Tuesday, October 3 -Use it project

This project was mainly about constructing a chair. After being introduced to the history and development of chairs, we were asked to go around the campus and record through drawing the way people sat and positioned themselves. Back in class, we had to think of problems we found while observing people positioned in specific ways and this would form the base of our inspiration for a chair. It would have been great if the instructions had stopped there and let us finish the rest of the project from this last step by ourselves, but unfortunately the tutors kept giving us strict instructions on every single aspect of the entire project, which left no space for our freedom of imagination and expression. 

On Monday evening, the day before this project, I had done some research at the King's Cross campus about Robin and Lucienne Day, pioneers of contemporary design and found some great books which would inspire me to design a chair. I also searched for African chairs and arabesques because I thought adding some culture to a chair would be a great idea. I also brought with me on the project's day my book about Muslim Spain, which includes a lot of architecture. I had already started to think and imagine all kind of different chairs with different shapes the night before the project. On Tuesday, after lunch, the tutors introduced us to the next step of the project and this is when I felt frustration, anger, and disappointment. This next step ruined everything I had planned. We basically were given a card model known as a "sketch" model in which an imagine of a chair was drawn with dotted lines. There was actually three drawings and each was a different view of the chair: view of the top, view of the side right, and view of the side left. We were asked to cut on the dotted lines just like we used to do back in elementary school. After the cutting, we would join all the different views of the chair together in order to have it in 3 dimension and we would use this 3D chair as a base for our design. 

I was angry and frustrated because I felt insulted and treated like I had no skills. When I was just a little child, I used to have fun with paper and cardboard building 3 dimensional structures, buildings, and designs. When I was around seven years old my mother helped me build a 3 dimension house using paper and it was a big one. I did most of the job, but my mom was only there to support me. The part of this project that includes the dotted lines and sketch model was very annoying because I literally felt like I was treated like child. It Reminded of what we used to do when I was a kid in elementary school, which was exactly the same thing: cutting on the dotted lines of a sketch model. It was too easy for me as my level has increased since elementary school. I could have done my own sketch model, which would follow my own designs. This ketch model provided by the tutors had ruined my idea because the chair drawn on it (which served as a base for our 3 dimensional design) was too simple comparing to my designs. Most students at the end of the day had similar chairs because everyone's chair had the same base. The outcome of my chair sucked badly because the sketch model, serving as a base for my design, did not match with my creations as they were way too complex and was preventing me from maximizing my creativity and complexity. 

 

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Here is my final outcome for this project. You can not see it on these pictures and I was unfortunately unable to upload a video, but the back support of the chair can stretch itself back and forth. When we had to observe people sitting down, I noticed that most people moved a lot when sitting down, trying to adapt their position to their situation. When they wanted to be comfortable, they would try to lay down and when it was time to be focused, they would sit still, back straight. The idea behind my share is to provide both possibilities. When the person wants to be more comfortable they could simply lay down by extending the back support, but when they want to focus they would keep the chair as shown in the pictures. Of course, if I had better materials and more time, I would have made the chair adapted to the body's shapes, which I think is an important aspect of comfort. I would have also decorated the share and have it more complex in its design. What I have found particularly interesting with the development is that I kind of had to deal with engineering. At the end, when I tried extending the back support of my chair, it would cause unbalance, making it bend and the chair to fall down. I didn't think about gravity and weight. 

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© Ilyas Machhour, all rights reserved

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