Update from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts

We're now three weeks into the summer design studio I'm teaching in Eugene. As you may recall from my previous post, the studio is exploring the design of furniture that supports mobile devices in a gallery context. A few interesting threads have been developing as the studio progresses:

1. Digital fabrication. The University has in house digital fabrication facilities, including a 4 axis large format CNC router. There are a wide variety of advantages to digital fabrication. Among these are:  accuracy, speed, economy, efficiency, mass customizability; much of this is facilitated by the ability to transition directly from the design document (in this case a 3d model) to the finished object. Frank Barkow of Barkow Leibinger has recently been touring with an interesting lecture detailing his "field notes" from a decade at the forefront of this revolution in design and manufacturing, that can be viewed here. We are thinking about how, in the context of a piece of semi-custom furniture, we can use the advantages of digital design and fabrication to execute our project.

2. Interestingly (and perhaps in opposition to the first point above), some of the students are exploring design programs which seek to minimize the impact of the mobile digital device. The conversation around resistance to the imposition of the digital voice in the context of an art gallery has been really fascinating to watch, and I'm excited for the students to have a chance to discuss these ideas with a practicing museum curator, which they will be fortunate enough to do next week. Which brings me to the third point:

3. The University and Second Story are very excited to have arranged a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland for this design studio. There will be more details to follow on this, but MoCC has generously offered to participate with the studio in an advisory role, as well as to host the final review of the furniture.

As prototype designs begin to emerge from the studio I'll share them here. Stay tuned!

_daniel meyers

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