Why and What Next? Reflection on the semester. Compare your original project intent to what you ended up with. What did you learn from your project, and from the class? What will you do next with the project? What do you wish you had done differently?
I ended up making a sharp pivot on my project this semester. I originally set out to make a lightweight tripod out of carbon fiber, and I ended up making a chair out of climbing rope! I’m really pleased with how this project turned out, and I definitely will continue to work on my tripod but ultimately I think the climbing rope chair made more sense for the purpose and goals of this class. The chair is more focused on design and aesthetics. It’s easy to make something that a person can sit on, but there are infinite designs and aesthetics that can be applied to this simple problem. I was inspired by the chair designs we explored in class, and thought I could use some of the materials I have around me to create something unique and visually interesting. Also, alongside this class I was learning how to use Rhino and Grasshopper, 3d modeling programs that allow for parametric design. As I gained more skills with these programs I realized I could apply them towards design aesthetics. The design of the tripod was always going to be driven more by functional goals, leaving aesthetics as a secondary consideration. With the chair, I could put almost all my effort into its appearance, designing it exclusively to be visually striking.
After building this chair, I there are a few things I would change. First, I would make it a little bit smaller. I didn’t quite realize the scale of the chair in my 3d modeling program, and it ended up like a huge throne. It ended up using two full ropes to wind the structure! I actually kind of like the huge scale of it, but If I were to make more I would want to make it on a smaller scale.
I found this class to be very valuable. It showed me that the aesthetic of any given object or design is both intimately related with the final design but also separate from the purpose of what that object is made for. It’s this idea that a chair can be modern or minimalist or victorian or industrial, and in all cases still be functional as a chair and also be beautiful and well crafted in each aesthetic. I really enjoyed this class learning about design, and having the chance to execute these skill in practice.