Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art

First Advisor

Steve Loar, M.A.

Second Advisor

Lynda LaRoche, M.F.A.

Third Advisor

Irene Kabala, Ph.D.

Abstract

My MFA thesis exhibition offers new approaches to the creation of studio furniture by expanding traditional methods of furniture making through new technologies such as CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) and CNC (Computer Numerical Control), which are applied to hand-finished furniture forms. My furniture follows craft historian Muneyoshi Yanagi's concept of Folk-crafts, which argues that function is the primary guide to design. Roland Barthes and Victor Papanek's observations on the safety of wood as opposed to chemicals and metals, supports my choice of materials in furniture designs. In response to design educator Galen Cranz's research, my designs provide solutions to the problems of ergonomics by incorporating acupressure points into each chair. CAD and CNC technologies are integrated into my production process. My furniture forms demonstrate how advanced design technologies synergistically interplay with traditional woodworking techniques. The components produced by the CNC router are joined and finished with traditional woodworking techniques to create utilitarian furniture. Ultimately, my approaches engender studio furniture designers' interests in advanced technologies.

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