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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't hesitate to share the woes and frustrations I encounter while teaching furniture design. There is a reason I love the job though, and this week was a perfect example. Summer school students were assigned to design and build a plant stand to be completed in three class days. If the students wanted my opinion on their designs I'd share it, but this project was more about me seeing what they could come up with on their own.

The class meets all afternoon Tuesday through Thursday. Thursday at the end of class the projects needed to be assembled. They can apply finishes on them over the weekend for photos I'll take when we meet next Tuesday. Around 3:30 the first assembled projects started to appear. Parts came together. Stability was checked. Quick corrections/adjustments were being made. Complimentary murmurs could be heard with each reveal. I'd helped a student do VCarve inlays on the shelves of her stand, and the results only appeared after glue was dry and waste was trimmed and boards were sanded down. The leaf patterns that had only existed in computer renderings now revealed themselves as walnut inlaid into hickory. Oohs and aahs rose up from the other students when a glimpse was caught of the results.

That day was about victories. About the joy of seeing your sketch come alive. Smiles were contagious, and some dancing might have spontaneously erupted. I'll post a photo of the group with their plant stands after we meet next Tuesday.
4D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
No. A state university. Furniture design is a subset of the curriculum for both Interior Architecture and Industrial Design students. The classes give the students a chance to see the complete design process from initial sketches to finished functional prototypes. To see the manufacturing and functional consequences of their designs.
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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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A great story, and I'm looking forward to the photos.
 

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I too am looking forward to the photos
 

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This post sounds the way I feel today. It's been a struggle for months, but all of a sudden I have all of the tools together and working, and the long deferred "next step" of my project is coming to life. Finishing passes are running now. :)
 

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I don't hesitate to share the woes and frustrations I encounter while teaching furniture design. There is a reason I love the job though, and this week was a perfect example. Summer school students were assigned to design and build a plant stand to be completed in three class days. If the students wanted my opinion on their designs I'd share it, but this project was more about me seeing what they could come up with on their own.

The class meets all afternoon Tuesday through Thursday. Thursday at the end of class the projects needed to be assembled. They can apply finishes on them over the weekend for photos I'll take when we meet next Tuesday. Around 3:30 the first assembled projects started to appear. Parts came together. Stability was checked. Quick corrections/adjustments were being made. Complimentary murmurs could be heard with each reveal. I'd helped a student do VCarve inlays on the shelves of her stand, and the results only appeared after glue was dry and waste was trimmed and boards were sanded down. The leaf patterns that had only existed in computer renderings now revealed themselves as walnut inlaid into hickory. Oohs and aahs rose up from the other students when a glimpse was caught of the results.

That day was about victories. About the joy of seeing your sketch come alive. Smiles were contagious, and some dancing might have spontaneously erupted. I'll post a photo of the group with their plant stands after we meet next Tuesday.
4D
So much better than the story of the poor woman who could neither read prints, cut lists or even measuring tapes. Keep thinking positives
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
True RiovistaAndy. Today I expected a student to come in early so I could do her a favor and cut some text on father's day gifts she was making. She had emailed me a drawing with an outline of the area and the text where she wanted it. I went in early to set up the machine for her parts. She showed up late for class with no parts ready to cut. She spent a couple of hours preparing the parts. Her drawings had shown the parts to be 1" thick, but her parts (4 of them) were 7/8" thick or 13/16" thick. She had also rounded over the corners that I was expecting to zero the job to, so no file I'd already created would work. Tonight or tomorrow morn I'll be cutting her parts using my own CNC so she'll have them done at the beginning of class tomorrow. :(
4D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You will tell her what you've had to go through to do this for her, correct?
Heavens yes. I'll admit I'm growing soft as I approach retirement because in the past a missed appointment would have led to a "Sorry, can't help now." from me. Her excuse, which I think is going around since this is the second time I've heard it from students this summer, was "food poisoning" that led to her sleeping through her alarm and only waking up when her room mate got worried about her and checked on her. I'm beginning to think "food poisoning" is code for "hung over" as the symptoms are similar and the local bars have opened up again. 4D
 

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True RiovistaAndy. Today I expected a student to come in early so I could do her a favor and cut some text on father's day gifts she was making. She had emailed me a drawing with an outline of the area and the text where she wanted it. I went in early to set up the machine for her parts. She showed up late for class with no parts ready to cut. She spent a couple of hours preparing the parts. Her drawings had shown the parts to be 1" thick, but her parts (4 of them) were 7/8" thick or 13/16" thick. She had also rounded over the corners that I was expecting to zero the job to, so no file I'd already created would work. Tonight or tomorrow morn I'll be cutting her parts using my own CNC so she'll have them done at the beginning of class tomorrow. :(
4D
I'm glad you didn't use the word 'Assume'. 👍👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The program has been Interior Architecture with a minor focus on product design for the last 40ish years. It slowly changed to about 85% female and 15% male since the 1980s when it was mostly males taking it. We've just added an Industrial Design degree option which has started to average the male/female mix closer to 50% each. Not every student is capable or willing to think "out of the box" with simple design challenges like a plant stand. Especially when ordinary is still an acceptable solution. These students are now working on their semester project, and ordinary is off the table. Original design isn't simple, nor is knowing how to make their "out of the box" proposals. They've just had a critique, and only a couple in the bunch have ideas that stand out as truly original. Time will tell how their projects turn out.
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