Cross Stitch Table
The Cross-Stitch table was an exploration in using sewing techniques in furniture construction. At the time I was doing a soft goods project and was fascinated by the different stitch patterns used in sewing. I wanted to use stitching as both an aesthetic and functional element within furniture.
The seven separate components of the Cross-Stitch table are held together solely by the single length of leather lace which has been threaded through the components. Creating a visual element that ties the table together.
Knowing I wanted the table split down the middle for the greatest visual effect. I focused on finding a stitch that was both functional and striking to look at. The stitch I arrived at is most typically used to stitch two pieces of thick leather together which made it perfect for the thicker pieces of wood I was joining. I also wanted to carry the stitching into the legs so that the idea of the furniture being tied together would permeate throughout the entire piece. I originally intended to use bent pieces of plywood for the legs and use the leather lace to add structure, but the bent plywood lacked visual weight. After several iterations I developed a leg design which splayed diagonally offering a more dramatic effect. The legs are held by metal pins and tied into the underside of the table at their bases. All of the fabrication was completed by hand with several laser-cut guides to ensure proper spacing and placement. The table was built of Walnut and Red Oak finished in all natural Danish Oil and stitched together with Vegetable Tanned Reindeer Lace.
Mommy Mate – Diaper Bag
With the main feature being an integrated pullout nursing cover, the Mommy Mate was a project selected by the Quirky community to design a diaper bag specifically for nursing mothers. We leveraged the Quirky community to research the needs of mothers and where other diaper bags have let them down. Using this research to create a feature list, we set about designing a bag to meet the demanding workload diaper bags are subjected to.
We found that for most mothers, the diaper bag becomes their briefcase, backpack, purse, and shopping bag; so we created a section specifically for mom’s stuff, including a detachable clutch so it’s easy to bring around just the essentials. We brought the diaper bag into the modern era by making a dedicated, waterproof, laptop or tablet sleeve. The nursing cover can be detached for cleaning and worn as a scarf so it’s always at hand. With an insulated bottle pocket and included changing mat, we tried to make sure everything a parent would need was at hand. For the photo shoot and website launch I sewed a full prototype of the bag and nursing cover. The color was changed in post.
Wingspan – Expanding Bike Rack
One of the projects I was able to take lead on while at Quirky. The Wingspan is a bike rack for the urban commuter. Ideal for groceries and small boxes, the Wingspan can expand from 3in wide to 12in wide, offering some much needed stability to awkward loads. It has an integrated bungie cord that can be removed and repositioned for larger packages and a built in reflector for safe riding. The whole bike rack can be easily removed with a quick release when not in use.
I experimented with different designs trying to strike a balance between the proportions of the bike rack’s elements. After playing with different ways to achieve the expansion and quickly prototyping several methods, I settled on the the X shape for its simplicity and visual balance.
When I was confident in a design direction I presented CMF variations for the Quirky community to vote on.
The final design is meant to be both sturdy and easy to manufacture. Major components are extruded aluminum while the rest are two-part injection molded plastic. A quick release on the bottom secures the “wings” in their set positions.
MiQ – iOS Wireless Mic System
MiQ was a Quirky project designed to allow a user to easily record and synchronize recordings from multiple devices or instruments. It effectively functions as a base station collecting, time stamping, and storing recordings from synced bluetooth devices, such as smart phones, or Instruments plugged into the MiQ directly. A companion app makes starting, stopping, or pausing recordings easy, as well as allowing one user to change settings and effectively “mix” recordings on the fly.
The fist challenge with MiQ was deciding the constraints of the device and feature set. With many possible configurations and usages it was important for us to research the areas current devices occupied and discover a niche that was empty. After research we discovered the lack of a simple portable consumer level product. Aimed at podcasters, vloggers, musicians, and journalists just starting out we saw that the most difficult thing is synching audio from multiple sources. The MiQ works with a companion app or computer to time stamp recordings for easy editing later on, helping to streamline production for small operations and hobbyists.
The goal of the Droplet Radio is to explore new methods of interaction with a well known device. The radio was chosen because of its relative simplicity and the fact it’s existed as a product for nearly 3 generations with very little change in interaction. The intent was to create an interaction around volume and tuning that also communicated their current states. Many different directions were approached before settling on the concept for the Droplet Radio. Some used orientation and placement, others height or number of objects. Many of them were inspired by children’s toys and games, which demonstrate the basics of object interaction. Its the abacus, stacking blocks, and dice that show us as children how we can interact with objects and how they react to us. The final concept was inspired by the game mancala.
The Droplet Radio is milled from a solid piece of wood and contains no speaker. Instead, a surface transducer vibrates the wood, effectively turning the whole radio’s surface into the speaker. Additionally a weight sensor contained inside determines the volume, raising it when weight is placed on the speaker. Tuning is determined with a magnetic hematite stone. A magnetic potentiometer embedded under the dark strip of wood in the ripple reads the position of the magnetic stone and tunes to the corresponding frequency. In this way the radio operates without moving parts. Wood was chosen to create a soft friendly look while the ripple gives both an impression of sound as well as a “target” for interaction to occur. The idea is that through basic play a person can understand how the radio works in a very short time. You see it and approach it. You touch it. It reacts with a short burst of sound. You realize immediately the relationship between your touch and the volume.
The radio’s electronics were built using an arduino and coded in C/C++. Here is a short demonstration of the radio while testing the code.
ReCased was a project inspired originally by old styles of carrying. I researched old bags, trunks, saddle bags, boxes, cases, and more and fell in love with their aesthetic. The thing that seemed to tie all the different objects from different cultures together was that they all got better with age. This quality was something that came naturally from the materials they used and the emphasis on craft that was demanded by both the maker and the customer. One of these objects was meant to last a whole lifetime and many were passed down beyond that. This type of quality is something that is lost in our mass-produced throw away culture. The ReCased Record player uses a combination of leather, wood, and brass, to ensure both longevity and a pleasant patina over time.
I researched traditional, natural materials, examining their unique qualities and how I might use them in my design. I also explored how I could communicate the story of an object throughout it’s life. I specifically choose materials that would patina in unique ways to reflect the life of the record player.
The ReCased project was originally intended to incorporate two record players, but due to money constraints only one final prototype was made. The two players revolved around the idea of “Bringing the music” and “Bringing the Party.” One for personal listening and the other for larger events. The record players condensed the entire record experience into a single easy-to-carry unit. To save space the record player forgoes traditional speakers for surface transducers which are attached to the two panels of Red Oak in the case’s lid. These panels are vibrated by the transducers, effectively becoming speakers themselves.
The most difficult hurdle with this project was compressing the components into a small enough package. Because of the nature of Vinyl Records there are inherent size constraints not present in digital forms of media. This on top of the constraints of the materials and the manufacturing processes available to me guided my design to its current form. There is a revival happening right now in vinyl records and I would love to revisit this idea later when I have access to a broader range of materials and manufacturing.
Larimer Public Garden
Designed for the Kingsley Association we were given the task of conceptualizing what their current, hardly used, community garden could become. Our group, which comprised Alex Fischer, Erica Stine, and myself focused on using a system of simple garden plots and terraces to delineate public spaces throughout the garden. We wanted to focus specifically on something that could be built practically and cheaply. The plots were designed to be built with standard two-by-fours and the terrace walls with four-by-fours.
We looked at sourcing local clean fill from construction sites to fill the terraces and also arranged the terraces to take advantage of the natural slope of the site. A path cutting the corner of the site was added to entice people to use the garden as a shortcut from or to the local church, in this way we hoped to get people to notice and become more interested in the space. In addition to designing the garden we also looked into the creation of rain barrels to offset their dependency on the city’s water grid and encourage eco friendliness as well as designed simple to build composters to take care of their organic waste and provide a constant source of fresh fertilizer. We also created a simple branding campaign that used the distribution of seed packets in biodegradable packets to local schools, churches, and stores to teach people about the community garden and the goals of the Kingsley Association. At the end of the project we presented our design to managers within the Kingsley Association.
We looked at ways we could create unique and engaging public spaces through the arrangement of the plots and terraces. We also made sure that trees and rain barrels were situated to give shade to most of the public spaces and water access to all the plots.
The rain catching system we developed for the community garden was designed specifically to be used with repurposed barrels. The lid contains almost all the necessary components for the rain barrel and is sized to fit on most standard barrels used in the food and water storage industry. The idea was for the Kingsley association to either purchase or have used barrels donated to them from local food distributers and convert them into usable rain barrels in several easy steps. We included simple diagrams explaining how to assemble the barrels and suggested hosting community events where members of the Larimer community contributed in the assembly and construction of some of the simpler aspects of the garden’s design.
I love exploring how people interact with objects and spaces and have constantly built things my entire life. I have a lot of experience in model making and fabrication techniques and am very excited and willing to learn new skills.
If you’d like to connect send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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