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Furniture Design Commons

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Notes To Myself, Anna Dawson 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Notes To Myself, Anna Dawson

Masters Theses

Immersed in the sun’s light, my body feels saturated, during a long day at the beach. When it begins to cool down and the day inverts into night, I watch the sun set on the ocean horizon. Bart Lootsma, the Dutch architectural theorist describes this experience of light as an immersion and inversion. Intangible, yet something to look at and something to submerge in.

This thesis is a personal journey, and an open exploration of the aesthetic and experience of furniture objects in everyday living. It is a collection of thought processes, observations, and speculations. Sometimes it’s just a note …


Miles And Miles And Miles, Shannon Rose Jones 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Miles And Miles And Miles, Shannon Rose Jones

Masters Theses

miles and miles and miles is a body of work that draws design inspiration from the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, a region unflattened by ice during the last ice age. The works are site specific extrapolations that have been abstracted in order to trigger a process of memory recollection in the viewer. Selections of atmospheric prose, furniture objects, illustrations, and imagery are presented as snapshots of a place in an attempt to memorialize and make tangible ephemeral memories collected by the maker traveling in this vast landscape. Attention is given to the distillation of form in order to contemplate its …


Just Enough, Amelia Greteman 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Just Enough, Amelia Greteman

Masters Theses

As a child, I never answered the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “a furniture designer.” Even though both of my parents are artists, making things never seemed like a job; it just seemed like something we all loved to do. Some of my best memories are of working in the studio alongside them - painting, smearing, building, and destroying, but always vigilantly coloring within the lines.

This thesis investigates my past and current relationship to making and the urge I have to simplify and reduce. It takes place in the form of furniture …


The Sky Is Falling, Alexis Tingey 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

The Sky Is Falling, Alexis Tingey

Masters Theses

The ceiling would fall apart in my childhood home, it was an old house. Occasionally a piece of ceiling would clomp down on my head. In these moments, I would pause, and close my eyes until an image of some fabulous, beautiful interior came into my mind, and then I would open my eyes and continue. Sometimes to escape a falling ceiling, I would find respite in my first ideal sitting spot, a post on our back fence; I would sit with the sky and think. Looking back, I believe these are the moments where I caught glimpses of the …


Slow Puzzle, Tzyy Yi Young 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Slow Puzzle, Tzyy Yi Young

Masters Theses

One may argue that we all observe. It is this finely tuned capacity that allows designers to read context and to identify patterns. Since I was a child, I’ve been a carefully tuned explorer of the world, observing the world around me. Yet as a designer, I take this observational impulse to another level by recording my observations and then translating these impressions into form. What is seen, felt, and gathered is then edited, nuanced, and reformed. This act of translation becomes a slow puzzle as I look for cues, acknowledge every facet, and conceive of forms in such a …


A Wavering Line, Ginger Gordon 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

A Wavering Line, Ginger Gordon

Masters Theses

Someone once told me it only takes a difference of ten degrees in temperature to change the entire course of the day.

I work with objects in collaboration with space, focusing on the intangible meeting point between visibility and invisibility.

Propelled by coincidence and temporal shifts, the transitory, the fragmented, and the found are all welcome, as are the methodologies of the Surrealists and Cubists. Born from a combination of fortuity and planning, curated fragment collages coalesce to represent acts of chance in three dimensions. Balanced forms weave and sway as small portholes direct a view. Form follows chance.


Mood Follows Matter, Maxwell Tyalor-Milner 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Mood Follows Matter, Maxwell Tyalor-Milner

Masters Theses

Function is an invisible thing - what disappears when an object is used? Ornament has long been considered an obstacle, a roadblock to forgetting. Capitalist logics of speed, efficiency, and distraction militate against a material culture that might require patient observation, against acquiring the skill to make thoughtful objects or the knowledge to read and appreciate them. The result is the impenetrable trash mishmash spectacle of virtual flea markets like Amazon and Alibaba, of trackable yet traceless objects whose visual identity is algorithmically generated - commodity mystification as pure capitalist abstraction.

While I bow to the quixotic nature of yearning …


In This Form, Together, Elana Shvalbe 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

In This Form, Together, Elana Shvalbe

Masters Theses

Most of my memories consist of lively dinner parties. Hands moving in every direction when the food is brought out. The piano bench for the kids to sit on, the fold out table necessary to fit everyone around the meal, and always endless stacks of plates. These experiences and traditions were curated by my heritage and have a strong presence in the work I design. I intend to understand and create interlocking relationships of care, where ritual and romance lead the way to form a community; designing and making furniture and objects that reassert hospitality within the home.

Hospitality is …


Conceptual Chair Designs: Study Of Materials & Craftsmanship, Aram Festekjian 2022 Union College - Schenectady, NY

Conceptual Chair Designs: Study Of Materials & Craftsmanship, Aram Festekjian

Honors Theses

This thesis is a study of different chair concepts made with various techniques and

methods. Usually, when taking a seat, people do not take a moment to appreciate the architecture and design thinking incorporated into a chair. The objective of my project is to have the viewer take a moment to appreciate and feel a particular way before taking a seat. I am inspired by many different architects and designers who have created chairs within their artistic careers. The thesis work includes four different conceptual chair sculptures made from steel, plywood, expanding foam, bullet liner, and bungee. When bringing my …


Superficial: An Exploration Of Decoration, Fashion, Taste, Camp, And Trends, Jillian Ohl 2022 Washington University in St. Louis

Superficial: An Exploration Of Decoration, Fashion, Taste, Camp, And Trends, Jillian Ohl

MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture

Since the rise of consumer culture in the late 19th century, Americans have had a complicated relationship with decorative objects, the idea of taste, and the cycle of trends within our classist society. This essay examines some of the decorative objects in my childhood home such as patterned wallpaper and an antique chair as well as a contemporary brand name mascara. While these objects do not have major functional properties, their decoration and superficiality bring me joy. To better understand my appreciation of decoration and aesthetics, I assess how an object or fashion is considered in good or bad taste. …


It's All Fun And—: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Space In The Pandemic., Erica Von Proctor Lewis 2022 University of Louisville

It's All Fun And—: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Space In The Pandemic., Erica Von Proctor Lewis

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This exhibition and document explore spatial rhetoric during the pandemic, utilizing materiality and relational aesthetics to reflect on the different ways in which the public and private are made distinct from one another. In doing so, Lewis addresses new cultural navigations of shared spaces, both digital and corporeal, public and private. In addition, the artist also examines the faulty social and institutional systems that the pandemic brought to light, such as socioeconomic dynamics and voter suppression, while utilizing Kenneth Burke’s concept of the terministic screen. Games are a central theme throughout the exhibition, as they are often coded as “home” …


Misled Youth, Mark Tan 2022 Virginia Commonwealth University

Misled Youth, Mark Tan

Theses and Dissertations

I’m a first-generation Canadian who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario by Asian immigrants. I have migrated to the United States and lived here for 7 years. Through my work, I express the emotional value of preconceived notions, disconnectedness, and longing in search of finding place and acceptance within a community. Drawing from memory, personal narrative, emotion, and perception, I manipulate data into lines, forms, and materials through a subjective human experience from the lens of a non-citizen. By projecting the migration movement of my family lineage from China and the Philippines to Canada as well as my path …


Dregs / Lessons From The Things Around Us, Juan-Manuel Pinzon 2022 Virginia Commonwealth University

Dregs / Lessons From The Things Around Us, Juan-Manuel Pinzon

Theses and Dissertations

The writing in Lessons From the Things Around Us is in support of the work in my MFA thesis show, dregs. I detail the progression of my making and thinking over the last two years. I expand on the material and personal relationships that have manifested themselves in the work and influenced my approach to the things that surround me. Finally, I point to a more expansive definition of Craft, rooted in its material sensibilities, and the possibilities already present in the field that this definition creates.


Defiantly Childlike: Using Aesthetic Resistance To Heal, Sarah K. Reagan 2022 Virginia Commonwealth University

Defiantly Childlike: Using Aesthetic Resistance To Heal, Sarah K. Reagan

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis examines an alternative processing mechanism surrounding the act of healing after traumatic experiences in life. Using a methodology of iterative patterning and tool-pathing, a collection of inflatable garments and wooden mannequins analyzes defense mechanisms learned in early childhood development. This work highlights an essential body of recent scholarship that takes cuteification seriously to restore a childlike approach to mastering fear. This paper will review the definitions of cuteness and childlike humor and then describe how visual culture has implemented these components to subvert established power.


Humanizing The Brutalist Interior: The Renovation Of Paul Rudolph's Claire T. Carney Library At Umass Dartmouth, Kelly Haigh, Ben Youtz 2021 designLAB Architects

Humanizing The Brutalist Interior: The Renovation Of Paul Rudolph's Claire T. Carney Library At Umass Dartmouth, Kelly Haigh, Ben Youtz

UMassBRUT Community

Members of the team that worked on the renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library, designed by Paul Rudolph and completed in 1972, share their design solutions for maintaining the integrity of the architecture and fostering an interior that is welcoming of its occupants. Discussions focus on interior attributes, human occupants, color, light and texture as approaches to humanize the massive concrete attributes that are notorious of Brutalist structures.


Humanizing The Brutalist Interior: Inspiration. Collaboration. Transformation, Leslie Saul 2021 Leslie Saul & Associates

Humanizing The Brutalist Interior: Inspiration. Collaboration. Transformation, Leslie Saul

UMassBRUT Community

This talk covers the process behind the design of the fabric and textiles that were added to UMass Dartmouth's iconic Claire T. Carney Library during a $48 million dollar renovation of the Paul Rudolph building, completed in 2012. Interior Designer, Leslie Saul, describes how she drew inspiration from both UMass Dartmouth's genesis as a textile college and Rudolph’s original color palette to create eye-catching interior furniture and carpets in order to humanize this particular Brutalist interior.


Taking Care, John Dixon 2021 Rhode Island School of Design

Taking Care, John Dixon

Masters Theses

We’ve come to live our lives on a quest for what we deem as efficiency, but has our view on the matter been focused on the wrong measures? Taking Care investigates efficiency utilizing a variety of different comparative measures through the creation of 8 chairs. When our emphasis on certain variables is shifted, is mass production the most efficient means of making? What about one-off production utilizing local materials? Does industry’s approach to ergonomics focus on efficiencies benefitting the employer while sacrificing those of the employee? Working from a Wendell Berry quote contrasting care to efficiency as a point of …


This Trash Is Someone Else's Problem, Lauren Goodman 2021 Rhode Island School of Design

This Trash Is Someone Else's Problem, Lauren Goodman

Masters Theses

This Trash is Someone Else’s Problem reimagines object design practices through a decolonial lens that embraces responsive approaches to the local environment and the communities that steward it. It advocates for design justice and social equality. The physical work was developed from discarded scraps of industrial waste harvested from the Providence area, such as wire fencing, oil drums, rebar and steel tubing. It was created without the use of expensive tools, machinery and materials in favour of a less extractive approach to design. In conjunction with the studio work is a series of community gatherings focused on low-fi ceramic pit …


Dress Your Chair, Yumeng Gai 2021 Rhode Island School of Design

Dress Your Chair, Yumeng Gai

Masters Theses

Upholstery is the dress for furniture. As apparel for humans, upholstery has the power to shape the identity of furniture. By changing different upholsteries, furniture will have fresh identities that bring vitality to both the furniture itself and the surrounding environment. And during the process of changing “cloth” for furniture, people will build a deeper relationship with the furniture they already have.


An Evolving Process: Patterns And Objects, Shreya Tuli 2021 Rhode Island School of Design

An Evolving Process: Patterns And Objects, Shreya Tuli

Masters Theses

This thesis investigates my life experiences,inspired by the surroundings in New England and India.

My process is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach. I integrate diverse media moving fluidly between two dimensional and three dimensional work, creating multiple layers of pattern and objects.


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