browsing blogs the other day (as you do) and came across an  Australian National University graduate. His blog is an interesting read – check it out: Wood-fired

3D design furniture

For all those out there that are interested in ‘whats new in furniture’ check out this awesome VERSATILE FURNITURE. I can see that if it goes into production it will be the new “bean bag” craze.

 

And what about these new bookcases by Danny Kuo??? Its a bookcase with a pull out step ladder so you can easily reach the top! Check out Subida del soul. It’s a new blog i’ve found displaying new designs, decoration, furniture and art work.

TurboCAD V’s FormZ

 

Why haven’t I posted anything for so long?? Well I have a new toy which is taking up all my ‘free’ time: TurboCad, Professional 15!!!!!

 

Part of the Design Arts course at my university is to teach students FormZ. This is a great program for 3d work but is very poor in 2d. Trying to convert a drawing from 3d to 2d is a nightmare and the 2d program is frustrating and not up to scratch.

My new found enthusiasm for TurboCad has come about due to the fact that as a woodworker it might be nice to model your work in 3d but it’s a waste of time as it takes many hours and, as stated above, to try then to convert the object to a plan, elevation and side elevation or just a projection drawing with the correct lines (that is hidden lines etc) is just plain ridiculous.

I’m rather happy doing technical drawings of my furniture by the good old method of pencil and paper; however my hopeful future employer told me that if I could learn and bring ‘CAD‘ into his workshop I would be a highly valued employee which would also give me more reason to state my desires to be considered part of their design team as well as a maker.

 

Anyway enough reasoning to the coming’s by the program and more on why I love it so much.

TurboCad comes with three manuals. (This is a large part as to why I’m telling you all about this program as you will all be able to learn it with ease – even those whom class themselves computer illiterate) One manual is of course the everyday ‘this button does this’ manual which is extremely thick and daunting. The wonderful thing about this program is that it comes with two other program manuals known as ‘Training Guide’s’. There step by step introductory and advanced training programs, not only telling you what each application or button does and it actually gives you step by step lessons to complete! ‘CAD‘ also has a powerful 3d aspect to its program and from what I’ve seen so far FormZ had better improve it’s 2d program otherwise there out of league.

 

In essence, if you want to have some creative fun, advance your practice, allow you to easily engage with industry and nut out those hard angles and mathematical or general design problems with ease, I strongly suggest you invest in a copy.

 

I’ve added some of my FormZ designs and models to show you and when I’ve designed some stuff if TurboCad I’ll post some images from that program as well.

Designing Furniture

Hello fellow wood/furniture enthusiasts,

In continuation to my previous post on Commissioned Chairs I thought I’d demonstrate my way of going about designing a commission or indeed simply designing a piece of furniture.

In relation to a commission I start by viewing the proposed space for the item to be designed and made. Following this I start filtering through the ideas of the (usually very excited) clients, narrowing down the some what ridiculous list, until I can see a tangible correlation between ideas forming what I foresee to be a good basis to begin my research.

Research I hear some of you saying. Let me put it this way; as my professor stated (something to the likes of): “furniture has been made for thousands of years, to come up with something completely new is relatively impossible. However to refine and better those designs of the past; To look forward to the future and to embrace the past, is the way to success.”

Yes it is important as a designer not to copy what has gone before as this would be the end of creative spirit, and would reduce me to just another ‘cog in the chain’ – a machine of repetition – devoid of individualism and self-growth.

Anyway back to research. So now that I have an idea of the clients needs and wants and I have viewed the area in which the piece is to be placed I turn to the past in order to point me in the right direction for the future. I sometimes feel (well actually nearly always feel) overwhelmed by the requirement as a designer-maker to come up with something ‘new’. Thus through looking at past pieces, which have aspects of the styles fulfilling the clients, and indeed my desires, I begin sketch. The sketching could simply be the piece I am viewing or could be a variation of the article in question, developing a series of ‘thumbnail’ drawings; crisscrossing and interweaving spontaneous ideas of my own to ideas of those before me.

From here it’s a matter of elimination and development of concepts. At some stage I put down the sketchbook and start making models (if I can I also make 1:1 models). It is this combination of research, sketching and model making which leads to a well thought out and refined design. A design which hopefully satisfies my clients and most importantly myself.

A development of ideas

A development of ideas

Commissioned Chairs

Thought i’d put up some images of the scale models I have been making for a commission.

I Upon completion of the two scale 1:10 models I placed them at the corresponding table model. It was clear straight away that there were dimension issues. The chairs seemed too big for the table. As an old country chair perhaps the size would have been ok, however in a modern environment against that table it did not sit well.

The table is quite large so the chairs needed to be adapted to sit in harmony with the table. I hoped to overcome this issue by reducing the chair size attempting to maintain its proportions. From here my colleague designing the table and I decided to produce larger scale (1:75) models. This was in the hope of clarifying the proportion issues.

From this model I realised that by removing the splay from the seat to reduce the size of the chair and reduce the complication of the joinery the chair lost its finesse.  It resulted in the chair looking bulky and bland, loosing its flow and invitation. (The photo is quite flattering though)

Thus there is much more designing required so enough blabber, it’s back to the drawing board.

Walter Gropius

“Art is not a “profession.” There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, moments beyond the control of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies a source of creative imagination.”
“Art is a profession that can be mastered by study. Schooling alone can never produce art….quality cannot be taught and cannot be learned… Manual dexterity(,)… thorough knowledge which is a necessary foundation for all creative effort, whether the workman’s or the artist’s, can be taught and learned.” Walter Gropius