Being a part of a community that is fortunate enough to have decent sized homes with backyards/lawns or patios, we decided to focus on Lawn/Patio chairs and our target audience will be the Upper Middle Class.The purpose of creating chairs for this specific sector is because lawn chairs/patio chairs are usually found in upper middle class to upper class residential spaces. Not only does this add cohesion and completion to the outer area of residence spaces, it also gives it a more comfortable vibe, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing. Since lawn/patio chairs are often either too basic or too fancy, we decided to create these chairs through maintaining a balance in both of the areas.Through the three different -yet cohesive seating designs- our group wants to focus on the creation of 3 individual seatings through the use of common materials and connections(wood,tongue and slot joints,etc). In order to ensure that our chairs were being made for the appropriate sector of the society (Upper Middle Class), the following research was conducted:
In an exhibition in Moscow ( American National Exhibition), a typical middle class home(three bedroom and one and a half bath) is said to display “american comfort”- bright, cheerful and well-furnished.An average american middle class is made up of 25% to 66% of households. This entails, highly educated, working professionals and managers, etc. Having a college education also is a prominent feature of a middle-class status.This status also puts emphasis on individuality and freedom, following essential standards and valuing non-conformity. The upper middle class entails an estimate of 15% of the American population. However, today the rate of middle class americans are down to 49.9% from the initial 61% of the american population that it was comprised of in 1971. American middle-income individuals are defined as adults with per annum household incomes of about $42,000 dollars to $126,000 for a residence comprising 3 members.According to science direct, a strong community is one that is comprised of improvement in wellbeing and an ascend to the health and safety of a community and in participation through civic responsibility. “here are many definitions of public space within the published literature. ‘True’ public space is recognised as being accessible to all groups, providing freedom of action, temporary claim and ownership (Altman & Zube, 1989; Carr, Francis, Rivlin, & Stone, 1992).”(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494412000461)
- Urban Lounges/ patios
- Wooden Stools
End decision: Patio Chairs
For my chair, I wanted to create something simple, yet elegant. I felt that in the project, simplicity is better. I wanted to use clean lines and light colors, keeping it color so it doesn’t look too heavy.
Initial Design Concepts
In the end, I decided to create a stool where the top comes off and the lefts turn into each other. Since our community is upper-middle-class society, this stool is not only aesthetically pleasing but easy to transfer and mass produce for easy maneuverability in yards. It is a great stool for gatherings.
Once my idea was solidified I started with my 3D sketch models
It looked solid so I started a 3D model in real dimension to gauge the size.
Ultimately I ended up deciding to us Plywood to create my final piece and have a cushion ontop of time allowed.
Once the 3D model was finished I created an Illustrator file for the laser lab so I could 3D print, but then a problem occurred. Turns out the plywood that I got was too thick to be cut by the laser so I had to rethink my process.
After a day of stress, I decided to go the traditional route and cut it all by hand. I still used the illustrator file as a template to make sure all my pieces are drawn the same way.
I proceeded to cut the legs in the wood shop. First I just cute basic straight lines and then used aa couple different techniques to get the curve effect I wanted.
For the bigger curve of the top, I just used the saw, but for the smaller curve on the bottom I used a drill to get a small hole made before cutting the excess of the sides.
This is what the final legs looked like:
Once the lefts were cut out I used door hinges to connect them together, allow them to rotate and close.
Once the hinges were securely drilled on, I began cutting out the seat.
The seat is attached by filling the hole created when all the legs are spread open. The seat is flat, but underneath I drilled on smaller circle pieces to allow the seat to fit on.
This is what the final skeleton of the chair looks like:
To make the chair look more professional and consumer friendly, I decided to stain the wood and add a cushion to the top for comfort.
I added a fabric ontop to make it look more aesthetic
The cusion was then nailed down by a nail gun.
But because this was really messy looking I decided to add another layer of fabric over it to clean it up. The fabric was first wrapped around a piece of chipboard for structure.
The stain also turned out really well
Once the stain was dried, I was basically done with my chair.
In terms of packaging my team wanted to keep it simple and eco-friendly to not only keep the cost of the product low but to make sure we don’t kill the planet in the process. This led us to use a simple cardboard box with just a few simple words on the front to help people decipher the product. Each box is tailored to the specific stools
We decided to call our chairs the ombre collection because each of our whites were a little bit different and it went from dark to light.
This was by far my favorite project of the semester. I love making things that are actually applicable in the real world because it really makes me feel like I am doing something useful. In fact, after this project is over, I’ll be using my stool in my dorm since at the moment my suite shares one stool between the four of us. The most challenging part of this project was the fact that I wasn’t able to use to laser lab because of the wood I chose. It was a really big set back since I spent nearly three days sawing and sanding the lefts to get them in the shape that I wanted, and even when it was too my liking I knew it wasn’t as good as it would have been if I had just laser cut. This setback also cost me a lot of time for my other projects as it delayed me three days from the timeline we created at the beginning of the project. However, everything turned out well in the end because the top of the stool was made a lot faster than I had anticipated. In fact, I had so much time that I was able to add a cushion on with the last few days that I had. And that was the best part because with the cushion I think the stool was pushed to another level. Making the cushion was the best part for me because it gave me a change to use a lot new tools like the nail gun and learn how to handsew. Staining the wood was also a good idea because I think it really tied everyones chairs together in the group. Before they were all different colors which made them less cohesive. My team was also really amazing and did their best to keep to the timeline. Everyone was willing to help each other when one person fell behind so everyone was able to finish on time. All in all this chair was super fun to make and really pushed me in terms of not settling for average.