An Introduction To Our Project
Welcome to the California College of the Arts Furniture Department‘s Production 1 blog. This studio course explored a range of manufacturing techniques and professional design practices. Last spring, furniture department chair, Russell Baldon with Justin Champaign of Coalesse Furniture, asked students to research, design, and manage a small-scale product run of library reading tables. The final designs were critiqued by a panel of guest critics including Derek Chen of Council and Otto Williams. Two pieces were chosen to be manufactured and donated to library of Oakland’s Lighthouse Community Charter School (LCCS).
We were fortunate to have the expertise of Justin Champaign (a furniture department alumni) who is now an industrial designer at Coalesse Furniture. Working closely with the staff of Coalesse revealed the real world design practices of a major furniture manufacturer and informed our own design and manufacturing process for the table project.
Coalesse is a division of the Steelcase Corporation. They are partnered with brands like Carl Hansen & Søn (Denmark), Walter Knoll AG & Co. (Germany), and Viccarbe (Spain) to offer a growing collection of products for live/work environments. Coalesse also brings together the rich design histories of three brands from the Steelcase family of companies – Brayton, Metro and Vecta – as part of the new Coalesse brand.
- Justin Champaign
This collaboration between local industry and community partners seeks to develop student skills and critical thinking and is part of the ENGAGE at CCA initiative. The Engage Program is an innovative project-based learning initiative, combining community engagement with the project-based learning approach of the architecture and design disciplines. Activated across the academic programs, ENGAGE at CCA serves as a hub to connect interested faculty and students to community partners and relevant outside experts. ENGAGE at CCA dynamically advances CCA’s mission to prepare its students for lifelong creative work and service to their communities through a curriculum in fine art, architecture, design, and creative writing.
Our community partnership will also contiunue to expose the students of Lighthouse to the possibilities of a career in the design field. The mission of the Lighthouse Community Charter School is to prepare a diverse K–12 student population for college or a career of their choice by equipping each child with the knowledge, skills, and principles to be a self-motivated, lifelong learner. Their curriculum is also project based so it is a really good fit for us.