Wednesday, 9 November 2011


As this blog is amongst other things an account of my progression as a designer and a showcase of my designs I thought I would detail an important part of my design process which I have been neglecting, ideas and directions. I did a lot of this when I first started to design furniture as I did not have that many resources or tools to construct proper workable furniture, and as I had ideas coming out of my ears I needed a way to document and see these ideas in full scale 3d, so I started making mockups and models of the ideas and directions I wanted to take. These used various cheap woods and scrap materials I found from diy stores and around the house and proved invaluable in sorting out the concepts in my head and sorting the proportion of the designs which is vitally important if human interaction is involved. The photos below show some of the ideas I had made and to this day still provide inspiration and fuel for the designs I now make from quality locally sourced hardwoods.

  One of the mocks up I made involved modifying an old stool and adding extra elements to highlight and distinguish the structural elements of furniture. I did this by painting and extending the pieces that provided the most structural support. I wanted the object to identify its features more. I was pleased with this mock up and loved the fact I could see it and evaluate it in full scale. This model is now the basis for a range of furniture I want to make based on this emphasising principle (when I have the time), taking old furniture and reinventing it and making its individual features stand out for what they are, important

  Another model I made was for an idea of a leg arrangement based on a crossing over effect of the legs to provide not only a different aesthetic but a structural/sustainable advantage in eliminating unnecessary pieces to complete the piece. So I used bog standard wood from B and Q which was cheap and warped and I felt bad for using it as I was worried that it was not from a sustainable source and was a waste of valuable resources, but I later found out they were from a sustainable source.
  I cut and screwed the sections together and gave it a bright lick of paint to make its unique look stand out. And again I cannot begin to explain how satisfying and important it was seeing an idea I had in my head there full scale in front of me, it gave me renewed optimism to make more models and experiment more with the ideas in my head.
  So I am going back to making some more designs and experimenting with the ideas in my vast collection of sketch books. I will use scrap materials and off cuts of wood to really push out the concepts in my head into the really world and see if they will work/convey the right impression I am after.
  I am now finding out that this method of experimentation is invaluable in this day and age and will lead to the concepts being made into unique items of furniture. It will not only help in deciding construction methods but give me precious user feedback and opinions which are sometimes lost/forgotten when your stuck in a sketchbook or a workshop. So like this blog it’s a precious way to get my designs noticed and ‘living’, as furniture I feel is becoming a scarce practice due to the difficulties in obtaining sustainably sourced wood (price being the main obstacle and cheaper mass produced items). I want my designs to challenge, change and push forward new ways to get individual british manufacturing moving in the right direction, and this is one way of doing it, experiment, try and innovate in my own way.

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