What DIY group would NOT do benches or some form of furniture right?!


The idea came from Art Center’s ECOCOUNCIL; they wanted to have benches on the rooftop of our school (we might putting some a little everywhere). The challenge was that we had to be able to address a few needs (packaged in this worksheet)

Heidrun takes notes, Russell sketches.

Heidrun takes notes, Russell sketches.

I have to say it’s a very exiting perspective to get to make STUFF for your school and to think that if anyone were to STEAL them, well, hey it most likely would mean they were designed well in the first place. Anyways, getting ahead of myself.


We designed them, at my place, sketches / mockups and voted on a few directions that addressed different needs.

Conclusion of the benches preliminary sketches

Conclusion of the benches preliminary sketching phase

1| Small stool to be assembled by folding (felt? cardboard? rope + wood?)

2| Basic rectangular frame (no back, just seat) to then attach our own crazy shapes onto it

3| Adaptable bench made of holes and dowels (sealed MDF?)

Then we had a prototype “making day”. We met at school in the back of the Graduate Transportation room, using the schools tools, and materials funded by a school stipend we get for hosting a club we tried out our ideas…

Some converged, some were put “temporarily” on the sidelines…hehe…he.. he. At least we had one to follow with, Russell had made a version of design one and made renderings of it to approximate material cost.

The next step was getting a prototype to exist. The prototype enabled us to further explore HOW TO PRODUCE this stool and HOW TO MAKE IT INTO A BENCH.

We realized two of the previous concepts would be possible to fuse to create a network of stools and benches. The next step is actually produce a few more and to see how different students use / adapt the stool to their needs. We are trying to figure out a way to either play this out in full scale or smaller…

The full-scale stool production was on hiatus for the past week due to lack of time to spend on it, however we’ve been able to instead host a small “design workshop” during our school’s “TRUNK SALE” event (which brings quite a bit of traffic) where we had students imagine what they would do if they had more of the parts the stools are made of; here are the results!

3 weeks of refinement later, we’ve produced 12. we are looking at selling some while keeping the blueprints available:

benches blue print

here is an overview of the process

and some shots of the final pieces in use / context

May 4th

Other news: we attended the Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival, lot’s of fun

Big thanks to:

Ecocouncil, Dice, Heidrun, Gustav, Jeremy, Paul, Maya, Harmonie, Fernando and everyone else!

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