This project focused on improving our wood working skills and craftsmanship. The prompt was to design a stool that would be easily transported by the consumer. All of the wood was to be connected using joinery, no nails, no screws, which I quickly found out makes the process exceedingly more difficult. It was certainly one of the more rewarding projects to finally finish, and I definitely gained familiarity with the wood shop.

Exploded View

Ideation

Ideation for this project was more tricky than expected. Initially we were asked to sketch some ideas for the stool but none of us had much experience in woodworking and instead came up with these planar "cardboard" designs as our professor called them. We needed to refine our designs so they would be suitable for both joinery, and the limited amount of wood allotted. What really wound up helping in finalizing a design was the making of balsa wood models. They came with their own frustrations, but they led to designs that were much more suitable for the project specifications. Above are many of my initial iterations, and below are some of my refined models once I found a particular direction. 

Components

Process

Final Product

After a long and arduous work process, I was quite happy with the end product. We were given a fairly tight time frame for the project but managed to get everything done in time. I wanted to create a design that was something no one had ever seen. One feature I particularly like is the cross beam leg design, which initially was a concern for the stability of the piece. However, once everything was connected, it made for a strong and sturdy construction, easily able to hold my weight. As you'll see in the bottom array of photos, the stool is extremely versatile for transport and can be carried from four different locations. Additionally the leg construction allows the stool to be clipped on to a backpack or suitcase.

Portability

This project started off with somewhat of a strange prompt, to design a beacon for a utopian society. My initial inspiration was to create a cantilevered platform design that would symbolize the class based structure of the society. But as strong as my concept was, I wanted to create a piece that wouldn't just wind up as a dusty old sculpture. I aimed to be able to use the piece, so I decided it would be perfect as a shoe rack for a cramped dorm room space. The piece would be able to hold three pairs of shoes and various accessories on the top platform. I also included a bold red paint job to instruct the user on where to place their possessions.