Design Review Part 1 – night stand

 For my previous project, my inspirations began with an aesthetic I wanted, and then I used materials that were given to me.  It felt mildly disastrous, given that I hadn’t factored in any contingency plans, and the materials continuously acted differently than I had expected.  Due to so many surprises from the first project, I took a different approach to this project.  

First, I didn’t want to be surprised how my materials would react in different situations-  such as not knowing if hot glue would be messy and/or sufficient to hold the materials together.  I understand that this will limit my design options by limiting my material choices, however I believe this is necessary in order to create something aesthetically pleasing in a timely manner.  I won’t be able to choose from any aesthetic, but I like how wood looks and what options I can work with; essentially, being limited in what aesthetics I can choose from using wood is not something that negatively affects my project. 

Second, I want to have a contingency plan.  I hit more roadblocks than I expected on my previous project, and I want to have enough time to tackle problems in a satisfying manner.  I want to give myself enough time to take a step back from my project and reevaluate my process if necessary. 

In order to make these changes, I decided to start with my material and object, and then fit the aesthetic to what I’m building.  My school has two wood-shops, with student and faculty workers there to aid in projects. Using wood and my school’s wood-shops ensures I have professional help and advice, so theoretically I will be able to fix any problems before I actually hit them. Another way I’m combating any potential disasters is forcing a shorter timeline, with a full contingency week built into my schedule.

I wanted something I would use often, and decided on furniture.  I floated between a coffee table, couch table, standing lamp, desk lamp, and finally landed on a night stand/couch stand. I thought a coffee table was too ambitious for a first time woodworking project, and I eventually decided I didn’t want to include electricity in my project.  

I’m aiming for a minimalist, slightly industrial night stand, with an open drawer space and a removable top. I have my list of materials and am solidifying my drawings this week with one of the staff members at the Idea Forge.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • There are so many resources available to talk online, so make sure you do that. And also just youtube videos. You really can learn almost anything you need to on youtube. Remember to look up and pay attention to special tips and tricks that are stated. There are so many things that take years to learn, but with the internet, we can learn it much faster.

  • Your presentation was very well laid out and provided more than enough information on your design process and what you are trying to accomplish. Like Noah said in the above comment, I also appreciated the thought you put into back up plans and thinking pro-actively about setbacks considering how events on campus unfold on a daily basis.

  • Hey Hannah,
    Great idea of building a night stand. I like the idea of filtering materials to decide on what you want to build, as that makes choices clearer. But as you stated, it also impacts the spectrum of products that you can choose from. The bigger concern here is with Covid hitting the campus, I am unsure about the wood shops actually functioning, have you incorporated any contingency plan regarding that? Since you are not willing to include electricity, you can think of adding other design elements like fiber or plastic cut parts to enhance your products. And since you don’t want to include glue or any sticky element, you can make press fit elements or add screw and nuts for your parts to come together. Also, are you using an existing design or have you made your design off it? Great idea again and would love to see the end product.

  • Noah Verspohl
    March 15, 2020 9:24 pm


    I like how you are trying to plan for setbacks. Now that the woodshops are closed or have limited hours do you have a secondary place you can complete this project? If not are you planning to pursue a different project?
    As far as your project goes I like your design. Having a table with an open storage space would be great to have. Have you thought about any dimensions yet?


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