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    Digitizing A Place To Sit

    Of the four classes we are taking in Helsinki, one of them is Furniture Design with Julie Scheu.  A product designer, Julie is also in the process of obtaining her masters degree at TaiK, the industrial, fashion, interior, and furniture design department at the Aalto University in Arabia. 

    The course goals of the semester is to design and build a 1:1 scale prototype of a bent plywood production chair for use in a public space. Before we begin our individual designs, we are engaging in a short exercise to familiarize ourselves with the process of measuring, casting molds, and prototype modeling bent lamination. We are divided into 4 groups of two and are assigned 4 Finnish bent plywood chairs.  There are no current digital drawings or models that exist of these chairs.  In addition to studying the chairs for our understanding of how to create a casting mold, we are also contributing to a future publication that documents particular aspects of bent plywood lamination.

    Kari 3 by Kari Asikainen for P.O. Korhonen, 1982
    Bird Chair by Yrjö Wiherheimo/Pekka Kojo, 1993
    Petteri Chair by Olavi Hänninen, 1958
    Split Chair by Risto Halme for Asko, 1960

    We hop on an early morning tram to Julie Scheu’s office, grab the Kari 3 chair, then we are off to TaiK to immortalize the chair in 3D digital media.  The process of immortalization is accomplished with a digitizer, a mechanical arm that inputs a physical point to a corresponding digital point.  To calibrate the arm the origins of the X and Y axis are identified in the physical world and ported to the digital world in Rhino.

    A short break for lunch became an experience as well.  The hallways, the cafeteria, and the students at TaiK exuded Creativity.  Students were dressed in outfits that belonged in Hel-looks (http://www.hel-looks.com/) the style blog of Helsinki.  The halls were plastered in various colorful posters in various languages, the stairs were lined with hand drawings, and the cafeteria walls were coated in what appeared to be drip paintings of an anal Jackson Pollock.

    At the end of the day as Alex and I walked back to the apartment we happened to pass by a residential complex that was striking.  The steep pitched roof with windows lining the face caught our eye. 

     


    This work by A.D.Morley & J.A.Wong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

     
    Demonstration of the digitizer machine by Jennifer Wong, filmed by Alexander Morley.

     
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A new adventure begins as we finish one chapter; we hope to share our story with you. We are current graduate students at Washington University in St. Louis, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

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