Industrial Design Project Must Take the Weight

November 2nd, 2011 by Katlin McNally
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CCAD student has chair collapse underneath him

A chair made of cardboard? It is not the first material that comes to mind when designing a chair, especially one that needs to hold up to 250 pounds. Add to the challenge the fact that the chair can only be made from a 4′ by 8′ cardboard sheet using no glue or tape. The final design must also include an armrest, backrest, and a writing surface. Tricky huh?

Well that is the four-week project that Industrial Design Studio II students have to complete each year.

In order to create their final chair, students had to make a ΒΌ-scale model, cut path drawings, complete full-size testing, and create an instruction manual. Then on Monday, Oct. 31 their designs were put to the test.

As a final challenge, the unique chairs are set up in a circle in CCAD’s Design Studios on Broad and one by one, students take turns sitting down in them.

Each student had to evaluate the chair on whether it met the project criteria, as well as how sturdy and comfortable it was. Crowds gathered on the outskirts to take pictures and cheer them on, and freshmen interested in Industrial Design studied the chairs as peers and instructors came to watch the annual test.

The competition got heavy (no pun intended) and left only a few chairs intact. At the end, students gathered around to survey the damage and see if anything could be salvaged.

Read more about the Industrial Design program at CCAD here.

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