© 2014 Felicia Francine Dean


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DEAN, FELICIA FRANCINE, M.F.A. FABRICating FORM: Generating ThreeDimensional Upholstery amid Experiments in Process Driven Design (2014) Directed by C. Tommy Lambeth. 108 pp.
As an artist and designer, I created works of art by actively researching, reflecting, experimenting, and producing projects which embodied theories, methods and processes of both practices. Additionally, my work utilized research from numerous disciplines, which include art, craft, furniture, fashion, graphics, mathematics, and architecture. I strived for the user/viewer to experience not only a physical connection with my designs, but to also have an emotional engagement with them.
My research aimed to enhance the image of the upholstery trade by examining the design possibilities of the craft. Much of my process extended apparel fabric manipulation techniques to the upholstery and structural systems of furniture in order to reveal the potential of transferring the methods from fashion to furnishings. The techniques informed the design process through the introduction of alternative approaches to upholstery manipulation, sewing, and patterning. The method helped to transform two-dimensional flat upholstered surfaces into three-dimensional upholstered forms.
I categorized my early experimental works as one-of-a-kind. However, I explored streamlining my processes of making in order to investigate other methods of construction. Additionally, I researched how fusing furniture design and traditional millinery processes allowed for small batch reproductions of my works. Ultimately, my approach gravitated toward balancing handcraft techniques with digital methods of fabrication.

FABRICATING FORM: GENERATING THREE-DIMENSIONAL UPHOLSTERY AMID EXPERIMENTS IN PROCESS DRIVEN DESIGN
by Felicia Francine Dean
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of The Graduate School at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Fine Arts
Greensboro 2014
Approved by ____________________________ Committee Chair

© 2014 Felicia Francine Dean

To my parents Frances and Alphonso Dean, each of you encouraged me in your own way throughout my academic career. From day one, the positive reinforcement you provided
me regarding my academic achievements was pivotal in establishing my future educational accomplishments and dreams. I hope that I may continue to make you both
proud. This journey was not only for me, but also for the both of you.
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APPROVAL PAGE This thesis written by Felicia Francine Dean has been approved by the following committee of the Faculty of The Graduate School at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Committee Chair Committee Members
Date of Acceptance by Committee Date of Final Oral Examination
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My journey of attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture at UNCG has been an experience which I will carry into my future endeavors. I thank the Department of Interior Architecture for their support of my academic and professional goals. I thank my thesis committee, professors Tommy Lambeth, Jonathon Anderson, and Billy Lee for their mentoring and guidance during the process. They encouraged me to develop a body of work which reveals my individual design aesthetic and approach. I am honored to have worked with such an accomplished team of professionals. I thank my partner Ben Sechrest for putting up with my long nights of studying and working on design projects. You used your days and nights off to help me reach my academic and professional goals. I could not have smoothly accomplished all that I have without you by my side. Additionally, I’d like to thank the WithIt organization for their continued support of my career goals. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and lasting professional relationships from my involvement with the organization. I look forward to all opportunities of working with them again.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... vii
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................1
II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ......................................................................3
Furniture Studies: Fabric Manipulation Processes ...................................3 Patricia Urquiola ..............................................................................3 Aqua Creations.................................................................................4 Inga Sempé.......................................................................................5 Crafted Systems ...............................................................................5 Elena Salmistraro .............................................................................6
Furniture Studies: Experimental Processes ..............................................6 Florian Schmid.................................................................................6 Marcel Wanders ...............................................................................7 Studio Hausen ..................................................................................8 Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay................................................................8 Louise Campbell ..............................................................................9
Fashion Studies........................................................................................10 Issey Miyake ..................................................................................10 Alexander McQueen ......................................................................10 Iris Van Herpen..............................................................................11 Sandra Backlund ............................................................................11 Amila-Hrustić ................................................................................11
Sewing Techniques..................................................................................12 Critique ..........................................................................................12 Books & Techniques......................................................................13
Craft Theory ............................................................................................14
III. METHODOLOGY .............................................................................................15
Building a Body of Work ........................................................................15 The Collection .........................................................................................16
Cocoon ...........................................................................................16 Knotty ............................................................................................27 Shorty-Fat ......................................................................................44 Beekeeper .......................................................................................55
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Thesis Exhibit: Fabricating Form ..................................................68 Conclusion to the Collection ...................................................................78 IV. ANALYSIS.........................................................................................................80 V. CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................82 Marketing ................................................................................................82
Press ...............................................................................................83 Exhibits ..........................................................................................83 Accolades .......................................................................................84 Creative Scholarship ......................................................................84 Conferences ....................................................................................84 Business Card Design ....................................................................87 Internship .......................................................................................88 Penland School of Crafts .........................................................................89 Drift .........................................................................................................93 Future Research .......................................................................................96 REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................98 APPENDIX A. IMAGE RESOURCES FOR REFERENCE ..........................................102 APPENDIX B. PROCESS OF ALL PROJECTS............................................................105
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LIST OF FIGURES Page
Figure 1. Images 1 & 2 of Projects from Fabric Manipulation Critique............................13 Figure 2. Cocoon Chair......................................................................................................16 Figure 3. Images 3 & 4 of Projects from Fabric Manipulation Critique............................18 Figure 4. Sketching Patterns for Cocoon ...........................................................................20 Figure 5. 3ds Max Renderings of the Cocoon Chair .........................................................21 Figure 6. Various Sewn Scales of Smocking Pattern ........................................................22 Figure 7. Auto CAD Diagram of Cocoon’s Mockup Pattern ............................................23 Figure 8. Full Scale Mockup of Cocoon in Felt Fabric .....................................................23 Figure 9. Stitching Together Layered Materials ................................................................24 Figure 10. Cocoon Edge Treatment ...................................................................................26 Figure 11. Knotty Chair .....................................................................................................27 Figure 12. Sketch Ideas for the Knotty Chair Form...........................................................31 Figure 13. Scaled Foam Model of Knotty .........................................................................31 Figure 14. Lash Knot Detail...............................................................................................33 Figure 15. Scale of Twist Method......................................................................................34 Figure 16. Printed Profiles. ................................................................................................35 Figure 17. Bending Steel Rods ..........................................................................................36 Figure 18. Slotted Platform System ...................................................................................36 Figure 19. Tying Down Steel Cross Bars ..........................................................................37 Figure 20. Marking Knot Location for Perpendicular Rods ..............................................37
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Figure 21. Evolution of Leg Design ..................................................................................38 Figure 22. Mockups of Leg Options ..................................................................................39 Figure 23. Mockup of Final Chair Legs.............................................................................39 Figure 24. Laser Cut Pattern Templates ............................................................................40 Figure 25. First Upholstered Cushion for Knotty ..............................................................41 Figure 26. Three Upholstery Pads for Knotty’s Cushions .................................................42 Figure 27. Laced Pads........................................................................................................42 Figure 28. Shorty-Fat Vases ..............................................................................................44 Figure 29. Drawing of Manual Foam Injection System ....................................................47 Figure 30. Foam Filling Fabric Pouches............................................................................48 Figure 31. Foam Injection of Two Types of Fabrics .........................................................49 Figure 32. Foam Injection Around a Glass Vase ...............................................................50 Figure 33. Laser Cut Cardboard Pattern Template ............................................................51 Figure 34. Hand Stitching Fabric.......................................................................................52 Figure 35. Machine Sewing Pouch ....................................................................................52 Figure 36. Clamping Tubes to Pouch ................................................................................53 Figure 37. Textile Sac Slipped Over Glass Vessel ............................................................54 Figure 38. Beekeeper Stool................................................................................................56 Figure 39. Upholstery’s Connection to the Structure ........................................................58 Figure 40. Digital Sketches................................................................................................58 Figure 41. Polystyrene Model............................................................................................59 Figure 42. Textile Lined with Felt .....................................................................................60
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© 2014 Felicia Francine Dean