The Performance of Making: Material Explorations Along the Product Development Path
During their Autumn 2020 industrial design studio course, fourteen 3rd-year students have been tasked with designing and producing “housewares” products that must strike a balance between the needs of potential users, the demands of small-run production, the constraints of a limited budget, and the considerations for addressing sustainability. In this collection of short videos, students’ performances of making illuminate hidden potential in materials and processes that will serve to inform and inspire their designs, tacitly and explicitly. This is your chance to preview their design-based making, which will ultimately result in the production and sale of at least 70 unique products in the Department of Design’s Third Annual Winter Market event - online this year for the very first time - and just in time for the Holidays!
Instructor/Curator: William Nickley, Assistant Professor of Design
Exploring Natural and Reused Materials
Lauren Goslee and Sandra Allen
We are exploring processes to create new materials and reuse old materials. By using the objects around us, we found a new way to repurpose these materials. We are exploring making natural dyes, creating bioplastics, and reusing aluminum, glass, and concrete to eventually create a product to use for relaxation. Through the exploration of our materials, we were excited to find these materials to be easy to use. We will combine several of these processes in our next stage of prototyping, as we continue to find ways to promote relaxation.
Amelioration of Campus Food Transportation
Blaine Hafen and Kate Belliveau
We are exploring many different ways to solve the issue of on campus food transportation. Important issues for us in our final solution include reusability and a sustainable design. Some of our explorative processes involve rough sewing and wire bending. We believe fabrics and plastics will provide sound structural support while being able to maintain an aesthetic appeal and sustainability aspect.
Using conventional materials in unconventional ways
Meredith Billman and Allison Krish
We are exploring the characteristics of ink, glass, clay, and concrete to expand on our knowledge of these materials and uncover new, imaginative ways to implement them in a project that centers around plants in the home. We want the experience of engaging with houseplants to be a memorable one, rather than a chore. We are focusing on taking simple, established materials and adding our own unique touches in a way that transforms the materials from something conventional to something unconventional--giving our products the impression of familiarity while also creating a sense of novelty and wonder.
Josh Leidich and Izzy Brown
By exploring a variety of different materials and processes--including but not limited to mold making, bioplastics, plastic bags, and textured cardboard--we are able to better understand many of the behaviors of the materials and how their assets can be utilized within the scope of our project. Alongside the challenge of keeping our materials sustainable, we are gearing our explorations so they can eventually serve as both plant and cat-friendly materials. Additionally, by examining the processes that went into our material exploration, we are able to recognize opportunities for optimization and potential setbacks early on in the process.
Understanding how wax behaves on fabric
Allison Cashman and Mae Welty
We are exploring the grocery shopping stages of gathering and storing groceries, in hopes to limit plastic usage and encourage sustainable methods. Our exploration includes coating fabric with beeswax and crayon wax by painting and/ ironing on the substance. We want to examine how the fabric's properties would change as a result of the wax manipulation. The wax serves as a natural process that can limit harmful chemicals typically used for material exploration processes. We are testing the wing machine’s ability to sew on the wax in order to construct a product that will be durable enough to store and transport your food.
Multiple Material Exploration
Calvin Dolatowski and Sabrina Young
Still undecided in what specific direction we want to take, our exploration of materials includes recycled skateboard decks, child utensil sets, and condiment packets. Skateboard decks are of very high-quality, yet after a skateboarder has dismissed a used “deck,” it is often thrown away. Our future product is still "up in the air."
Preparing and Cutting Glass from Bottles
Boston Logan and Conner Buel
We are exploring processes used to cut glass from wine or beer bottles to strategically use all the components that come from each bottle. By soaking a string in acetone for an extended period of time, the string is then wrapped around where the bottle will be cut. The temperature shock from ice water cracks the glass in a specific place to provide us with clean cuts to continue with in our exploration. We wanted to explore this technique as it reuses waste and also provides a safe, treated material to use with our research of coffee and tea.
Hybrid Arts Lab is a multi-venue teaching lab that experiments with how art is imagined, made, viewed and understood within physical and digital spaces. Venues include Hopkins Hall Gallery, Stillman Hall Tent, and online @ UAS from Home.