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Students Repurpose Campus Signs into Furniture

Design innovation in the Product Design Lab recently found students re-purposing recycled campus street signs into furniture. Under the guidance of Beth Ferguson, assistant professor of design, the students in the new course, DES165 Studio Practices in Industrial Design, created tables, chairs, lighting fixtures and bike racks out of the discarded signs. 

The course is intended for students interested in exploring core elements of industrial design through concept ideation, material selection, model making and fabrication processes. Historic, contemporary, and future developments in industrial design along with industry awareness and sustainability is covered. Innovation in new material and fabrication technology related to everyday objects, soft goods, portable structures, electronics, furniture, and transportation is explored in this studio. Industrial design processes such as forming, cutting, joining, and finishing is demonstrated. Practice based course assignments cover sketching, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, and prototype making. Course projects highlight social entrepreneurship, life-cycle analysis, solar energy, environmental responsibility, ethics, and real-world problem solving. Course final projects have included solar lighting, recycled street sign furniture, bicycle parts, solar kiosks for parks and camping gear.

The UC Davis Product Design Lab co-founded by assistant professors of design, Beth Ferguson and Tom Maiorana, is a space for product and service design innovation and experimentation. Using ecological and social good design principles they are dedicated to solving some of the world’s largest environmental and social problems. The Department of Design offers courses in sustainable design, human-centered design, industrial design, furniture design, lighting design, materials and methods, computer aided design and prototyping. They have prototyping equipment and fabrication facilities that will be expanding in the years to come to empower students to transform ideas into buildable objects.

For more information, visit the Product Design Lab.

 

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