Exploring Three-Dimensional Design by Building Models of Chairs
by Pat Hough, Technology Integration Director
In October, ISB’s 8th Grade students started a unit on three-dimensional design. The project required students to design chairs, first using two- and three-dimensional drawing skills, and later transferring their ideas into digital and physical models.
We began by looking at images of chairs and reading about their history. The students continued their exploration by searching for images of many different types of chairs, and after researching, they made drawings of at least four different chair designs using paper and pencil.
“When I began the chair sketches in my journal, I really wanted to create a piece of furniture that was functional and fashionable. I wanted to create something innovative and to think outside of the box. Therefore, I wasn’t thinking about the basic chairs I sit on every day, but more about how I could create a better version of the everyday chair.” -Georgia F., 8th Grade
After the paper sketches came time for some student-guided learning. Each 8th Grader worked on building digital literacy and broadening their repertoire of technological skills by transferring their designs to SketchUp, a 3D modeling program. Students worked alongside four basic video tutorials on how to use the program, recreating their designs in a digital format.
“At the beginning, most of my design ideas were inspired by those on Google Images, but they changed and developed as I learned more about my materials and time limit. My sketches changed to match my interests or to make them easier to build later on in the process. As I built my model on SketchUp, my designs also changed a lot because of the difficulty of designing them online. Since it was hard to make cushions, I chose to work on more solid chairs, which changed later on as I built the real 3D model.”
-Annabelle J., 8th Grade