A slide presentation will introduce the history and development of chair design. You will be expected to observe and study the chair in terms of aesthetics, design and function. As chairs are such a familiar and plentiful product and sitting down is such a natural and necessary behaviour, you will start the project by surveying the college for research information. You should record through sketching and photography the different chairs that you see in the various spaces around the college. You should also look for students and staff sitting on chairs in the ‘traditional’ way and improvised seating arrangements as well. You should record posture, look for storage and stacking ideas, notice how the chair can encourage social activity or improve quiet study time etc.
Through a brainstorming session you will share your research and observations, this should help you to generate some initial design ideas. You should choose from the following list of options: Customisation: looking at how a chair can be adapted for various situations or audiences. Comfort: looking at how a chair can be formed for ergonomics or posture. Function: looking at how a chair can be modified for various activities. Once you have chosen from the list above you will be given an A3 sheet of line drawings of chairs, you should use these drawings to generate a prolific range of design ideas. You should draw onto the loose sheets and add them to your sketchbooks. You will also be given a template of a scale 1: 5 chair to cut out in cardboard and create a three dimensional model. You will then start to translate your design ideas onto your 1:5 scale models. This card model is known as a ‘sketch’ model and is an important and pivotal part of the process in developing a design within all three-dimensional design disciplines.
MAKING THE PROTOTYPE
Once you have developed a range of design ideas in two and three dimensions you will need to choose one idea to translate into a prototype. A prototype is a model of a design that is normally shown to a client before it goes into production. It has to display a range of elements; these can be functional and aesthetic and display form and material choice. You should now work directly onto the chair that you are sitting on. Add the materials provided to display the design ideas that you have explored in you smaller sketch models. When you have finished you should photograph your chair. Consider showing user interaction, detail and qualities of structure and form through photography.
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