UW-Stout design students exhibited their molded plywood furniture designs at the Design Within Reach (DWR) in Minneapolis this past November. The designs were the products of projects in the junior industrial design studio, Art and Science of Production. The students were to design and build full-scale working prototypes of a furniture design that was easy to mass produce, ship and assemble. Materials were limited to steel and 1/16th inch maple veneer. “The lamination process was a challenge, “ Noah Norton, assistant professor of industrial design, commented. “We used vacuum bags and ratcheting straps with two-part molds to bend the wood into the desired form. It took a great deal of experimentation but results were great.”
The work was exhibited in the Student Gallery that showcased the process on one side and the finished work on the other. Design Within Reach, a high-end designer furniture retailer, agreed to exhibit the designs in their Minneapolis Showroom in November after seeing the work. Many pieces in DWR’s collection were actually used as inspiration for the project.