Five recent graduates from the Boat Building Academy and the Academy’s furniture making course joined us for four weeks to design and build furniture for the empty spaces of Student Lodge 3. Taking inspiration from the building and the woodlands beds, cabinets, desks and chairs were produced. For the designer-makers they had an opportunity to develop a portfolio and experiment with digital design; for the AA we furnished SL3 with bespoke furniture. The pieces use Beech cut and sawn originally for the Timber Seasoning Shelter and rejected for quality reasons. The beech was kiln-dried on site before manufacturing.
The furniture uses a mix of ply and solid beech. The beech origin was thinnings from compartment 9a at Hooke Park and was originally destined for the Timber Seasoning Shelter. Rejected on the grounds of quality for TSS the furniture makers were able to make use of short length sections between knots, shakes and twists in the kiln dried timber. The printed ply used in the chairs and blinds was sent away to be printed; the leather used in the chairs came from the last traditional tannery in England close by in Ottery St Mary.
Design was by group discussion, sketching and CAD drawing in week one. Week two was primarily prototyping and weeks three and four building. Designs demonstrate the mix of backgrounds in the designer/makers: All studied either boat building or furniture making at the Boat Building Academy and some have a digital design background. Pieces such as the cupboard explicitly reference boat building techniques whilst the work chairs are an exercise in digital design and CNC cutting.
Subsequent to the Furniture Build James Vooght has built cupboards for Westminster Lodge which again use ply predominantly as is used in the pre-existing built-in furniture with beech detail to bring the dramatic view of growing beech out of the windows inside.
Matt Cotterill – Coffee table, metal sided desk
Hector Kennard – Easy chairs, cork stools
Jack Livesey – Storage pods, A frame desk and sidetable
Rob Murphy – Cupboard, storage pods
Josh Rose – Work Chairs, window blinds
James Vooght – Beds, folding stools, Westminster Lodge cupboards, SL1&2 workspace