Design Problem

Furniture is integral to how we interact with a space and utilise it. Furniture can both optimise space or limit it. Therefore it is important to have affordable, sustainable, durable, and aesthetic furniture to ensure that we can utilise the furniture and the space it inhabits to its fullest potential. Especially for outdoor furniture, as shown by the many students at ISK who want to work outside and enjoy the benefits of nature. But due to the currently used wooden and fragile furniture, it can be uncomfortable as the table will not be level due to its legs sinking into the mud. Or the chairs rotting and falling apart from weather damage. Leading to an endless cycle of buying new non-sustainable furniture to replace the previous non-sustainable furniture over and over. So to solve this problem, I want to create long-lasting outdoor furniture that can withstand these elements and can be easily produced and used. As well as be aesthetically pleasing. 

I want to create something both beautiful and functional, as well as beneficial to the environment. 

Design Process

I want to create outdoor furniture of only the essentials for students who want to work outside, as I only have the capacity to create a few products. From interviewing ISK students, I deduced that they wanted a larger working table so that up to 8 people could comfortably work on it. They wanted a chair that placed them at a comfortable working-on-a-laptop height in relation to the table. And that the bench should be able to fit 6 people comfortably. Thus the products I will make are a modular bench that extends into a daybed, a side table for the bench, a stool/chair, and a large working table.

Once I had decided on the products I wanted to create, I researched what materials I had available for me at the school junkyard, what products the Plastiki Rafiki could create, and other local recycled products. Then I began to brainstorm and sketch out my ideas. Next was prototyping and testing, then revisiting the drawing board to adjust my designs accordingly, and lastly, creating the final product. 

Brainstorm Sketches of bench design
A rocking stool made with a tire and plastiki rafiki sheet
Side table made with Tires and Plastiki rafiki sheet

Process Journal – Slideshow