My midterm project inspiration was based on an aesthetic, but I ran into so many obstacles that I’m trying a completely different approach. This time I’m making materials and my final object a priority. I want to make something I’ll be proud of, and will use after the class is over. Since I moved across the country, I’m highly lacking in furniture for my apartment. I want to make a coffee table or night stand, or something simpler but will still generally function in the same way. I’ve never made furniture before, so this will be a challenge that I’m sure I’ll regret at some point.
For materials, I can buy wood, wood stain, sandpaper, and brackets. I may even be able to find and use scrap wood at school and local stores.
The Idea Forge at school has a wood-shop, so I have access to machines and space to work. I will have to take the workshop before being allowed access, but that is something that can easily be rectified.
Depending on what kind and how much wood I get will affect what my final aesthetic will be. I also have to research how difficult woodworking different shapes, corners, and curves are, so I don’t try to achieve something I’m completely untrained for. The next step will be to research how furniture can fit into aesthetics. Since I’m limited with my materials, I feel limited in how many aesthetics I’ll be able to fit into. I’m sure if I spend more time on research I’ll be able to find a way to fit into whatever aesthetic I choose, but I don’t want to take on something bigger than I can accomplish in this time frame, or choose a material that is difficult to acquire.
For the dynamic aspect, I’m looking at swiveling tops, drawers, and entire stands. I will need to decide on the final dynamic part before I start, since it will most likely affect the entire design process. Below are some examples of furniture I’ve been looking at for inspiration. Most of the different shapes come from what material is used, so I will try to procure as much material as possible before deciding on a design and aesthetic. While I may not have ALL my materials, seeing what’s easily and readily available is still helpful.
I must say I was initially drawn to your post by the title of “something useful” as that is something I feel is important in situations like this especially if sinking some worthwhile cash in involved. I think you have a particularly interesting project ahead of you that can take many different directions. As far as aesthetics I choosing woodworking as a general concept is wise as there are many different paths to take such as following the footsteps of George Nakashima and using wood slabs or going more of an sensational route and doing something that incorporates resin work. Also on a different note I have a good amount of gun stock red wood stain and protective resin for treating wood so if you’re trying to save a buck in the production of your piece hit me up on slack or via carrier pigeon.
This is an awesome idea, something that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical is the ideal product, in my opinion. However, I think letting both the materials available to you and the techniques involved in the table’s manufacturing can be a bit paralyzing, since there are so many variables with regards to both of those. Instead, I would recommend really looking at what sort of coffee table most appeals to you, and then define the aesthetic it fits, so you are ending up with a product you know will look great in your apartment. It could be helpful for the progress of this table if you have a clearer goal in mind first. But it does look like you are drawn to that particular design already! Granted, everyone’s design process is unique to them, so I totally get if what I’m saying is 100% disagreeable with you, but I wanted to suggest an avenue for you as I would personally feel stuck if I were in your position. Rise to the challenges rather than letting them rule out an option for you!