ross mcleod


The Essential project explored the relationship of furniture which addresses the needs of our daily lives in the simplest of ways. From this base the studio investigated materials, manufacturing processes and construction techniques that informed the making of a piece of furniture that was lean, elegant, stripped back and essential.

Students were asked to examine the daily rituals in their lives and the role of furniture and objects play in them. Focusing on a set of activities they were asked to develop concepts for three pieces that have a complementary relationship to each other (for example a bed, a bedside table and an alarm clock or a chair a coffee table and a bowl).

In this exercise we were trying to identify the essential needs of the user. To this end students could invent a unique scenario or daily ritual and develop furniture typologies that are as yet unrecognized or undefined.

The developed pieces were made as 1:10 scale models in materials that were close proximities to the ones intended for the final design. This exercise helped the designers to see the pieces in three dimensions, practice techniques for the shaping of materials and begin to identify the parts of the design that would require close attention to detail.

Choosing one of these pieces the students developed it into a 1:1 scale finished piece. This required making mock-ups, testing manufacturing techniques and joining systems, the consultation with material suppliers, the development of specific skills with workshop equipment and the liason with subcontractors and specialized craftspeople.

Such work is best done at a steady rate and needs to be carefully and realistically scheduled. This slow rythym of the making process proved the most challenging to students who are used to the concentrated nature of producing design schemes on the computer. The mantra for this type of designer making was 'to go fast one must slow'.


STUDENTS: Kim Younsun Ryoo Eun Young, Ngoc Bui , Narita Di Loreto, Dinah Lim Fat, Anchalee Sroison, Theresia Utama, Ke Yang, Xueying Weng, Natassya Arief, Muhammad Rossenkhan, Ma Cho Shing