Lesson #5: Transforming sketches into a proposal-part 2

Part of the unit: Two-Dimensional Furniture Design |


Which materials will best match the function and form of your chair?
Students will be able to:
Understand that choice in material affects function, form, and concept in a design
Understand that considerations of safety and comfort affect choices of material in a design
Understand that choice in color affects perception of a concept in a design proposal
Continue with the design process by making careful decisions on choice of material(s) and colors for their concept chairs
Use sample materials as a guide to make their decisions and to add texture to their drawings by exploring the use of watercolor pencils and crayons
watercolor pencils, crayons, brushes, cups, scrap paper
Selected chairs from MoMA's "Objects of Design," a selection of designer samples of cloth, metal, wood, and plastics in a range of colors and textures for students to select from as inspiration and refinement to their design proposals.
View selected chairs from MoMA's Objects of Designthat show consideration for comfort, safety, function, and form through their choice of materials and shapes, i.e. Marcel Breuer's Folding Armchairand Wassily Chair;Eames's La Chaise;Hendrik Van Keppel's Lounge Chair and Ottoman;Verner Panton's Stacking Side Chair, B.K.F. Chair, Sacco Chair;Gaetano Pesce's Feltri Chair;Shiro Kuramata's Miss Blanche Chair;Gaetano Pesce's Golgotha Chair;Frank Gehry's Cardboard Chairs. Discuss each designer's choice in materials while viewing and handling sample design materials (which students will use later in making material decisions for their own chair designs). Some questions to ask:
  • What is the concept of this chair?
  • Who do you think is the targeted audience?
  • How would you describe the properties of this material -- what does it remind you of? What adjectives would you use to describe it?
  • Is the material lasting or temporary? Does the material bend or stretch? Is it strong enough to support weight?
  • What sort of things are commonly made out of (material)?
  • Why do you think the designer chose this specific material for the (function, parts, form, or this particular audience)?
1. Explain the goals of this session to the students: We will be adding texture and color to your proposal drawings by choosing materials for your concept chair. 2. Post the following guiding questions on the board. Demonstrate choices of materials from the provided designer samples, while reviewing the questions:
  • Which materials will target your audience and support the concept of your chair?
  • Will your chair be long-lasting, or temporary and low cost?
  • Which material will act as a support?
  • Which material will be comfortable to sit on?
  • What color will you choose to define your concept?
3. Working from a few selected material samples the class has chosen for the class-concept chair (that has been evolving over each period during the demonstration), demonstrate various uses of watercolor pencils and crayons for creating washes of color and textures that describe the feeling and appearance of these materials. Apply these techniques to the sketch model of the demo- concept chair and refer to the 3-D sketch as a visual guide. Ask students:
  • What sort of texture does the material have?
  • What would the texture look like on your chair?
  • How can we achieve the texture with watercolor pencils and crayons?
  • Coloring and painting solids
  • Shading by coloring dark edges, spreading color with water and brush
  • Layering texture by coloring, painting, letting it dry, or drawing over it with dry or wet wc pencils and crayons
  • Use of various size brushes: thick brush for large areas to cover, thin brush for small areas to cover
1. Distribute student in-progress proposal drawings, sketch 3-D models and boxes of materials-samples to each table. Have students take a moment to make decisions about the materials they want to use in their chairs. 2. Distribute watercolor pencils, crayons, brushes, cups, and scrap paper. 3. Have students experiment creating the texture of their material by exploring the use of watercolor pencils and crayons on scrap paper. 4. Students begin coloring and painting their proposal sketches. 5. Encourage students to visualize the shading of texture on their chairs by looking at their chair model as a visual guide. Encourage them to continue using their own style for expressing the "feel" of their concept chairs.
View students' proposal drawings along with their choices of material. Discuss their choices and drawing/painting techniques to achieve the texture of their materials:
  • Who is your targeted audience?
  • Why do you think he/she chose these materials for this design?
  • Is the material safe? Is it comfortable?
  • What kind of "feeling" do you get by looking at his/her proposal drawing?