conversation chair
Summer 2019
California College of the Arts – Industrial Design
Individual Project
problem
Conversation is about community and making connections. So why should the physical barrier of not enough seating be a hindrance to continuing or expanding a conversation? Many current forms of seating make expanding a conversation and including others uncomfortable because there is not enough room in the circle.
solution
The Modular Conversation Chair forms a circle, with the users sitting inwards, facing each other during conversation. When others come to join the circle, the lack of room can be conveniently and comfortably solved. The modules can easily be inverted and added to another module, allowing for infinite expansion of the chair, and on a broader level, the conversation, community, and circle.​

The cardboard prototype is life-size, supports multiple body weights on each module, and is able to be compacted and unfolded so that it is easily shippable and portable.
why
Given the prompt of designing seating, I thought about what the purpose of seating is in the first place, on a deeper, humanistic level. In such a disconnected world losing human interaction and connection, I decided that I wanted my design to encourage the idea of community, conversation, and inclusion.
process
1.

brainstorming
Given the prompt of designing a shoe, my CCA Industrial Design classmates and I began brainstorming problems and use-cases for shoes.
2.

DEFINING & IDEATING
I chose to innovate upon ballet pointe shoes because of my previous research in how pointe shoes are currently made and my experience as a user of them.​Thinking about the current pointe shoe, I thought about the issues I have encountered with them as well as those that I have observed other dancers experience.​I began ideating solutions to these problems by visually sketching out some ideas.
3.

CLAY PROTOTYPE
After finalizing my idea, I created this hand-sculpted clay prototype that was at about 40% scale of the actual size. The malleability of the clay enabled me to play around with different components and see how they would look and act in 3 dimensions.​In order to give the prototype the feel of being on a real foot, I paid attention to the creases and indents of a real foot in the pointed position and textured the clay using the grip of a sculpting tool.
4.

orthogonal sketches
Referencing my clay prototype, I created these higher resolution orthogonal sketches that show the front, side and top views of the product. Being able to hold my clay prototype and observe it at a certain angle helped to visualize how this very organic shape and unstructured object would look and behave at those angles.
5.

FOAM PROTOTYPE
As a higher resolution prototype, I carved the Pointe Sock on a foot, out of foam. I traced the outlines of the orthogonal sketches ​above and used the band saw to cut down the major chunks of foam.

I then used hand-carving tools to remove the foam that I didn't want. Only being able to remove material without being able to add it on was a challenge that I had to learn how to work with when carving.
6.

infographic
Shown to the right is the the informational poster that demonstrates the purpose and key value points of this product.