Design Within Reach Sponsors Studio at CCA

Design Within Reach (DWR) is collaborating with California College of the Arts during the fall 2006 semester for a course on contemporary seating design. The course, Production Furniture Design, is offered by the Interior Design Program and addresses issues in the creation and production of sustainable seating for the contract and residential markets.

The curriculum was developed through a collaboration between adjunct professor Brian Kane, an award-winning furniture designer in the Interior Design Program, and DWR executives, who are providing guidance to young designers throughout the semester.

"Cultivating and supporting emerging design talent at institutions like California College of the Arts is one of the most fulfilling aspects of what we do," said Ray Brunner, CEO of Design Within Reach. "We hope to challenge young designers to create innovative and sustainable designs that will endure for generations."

Student designers are creating four separate projects that examine all aspects of developing and creating sustainable seating solutions.

Tony Meredith, a student in the class, wrote: "The DWR furniture production class is a great opportunity for students to truly be supported by a sponsor in a very open and engaging way. Their multiple-person presence at the critiques and meetings has been incredibly helpful to us in our quest for an interesting, meaningful, manufacturable, and sustainable chair for their product line. It's been great to take much of the knowledge that I've gained in other classes here at CCA and put it to real world use."

The course curriculum includes an awareness of the contract and residential markets and how they work, the product development process in those industries, the manufacturing and material processes commonly used, ergonomic and human factors considerations, and full-scale product detailing and model making.

Design Within Reach's Jennifer Morla, creative director, and Karen John, vice president of design and general merchandise, will participate in the midyear and final course evaluations.

You can read about the course in the DWR blog. The blog entry on the final critique links to earlier entries, and student Tony Meredith reflects on the course in a later entry.

For more about Design Within Reach, visit www.dwr.com. For more about the Interior Design Program, see Interior Design.