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Innovative Teaching Ideas - Systems & Construction

Joinery Design (1992)

This studio project focuses on designing a furniture joint that acts as it own decoration. It is a point where more than one material comes together in a construction joint that "celebrates" the union of materials. Students begin by exploring the joint as a decorative elements before designing a joint that explores the use of natural materials and the idea that a joint can serve as sufficient decoration for a piece of furniture.

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Material Transitions: Observe, Research, and Apply Good Practices

Many material failures occur at the transition points between finishes. The success or failure of the transition begins with the designer. In practice, designers are expected to create beautiful spaces that last, which requires the substrates, connection mechanisms and transition elements to be properly selected, designed, and installed.

Interior design students need to gain awareness and demonstrate understanding regarding basic knowledge of materials, their support mechanisms, and the systems behind the finish surface that make the transition from one material to another successful or not. The first step in this process is for the students to engage with the built environment through observation. Second, the students must identify the finishes and possible systems behind the finishes that allow the entire assembly to perform well. Third, students should engage in research of manufacturers of finishes to find recommended methods of design, detailing, and installation and maintenance.

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