University of Texas at Austin, Prototype Seminar, Spring 2017
Critic: Igor Siddiqui
Collaborators: Alistair Benckenstein
UTSOA Design Excellence Award, May 2017
The 20th century paradigm of mass production within post-industrialized societies has been challenged today by digital technologies and demands for customization.
The stool series investigates frameworks of mass production and mass customization through digital fabrication and parametric design. The investigation is manifested through the design and fabrication of stools that exhibit serial difference while being a part of a singular family.
The stool was the focus of the seminar in order to allow the investigations to be studied at full scale - the scale of a product. Stools are relatively basic product pieces, rarely exist with ergonomic requirements, freeing the investigation. At its core, a stool is intrinsically a surface lifted off the floor to support a human body. Our design distinguishes the seat from the legs through pairing these processes of customization and mass production.
The mass customized seat forms are CNC-milled. The legs angle outward at varying amounts. The seat forms are all unique. The 3D printed parts (the joint and parts within the seats) are used to mediate the varying height differences caused by the changing leg angles, allowing all the leg components to be cut at the same length. Across the same stool, all legs are identical allowing them to be off the shelf and cut to the same length (to reduce errors in the process of making).