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DESIGN METHODOLOGY
THROUGH FURNITURE DESIGN

by M. George Davis 

M. George Davis, 2003

 


I have been working on the demo project image to the right--a table project--total time invested is about 10 hours--two SolidWorks assemblies, nine parts.  For a designer, furniture is kind of a `subject of intellectual purity' that demonstrates how the designer thinks about design by forcing complexity and simplicity of style to be crammed into a genre of a utilitarian fine art medium.

Here is a preliminary pic of what I am working on--the subject, small conference tables, are designed as objects of group interaction for four people. My nature as an industrial designer is to focus on the user and not on the product.  The user is the real target to satisfy, while the product is the object of focus, but secondary to the needs of the user.  The reason for this is that if the user is not satisfied or served, then the product has no value or meaning.  Design is about the customer and not the designer. 

The first table is a an asymmetric design (on the left of the first image) even though it looks formal and symmetric, the asymmetry refers to the fact that the design forces 4 people to sit not at the head or sides of the table, thus the design forces a unique kind of informal communication--excellent for enhancing creativity, communication and sharing of ideas.

The second design is a dynamic design because it connotes to the users a sense of dynamic activity with the traditional seating arrangement of head and side; basically a power resolution form, establishing a dominant/subordinate seating arrangement for the users while also providing a sense of dynamic activity, with the legs splayed in a way to give the sense of motion, rapid problem resolution and flexible but tiered social interaction.  The color inside the legs is a muted yellow facing out to establish a subtle kind of indirect positive mood while providing sanction to the raw extruded form.  The inside of the legs polished aluminum to enforce a high degree of utilitarian smoothness, eliminating any sharp edges for those sitting at the table:  Both tables utilize a heavy purple stained top to give the users a sense of open space and freedom to expand creativity.  The tops also create a center of gravity with the elliptical slice out of the center to act as foci for keeping activity in motion but concentric to the table. 

From a construction standpoint, the designs use a welded steel or bolted aluminum x frame with aluminum legs, both sets of legs are extrusions while the dynamic design has some post finishing operations on the legs involving laser cutting of edges, filleting of the edges, polishing the outside and painting to a high gloss the inside.  The cherry wood tops are stained a subtle purple as a unique complement to the yellow and silver legs, or red base platform and legs.  The top is laminated and CNC machined to create the dynamic centroid on the top and the pyramid shape on the bottom--both providing an exquisite level of detail and finish that enhances the harder features of the structural supports.

The designs should give you an excellent appreciation of the level of detail I seek in establishing excellence in design quality and 
detail.

Two Demonstration Table Designs by M. George Davis:
Asymmetry and Dynamic Seating Arrangements.  Assembly Models
created using SolidWorks, and rendered using PhotoWorks. 
Estimated design time for full production level assembly for both
concepts: 10 hours.


INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND MECHANICAL DESIGN USING


2001-2012 Michael G. Davis and Headstuf Product Development