The Near-finished product of my latest project. A few more coats of danish oil followed by some light sanding and it’ll be ready to come home! Exceptionally happy with the end result.
Still with the ‘fluid reader’ in mind I went back to the drawing board and started to sketch out a few different ideas, this time starting with a much simpler idea but with the purpose of using the simplicity of design as a basis for putting in as much aesthetic detail as possible. I also slightly tweaked my target audience in the fact that I was now perdominantly designing a piece of furniture for the people that lead a hectic, executive lifestyle with little chance for relaxation through reading. This in a lot of ways was inspired by my Dad, a keen reader yet an even harder worker. My main aim was to create something sophisticated that would not look out of place in an up-market office or business suite. It needed to blend into the background for the majority of the time but also have an aesthetic presence strong enough to inspire and promote the urge to read in lull-periods. I also wanted to devise some way of keeping a book held open at a certain page whilst also having a small amount of storage space capable of holding a carefully-selected range of favourite books of the users choice. The aim of this piece is not to hide books away, but to rekindle and then stoke the fires for the beauty of the ‘book’.
Inspired by an imagined cityscape, the ‘City Shelf‘ (Not recommended to be spoken aloud by those with a lisp) is made from plywood and covered in an oak veneer, the sections are biscuit-jointed together before a layer of wood glue holds them fast. After a final sanding with p240 paper I then used multiple layers of Danish Oil to bring out the texture and dark wood effect of the oak veneer. As a final touch, I inscribed my design name, ‘Purplewax‘ into the left hand side of the piece using the laser cutter.
Measurements: Lx310mm Dx220mm Hx155mm
Set the task of creating a piece of furniture orientated towards the use of either aiding or promoting the act of reading, my original ideas encompassed possible pieces linked in with audiobooks, kindles and e-readers, early learning devices and intuitive answers to some of the main problems many people encounter with reading. After various conceptual walks down exciting yet ultimately dead-ended routes, I decided to change my approach and instead focus on my own personal love of reading. How I read, when I read and where I read.
The Fluid Bookshelf
It was shortly after this change in direction that I came up with the first idea that I liked. Inspired by my own personal habit of being buried between the pages of multiple books simultaneously and therefore forgetting my place the majority of the time, I wanted to create a piece of furniture that enabled the storage of a minimum of three open books at a time in such a way that they would be out of the way, but not to the extent that I would then forget about them. This then meant that I had to make the design both intriguing and playful, almost more of an interactive sculpture than a typical bookshelf. The proposed target audience would have been predominantly for the fluid readers, people like myself that occasionally need a bit of gentle encouragement in order to keep on track of the ‘being read‘ bookpile. However, due to the pieces ability to separate and stand free the ‘Fluid Bookshelf‘ would have been perfect for any literature-touched scenario. Beginning with the general form of an upturned book, I started to play around with triangles, attempting to figure out a means of connecting or integrating a multitude of book-coves into one seamless piece.
I progressively got drawn deeper and deeper down the mind-numbing rabbit hole of equilateral triangles and encountered with full force the sheer awkwardness of the 60° angle repeatedly. Despite testing various joints and means of assembly, I had to accept that with the combined short time period and my then limited knowledge of the newly-inducted machinery, the design would have been fairly impractical and thus, not in tune with the brief.
A quick post just to show you the latest project that I’m working on. We were set the task of creating a piece of furniture that in some way supported or aided the act of reading. After various lengthy walks down exciting yet sadly unrealistic idea paths, I finally settled on a much simpler idea than I had first intended, but with the purpose of using the simplicity of design as a basis for putting in as much aesthetic detail as possible without overdoing it.
More to follow, including previous design concepts, AutoCad sketches and finalised Presentation boards.