Huxley's Ladder Bookshelves
This project began as a term-long grad. level class assignment at Art Center College of Design. My task was to design and build in 14 weeks a 1:1 piece of functioning furniture for the purpose of 'storage' - a very broad category to begin with. It was up to me to narrow it down by identifying a need, selecting a specific furniture type, and a pleasing functional solution with a clearly understandable narrative. I began by looking around my home to see what I need most: More usable book shelves.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Huxley's Ladder maximizes utilization of space with reach accessibility under standard 8'/2.4m ceilings with a combination of minimalism, warmth, playfulness and high craftsmanship. Designed to for use as a single unit, multiple units ganged together side-by-side, against walls or units back-to-back to create aisles. Suitable for residential, contract or hospitality use.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Huxley's Ladder is designed to maximize usable and accessible book shelf capacity under standard residential 8'/2.4m ceilings. The book shelf is sturdy and stable enough for an adult to climb up to reach items up to the top shelf by using the dowel-shaped structural crossing members as rungs of a ladder.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project was begun in January and completed in April of 2014 in Pasadena, California, USA. It was selected by Art Center College of Design, Environmental Design Dept Chair David Mocarski and instructor Cory Grosser for the following summer term exhibit of the school's best student works or art and design in the Art Center Student Gallery.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The design work-flow consisted of a basic design-narrative sketch, form and construction ideation with additional sketches, 3D modeling in SolidWorks, photo-real presentation renderings made with V-Ray for Rhino and Photoshop and some 1:1 handmade wood and MDF physical mock-ups of construction elements. For production, the wood and MDF components for this furniture are milled with a CNC router and traditionally constructed with wood dowels and glue. Made of quarter-sawn white oak and satin white lacquer finished high-grade MDF.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Width 1830 mm x Depth 560 mm x Height 2340 mm
Huxley's Ladder, book shelf, storage furniture, ladder book shelf
I performed some basic image research of a wide variety of book shelf, library, library ladder and general ladder typologies to be sure my design would be truly unique, functional, and viable product within it's market class or category.
The most difficult challenge came in making the first prototype. More specifically, the challenges and setbacks that were involved with successfully milling true and straight the vertical wood stringers from quarter-sawn white oak, a naturally temperamental and highly variable material from piece to piece. Fortunately the process was completely in 13 weeks, leaving adequate time to prepare for a final presentation and exhibition.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
All images and renderings created by Studio for Design
© 2013 Marc Scimé | Studio for Design