Katya Caterina , Pod Chair (Student Awards 2019)

Leonardo Da Vinci (1970) accentuated the interrelation between our natural world surrounded by the nature around us, and emphasised the evolution of nature leaving behind only what is necessary for life to function. The applied science of biomimicry is an aspect that draws inspiration from the natural world. It works in parallel with nature’s forms, processes and ecosystems which have been refined over 3.8 billion years of evolution. This design philosophy was the main motivation for the development of my major design project. With growing up in the beautiful Sydney Northern Beaches, I have always been fascinated by the variety of shapes, patterns and natural elements surrounding me everyday. I have chosen to design a chair which embodies the science of biomimicry through the reflection of structures such as flowers, cocoons, shells, pods and seedlings, which I regularly find in nature. Chair design is regularly regarded as one of the most demanding design challenges due to the three dimensional nature and complex joinery required. I look forward to this challenge and growing as a sustainable designer and furniture maker. In achieving a high quality design, I was able to research and look into the design processes and consider the best option to use in relevance with my project, this being that it has complex joinery and high use of compound angles which could have potentially caused large production setbacks. In researching these aspects of my project I was able to undertake a smooth production process and use my problem solving skills as learned throughout the research stage to restrict against setbacks in the production process. Key areas where I have demonstrated high quality work is through compounding angles that join together to form the body of my chair. In doing this the use of jig making and 3D printing was highly significant in the efficiency of the production effectively allowing me to create two triangles, designed with specific angles allowing for the design to be successful. Another aspect that has been of high quality is the use of 3D printed clamp blocks allowing for my complex joinery and triangle pieces to be glued together into a hexagon shape while still holding alignment and creating the appropriate shape and angles. To add to my project, my leg design consisting of four legs has allowed for a strong and stable stance that holds both the weight of the chair and the individual who sits in it. Throughout the production process of my design I have come across problematic situations where I have had to modify my design, manipulating and changing elements to create a more efficient project. Throughout this project I have learned new skills that have allowed me to reach this level of intricacy within my design, utilising aspects such as jig making, 3D printing and compound joinery. Year 12, Freshwater Senior Campus. Teacher: Ben Percy