Given the opportunity to design for production, I chose to explore something that is always made in multiples: tableware. I started by asking what pieces would make up a complete, but not excessive place setting and then began seriously questioning materials. Considering the typical use of each piece, I concluded that plates should be ceramic, the drinking cup glass, and the tea cup and bowls cast iron, for its heat retentive quality.
I decided to tackle the tea cup first. Starting with a pen, paper and a ruler, I sketched and measured all kinds of cups to determine the right scale before jumping into Solidworks to nail down dimensions. Along with patience and time-management, I learned about mold making and pattern board specifications. Utilizing both the technology of rapid prototyping and the age old manufacturing technique of iron casting, I ended up with a nice set of iron tea cups and a lot of knowledge.
Next step: learning to enamel.
An exploration of wood turning led me to this series of pairs. Some intentional, some completely accidental, this series allowed me to focus on balance and relationships between objects.
A rapid course at California College of the Arts taught me the complex process of constructing soft furniture. After three weeks of thoughtful design, ergonomic testing, quick building, sensitive sculpting and careful upholstery, I was able to walk away with my first piece of furniture.
In a footwear design course, I aimed to create the shoe that is missing from me closet: a casual, easy, wear-with-anything shoe. When drafting my design, I was torn between two styles: a slip-on flat loafer and a strappy sandal. Wanting to make something fresh, I ended up with some combination of the two.
This is my design for a cabin in Lake Tahoe, California. While many parameters for the house were very particular, I enjoyed the challenge of fitting all the specifically dimensioned rooms and features into the tight space provided. With an emphasis on open space and smart use of the existing landscape, I was sure to take full advantage of the scenery with floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors (they really do slide)—it was quite a puzzle.
When given the seemingly simple task of creating a beautiful object, I challenged myself to design something—anything!—that also solves a problem. With such a broad jumping off point, I first narrowed down my thinking to the kitchen, where I like to spend my free time. It didn't take me long to single in on a necessary, but frustrating task made ever more complicated by an existing product: the garlic press. A running joke between my mom and I (and, I now know, a large population of the culinary community), is that there doesn't exist a garlic press that isn't a pain to use and/or clean. Furthermore, existing presses really only produce a garlic mush, which has too strong a flavor for most uses. Garlic presses do not account for the more subtle flavor to which slicing, chopping and mincing lend themselves.
My goal was to design a beautiful, hassle free tool that addresses the need for different garlic preparations.
In an effort to rid the world of excess, I created BASE—a concept store that sells all of life's essentials. Forget grocery aisles filled with dozens of variants of the same product, BASE has one simple, high quality version of everything you need.
I chose to package the BASE line of pantry essentials, the icons for which determined the identity's color scheme.
After dissecting and analyzing a retro, analog alarm clock, I was challenged to redesign the clock's exterior around the existing interior components. This is what I came up with!
Most people consider entertaining a stress-inducing hassle better left to someone else and would rather go to a party than host one. My grandmother, on the other hand, throws a great party and enjoys doing it! In recent years, her parties have become numbered and the expectations changed. Grandma’s once full-service Thanksgiving dinner, for example, has become a potluck as her age and arthritis prevent her from hosting the way she used to.
With its traditional, comfortable, and social associations, tea service is the most direct example of the intersection between the elderly user group and a love of entertaining. The act of serving tea is a tedious one made exponentially more difficult with the deterioration of hand function. The clatter of cup on saucer that results from shaky hands is evidence of the struggle of serving and acts as an audible reminder of the host's condition.
Aiming to solve this problem, I created a nesting design meant to be cradled between two hands as opposed to tediously held using a fragile handle.
When asked to design and build a tool that can lift an egg, carry it to a bowl, crack it, and beat it, I was in assignment heaven. Wanting to design for the home--the kitchen in particular--this project was right up my alley. Despite the many Rube Goldberg machines among those turned in, I decided to tackle the extra challenge of designing and building an all-in-one lifting, carrying, cracking, beating tool and this is what I came up with!
This design was featured in RISD's Foundation Studies Exhibition in 2012. It was then chosen by RISD President John Maeda for his personal home collection.
The article Inventive Tools Spark Innovative Designs was written about the project.
I aimed to create a lamp that is more than it seems. Combining hard materials and sharp lines with warm light and newspaper inlay, this lamp is surprisingly inviting.
Challenged to create and print a “connection” using Solidworks, I began to notice clever connections all around me. Fixated on the brilliant systems that we use every day without second thought, I decided to explore the spring ring clasp. While it is frequently used to display beautiful objects, the clasp is not often recognized for its own design.
Printing the piece proved to be much more complicated than the nature of the device itself. Given the limitations of 3D printing, I had no choice but to print the clasp in multiple parts and snap the two sides together, locking the sliding part inside. Considering and testing the thickness and flexibility of the printing material allowed me to determine measurements, but first I had to understand the inner-workings of the mechanism. After much trial and error, I ended up with a fully-functional giant plastic clasp.