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Furniture Bank partners with CCAD students to redesign furniture for families in need

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Students at Columbus College of Art & Design are going to work with the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio this fall to redesign furniture for people in need.

About 40 CCAD seniors, juniors, and sophomores across three Product Design studio classes will work in groups to design and create stylish new tables, chairs, and end tables that the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio can use as templates to produce furniture for families and individuals in need.

The project will kick off Tuesday, Aug. 28, when Furniture Bank of Central Ohio representatives will show CCAD students examples of the furniture the nonprofit currently makes. Students will then work on new prototypes, designs, and instructions for how to build the furniture before Furniture Bank of Central Ohio President Steve Votaw reviews the finished products on Thursday, Sept. 13. The three-week project is set up to mimic real-world challenges and deadlines.

“Partnering with the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio is a perfect fit for Columbus College of Art & Design,” says CCAD Industrial Design Assistant Professor John Youger, who will be teaching one of the classes involved in the project. “This project gives CCAD students a chance to give back to the community while gaining real-world experience.” Youger will be joined by two other CCAD faculty members, Professor David Burghy and Industrial Design Chair Greg Thune, to guide the project.

The project comes during the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio’s 20th anniversary, which Steve Votaw, President of the Furniture Bank, says seemed like a good opportunity to refresh some of the furniture designs.

“We are very excited about our partnership with CCAD and look forward to working with their students to create strategic opportunities to enhance our services for families in need,” says Votaw.

In addition to making the furniture more stylish, the goal of the project is to make the Furniture Bank’s building process faster and less expensive (requiring less time to build and with less hardware).

This isn’t the first time that CCAD and the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio have worked together. In spring 2017, a group of CCAD students looked at the user experience of Furniture Bank donors, and in spring 2018, CCAD students looked at the feasibility of adding another thrift store market.

About the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

The mission of the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio (FBCO) is to stabilize living situations for Central Ohio families and individuals overcoming poverty and other challenges. For 20 years, the Furniture Bank has collected and built 70,000 pieces of furniture and worked with over fifty social service agencies and other nonprofits to distribute furniture to 3,600 families, more than 10,000 people, each year. For more information, please visit FurnitureBankCOH.org.

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