Mick kennedy – Eat With Your Eyes: The Architecture of Objects

The studio used the design and fabrication of furniture objects as fertile territory to explore and clarify design ideas pursuant to larger architectures. The studio work provided the collective setting for the fourth student hosted Pranzo di Ferraprile (Mid April Lunch) at semester’s end. The studio selected for study, as virtual mentors, the design and fabrication processes of Italian designers spanning from the early 20th to early 21st c. For further research and inspiration the studio traveled to Milan for the Salone di Mobile furniture exposition. The design of each object engaged a different set of material and fabrication processes and levels of craft. Each student designed and fabricated:

A Vase: Using slip cast ceramics in milled plaster molds.
Some Plates: CNC Milling and Molding.
A Lamp: Cut, Fold, and Assembly Processes.
A Table: Steel, concrete and stone. Welding and Brazing.
Some Stools: Steel, Woodworking, Upholstery

In lieu of a formal review, the students hosted a Pranzo for one-on-one conversations at their tables serving dishes they prepared from their own family and regional cuisine.

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Student Work

Madeline Kil – “Lo Spazio Tra”

The exploration of architect Gio Ponti’s work was integral in my design of furniture and objects for the studio, particularly Ponti’s use of asymmetry through the deployment of materials and structure. Individually, each piece studies the balance of materials as well as the positive + negative spaces. The joinery that inhabits these interstitial spaces are the primary means of connection, uniting the parts to the larger whole. Together each piece plays off each other, creating a well balanced composition. Each object has a particular role to play in the collective set with each having a particular key relationship to a part of the body in their apprehension and use.

Ryan Cohn – “Mobili da Pranzo”

This furniture set was designed to celebrate breaking bread with friends and family – Mobili da Pranzo means dining furniture in Italian. I studied the prolific career Italian architect and furniture designer, Gio Ponti (1891-1979), who embraced the Modern Movement and became one of the most influential furniture designers of the 20th century. To achieve efficient weight distribution with minimal material, the furniture pieces use tapering legs united by a single metal connection piece; The lamp is a study of thirds: the legs and arms were cut into tapering triangles, which meet one third from the top, to form opposing tripods; The form of the vases examine positive and negative space. What I admire about his work it’s balance of simplicity with sophistication, and casualness with elegance. Mobili da Pranzo attempts to emulate these qualities of Ponti’s work.

Gabrielle Clune – “Hands-On Mendini”

I was very inspired by Alessandro Mendini’s work, often seen as a tongue-and-cheek design approach, which also served him to explore and clarify larger, more integrated architectural ideas. Through all my work, I sought to embrace the merriment of Mendini and bring to his cool abstraction my own interests in lines, profiles, edges, flatness, texture and color. I wanted to explore the richness of multiplicity and sequence. The fabrication of each piece helped me refine my understanding and manipulation of edge conditions, the design of joints between unique materials, and the relationship between structure and surface. Mendini’s sense of joy was never far from me.

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