Inspired by the sleek minimalism of the 20th century iconic Ulm stool, designed by Max Bill, UNSW Art & Design 2nd year students turned their minds and hands to making their own stools.
In a design class run by object design lecturer, Julia Charles, 45 aspiring furniture makers of the future took on a brief dedicated to the same school of thought as that taught at the Bauhaus: combining craftsmanship with fine arts in the pursuit of simplified forms and solid functionality that can be mass produced.
Participating students were challenged to design and produce their project using just two materials: plywood or solid wood (students were allowed to include a small amount of other materials such as metal or twine, but this could not be the main structural material used for construction). The professional industry standard Woodworking Studio, housed on the UNSW Art & Design campus, became a second home to the students as they worked through many challenges of the brief that ranged from how to effectively bend plywood and create refined contours to how to make a stool multifunctional.
“The final results,” say Julia Charles, “were astounding. The students met the assignment with genuine dedication and seriousness. Some undertook the making of two to three different prototypes before they were satisfied with the final product. One student even had elements for his stool manufactured in Queensland and transported down to Sydney for assembly… ”