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Prototype: Chairs


Image courtesy BSA Staff.

Taught by Jared Ramsdell Assoc. AIA, of Touloukian Touloukian Inc., Prototype, a design class taught at Wentworth Institute of Technology, allows fourth-year architecture students to focus on everyday objects, including lamps and benches. The purpose of the course is to promote research in how geometries can be fashioned with simple tools and materials to increase the performance and efficiency of each constructed object.

In 2015, through a partnership with the Boston Society of Architects/AIA, teams of students worked together to create the current display at BSA Space.

Students begin by investigating the technology of modern fabrication and digital design tools through case-study analysis. The seven-week process includes material research, parametric modeling, structural engineering, and construction.

Each group received nine 5-by-5 sheets of plywood and were challenged to create a new typology for a familiar object that directly relates to the human body or affects its environment—in this case, a bench. Each example served as a prototype to test how people sit, interact, and observe their environment. All participants looked at such factors as comfort, variability, movement, and social dilemmas in today’s society to help shape their concepts. The results are six varied approaches to a bench. Visitors are encouraged use and experience these benches while exploring the gallery.

Fabricators (students):
Peter Bryant, Gary Butler, Patrick Christen, James Charves, Drew Conserva, David Cook,
Thomas Darr, Alec Foucault, Alexander Killoh, Amanda Kriney, Dan Lee, James McDonnell,
Brian Mothes, Josh Niemiec, Keyanna Phillips, Lynn Quagliato, Matt Roy, Brandon Smith,
​Brad Tyler, Zachary Whitehouse