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DI Details Newsletter June 2010 Design Institute of San Diego

A Graduate With Style

Impacting Lives from the Inside Out

Can I Get That Green Chair in Blue, Please?

Anne Kellett wins award for CATaquarium

LIBRARIAN'S CORNER - Magnificent Plants, Magnificent Photography


Cereal Boxes. Coca Cola cans. Old clothes.

Bottle caps. Old magazines. Empty water bottles. A surfboard. Fabric. Twigs. Twine. Coat hangers. These are just a few of the myriad of reclaimed and recycled materials the students in Debby Kline's Elements II class recently used to build full scale chairs.

When you consider there's nothing more universal than a chair in the world of interior design, it should come as no surprise that Design Institute first year students took on the challenge of developing their design concepts with a great deal of creative energy and enthusiasm!

Beginning with a series of concept sketches, students next tested their ideas by building a scale model. These scale models were a critical step in the process because it allowed the student designers an opportunity to investigate various ways to combine reclaimed and recycled materials.

The scale model also allowed the designer an opportunity to engineer a chair that would be both aesthetically pleasing and able to hold weight. After working through various design and engineering issues in their scale model, students were on their way to building their full sized chairs.

The Moment of Truth
The day for final presentations arrived and, as one might guess, the energy level in the studio was incredibly high. Would all these imaginative chairs stand up to the test? A team of spotters was standing by, just in case a chair fell short of its purpose.

The result: An unqualified success! Not only did all the chairs presented look fantastic, but perhaps more importantly they but did what a chair is designed to do: hold weight.

The next step? A campus competition, of course! Which of these chairs would the student body, administration and faculty consider the best design and most imaginative use of recycled and reclaimed materials?

Voting was heavy throughout the day, but at day's end three chairs stood out as this semester's "Best in Show":

  • Kassie Dague's chaise lounge in steel bar, wood and twine earned an Honorable Mention
  • Leane Welly's creation in lucite and old magazines snagged Second Place
  • And the First Place winner? Christine Tenpas' composition in bottle caps and hub caps
Haven't taken DI's Elements II class yet? You might want to start thinking about what your chair will be like.

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