AYSC – The Toolbox Chair

This was the project I selected as first choice so I was really happy when I found out I was assigned to it. Richard’s introduction to the project has been so energetic and motivational that I started it enthusiastically.

I wish I could talk about what it was like to work every day as a team, with a partner from a different discipline, but I only saw mine enough to explain him the concept of a chair that in the meantime had already taken shape and to finish assemble it. I did observe, though, other groups’ interactions with one another. Some made me understand I was’t the only one to work on my own while others had a constructive way to communicate. This was enough to give me different perspectives in approaching my designs and to feel I was a part of a larger team.

Even in very busy moments, the tutors, technicians and Fab Lab, took the necessary time to make me understand a concept or find a practical way to develop my ideas both technically and aesthetically. This was crucial to help me go through the project even without a partner to confront my ideas with, that could have helped me fill the gaps I lacked for not having somebody’s practical experience in the actual making a functional product. Being a textiles student I thought my contribution would be helping with the development of the concept and design of the chair based on the ‘client’s’ preferences. That I would help select the secondary materials and make the chair more comfortable by designing a matching pillow and focusing on potential embellishments. I imagined that my laser cutting knowledge could come in handy, but I definitely expected to be the less experienced.

Time flew by really fast and without realising, by the end of the fourth week, I was already assisting at the CNC machine cutting the pieces of my chair and I remember praying the Lord that they would all fit together.

CNC chair

What I didn’t expect, with my biggest surprise and satisfaction, was to hear that I was actually the only person who had prepared the Illustrator file right, from the start, ready to be cut. Well, that was the moment I realised I wasn’t among the last ones after all. AYSC has given me the chance to apply the skills developed as a surface pattern designer, in the product designer’s field, by integrating them with others such as the perspective drawing, ergonomics and anthropometrics and learn to use many of their workshop’s tools. I gained confidence in my self and the way I approach tasks that are not directly connected to my personal experience. And I can affirm now that, for better or for worse and with all the fine details I still have to learn, I know how to design from scratch, a functional concept chair.

The Toolbox Chair:


It was a hard job. The project required a daily commitment and had a demanding Leader that always expected the best. This pushed me a step forward every time. I went through doubts and days of Nurofen and I wish I had more time to dedicate it or less overlapping time with the essay. The end result though was full of satisfaction and I enjoyed it to bits.

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