Background on Students Participating in Wilsonart Challenges 2018

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Winning Design

“Tool for Translation” by Joseph Goodwin

Design Statement:

Through a juxtaposition of form and content, “Tool for Translation” renders the complex pop icon of the chainsaw into a chair. The form is an amalgam of flowing curves and simple yet compelling geometry. It is at once playful and provocative. 

As a cultural icon, the chainsaw is perhaps more fraught with contradictions than any other everyday object. The power tool is representative of competing ideologies, disparate politics and contentious debate. By translating these complexities into a refined, simplistic chair form, Goodwin attempts to draw our attention to the irony of being not one or the other, but both simultaneously. The universal language of geometry can mediate the divide between opposing viewpoints and can be a catalyst for constructive dialog. The chainsaw represents the threshold where a tree’s life ends, and a chair’s life begins. 

Biography:

Joseph Goodwin comes to art through a winding path of interests and skills. Growing up in semi-rural Montana, he learned the value of resourcefulness and quality tools to solve problems. With an undergraduate degree in Music and Percussion, he spent much of his twenties and thirties in San Diego making music and found his way to audio recording and engineering, digital audio production and songwriting. Obsessed with furniture, he gravitated to an apprenticeship with a master woodworker, designing pieces at night. A lifetime of painting, drawing, performance, photography and sculpture has brought him to Maine College of Art, where he is currently working on his MFA.  Goodwin makes work that is a confluence of the spheres of Art, Design, Craft, Furniture and Technology.

Email: joegoodwin@gmail.com
Phone: (619) 228-6941
 

The Runners-Up

“Holey Blue” by Kincaid Pearson

Design Statement:

My chair is an abstract representation of being in the woods during the night and looking up at the sky. I wanted to create a design that is more pattern based and reflects the silhouettes of the tree branches reaching across the night sky. I was looking to give the sitter a sense of being isolated, a feeling that is like being in the woods.

Biography:

Kincaid Pearson grew up in a rural New Hampshire town of Henniker. He will be receiving his BFA at Maine College of Art in 2018 in Textile and Fashion Design. Pearson was surrounded by nature and interactions with technology from a young age. This experience guided his artistic philosophy of youthful creativity, such as bright colors and organic shapes each perceived differently by individual people.

 

A multi-disciplined artist, Pearson incorporates his textile into sculpture, painting, ceramics and furniture design, and a future expansion into architecture. Bright colors, organic shapes, heavy line work and vast texture combinations are the primary focus of his work.

Curatorial projects include the 2017 VRAGE experience at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA in Portland, Maine, featuring numerous artists showcasing work in a virtual reality format. Through this, Pearson collaboratively founded the artist collective Pseudodox. He has also created two separate collections showcased for the 2017 and 2018 MECAmorphosis Runway Fashion Show held at the ICA at MECA in Portland.

Email: kincaidpearsondesigns@gmail.com      
Phone: (603) 731-1584
 

“Oxide” by Dan Trottier

Design Statement:

The origin of “Oxide” stemmed from my finding a broken, plastic Adirondack chair in the forest.  There was something so cyclical about a chair design that was inspired by mountains, mass produced and domesticated and then returned to nature to be reclaimed and decay. It was, by definition, feral. That word, feral, became integral to Oxide’s form. The idea of designing from a broken state and still honoring the dilapidation with intentionality. The form of the chair is skewed and precarious to convey a sense of unkempt abandon. The chair shades itself with different tones of slate while one rusty element pierces through, suggesting the imminence of the oxidation process covering the entire mass is yet to come. 

Oxide is an angular abstraction of its source inspiration. As you approach its foreshortened front, there is an element of excitement to discover in the round. There are surprise moments like when the arm juts through the carcass to form the solitary back leg, and the way the backrest extends pointedly to the ground without touching but levitating slightly. Also, the variety of greyscale plays off of, and also struggles against, the natural shadows that occur.  

Biography:

Dan Trottier is an undergraduate student at the Maine College of Art studying Woodworking and Furniture Design. He is on track to graduate in May 2019. Predominantly a woodworker, Trottier also enjoys working with metal and discarded materials found on sidewalks and in dumpsters. Trottier derives inspiration from Cubism, Scandinavian design, and guerrilla design styles. He avoids the use of bright colors and ornamentation, preferring simple geometric forms that can be skewed and sliced.

Email: dptrottier@gmail.com
Phone: (401) 595-0899

 

“L ‘Dor V ‘Dor” (“From Generation to Generation”) by Naomi Russo

Design Statement:

The concept of this chair relates back to the woods and my family. As a tree falls over in the woods, that tree may not hit the ground, and rather be held up by the other trees surrounding it. The same applies for a line of generations. As one ancestor may pass, the following generations are there to remember them. That ancestor may have passed, but they are not forgotten. The seat that pierces through the center of the piece is an ode to that fallen tree, or lost ancestor. They may have fallen, but they have not been forgotten, and are still carried on through their legacy.

This chair gives the sitter two options for places to sit within the piece. There is also the option to sit alone on the chair, or with someone else, while using the chair as a means to start a conversation. The colors are bold, with neutral greys and a brown that welcomes the sitter.

Biography:

Ever since Russo can remember, she’s always known that she wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t until she started to attend MECA, however, that she realized she wanted to build and make. As the chair making class began, and the competition was in full swing, Russo had another realization for her love of designing furniture. When asked about the class she noted: “I sketched and sketched, made model after model and, ultimately, I came up with this, L’dor V’dor.”

Email: naomidr.513@gmail.com
Phone: (508) 864-0510

“Ascend” by Jason Haskell

Design Statement:

The concept behind Ascend was to figure out how to incorporate the feeling of physical movement, the uplifting sensation of having a seat higher than normal, and also the emotion that nature presents when you interact with it. The form of the chair when put together is supposed to represent a tree trunk, along with the different levels of seats to signify different heights of branches. Each placed at a certain point that is suitable for any climber. The woodgrain on the outside of the form grabs the attention and sparks the idea of this is a tree-based object, along with the inside woodgrain that reassures that thought. With the red tops being the last element to the piece, this color is for seating arrangement, a small indication of where you can end up.

Biography:

Jason Haskell is a third year Maine College of Art student, majoring in Woodworking and Furniture Design. During Haskell’s career at Maine College of Art, he has taking woodworking classes since freshman year. Each year, he tries to innovate and develop his skills throughout crafting, along with keeping modern forms. Every day that he gets to walk into the woodshop and explore the possibil-ities of any idea that could be functional, abstract, or unrealistic, is an occasion to drive him to create.

Email:  ips.pis90@gmail.com
Phone: (978) 317-8230


“Please, Sit” by Daniel Iwasko

Design Statement: 

This chair was created after an experience in the woods where I found myself sitting at the base of a tree with a guitar. I found that the roots formed a perfect backrest for me as I was sitting at the base of a tree. Sitting there on the ground was very comfortable and I wanted to recreate that feeling.

Biography:

Daniel is living in Portland, Maine and working locally in restaurants. He hopes to establish himself as a Maker. While loving the craft of cooking, he hopes to rent out a studio and continue creating post-graduation while working in the field of woodworking.

 

Email: diwasko@gmail.com
Phone: (603) 731-1584

Published on Thursday, May 31, 2018