For this year's grad project, Stephanie Koenig and I have partnered together to develop a system and design a strategy to better prepare Vancouver for shocks big or small. We have begun work with an interdisciplinary team of students from UBC to collaborate on a design challenge called the Resilient CommUnity Design Challenge organized through Engineers for a Sustainable World. We have met with community organizations to receive mentorship on sustainability and emergency response. Our goal is to develop solutions to improve access to resources, including water and power through small scale energy production and water filtration systems while facilitating conversations of emergency plans in the case of a natural disaster.

In our primary research, we were delighted to conduct a phone interview with Roisin Kenny  who's dialog is featured in this video. Kenny was in Christchurch, New Zealand during  the 2011 earthquake. Roisin emphasizes the critical details that she, only post-disaster, realizes should be considered in developing a personal emergency plan. She walks us through her mental and physical experience right after the earthquake hit, describing how her neighbourhood became unliveable. Homes were destroyed to the extent that there were no utilities for a few months after the quake. Roisin has us think about all that we take for granted. From her experience in this disaster, she realized the importance of developing a sound emergency plan with loved ones and neighbours to better prepare for the next major natural disaster. The aftermath became a prime opportunity for neighbourhood-scale problem solving and human connection that would unlikely have occurred in the earthquake’s absence.

Summer Internship

April-August 2017, Philadelphia

Milder Office

Milder Office works closely with clients to design custom innovative furniture. I worked independently and with team members to develop new strategies for shipping & layout design of external literature.

  • Modeled CAD drawings using Onshape
  • Illustrated ideas through quick sketches and scale mock-ups 
  • Sourced textiles
  • Rapidly prototyped textile designs for packaging
  • Created industry standard tech packs and sourced manufactures 
  • Layout designs for cut sheets, catalogs and assembly manuals 
  • Designed, modeled and oversaw building of shipping crates
  • Implemented shipping standards through Google spreadsheets that connected inventories, BOLs, and crated labels  

Haunted Books

Thrift to Design:

Project description:

"In 3 weekend sessions, we will explore the notion of ‘value’ from a number of perspectives, exploring product categories such as novelty and kitsch, readymades and repurposing, as well as the role of collections and customization to affect perceived and/or practical value in existing objects. The students will select an existing (mass-produced) object with little or no monetary value, and through an ad-hoc process, raise its value."

Interactive Sculpture

Architectonics at Philadelphia University of the Arts

Interactive Sculpture; bamboo model 18”x18”, April 2017

A unique process which involved the transformation of an object to an orthographic drawing. One of the orthographic views was chosen to be a plan drawing of a new object. That new object was then visualized as a space to engage with and view from within. It transformed into a moving sculpture that acts as an adult playground.

I Want Candy

Tour of Shane Confectionary. Believe it or not this was one of our material process tours.   My favourite part of the tour happens at the end of this video.

Materials and Process

Understanding Materials & Processes

One of my classes at UArts consists of weekly field trips to local and regional manufacturing and fabrication businesses. Syllabus: Discovering the nature of materials used in industrial products and the various processes by which they are formed. Gaining first hand knowledge about the varying design processes, materials used, and specific terminology needed to communicate in many areas of design and manufacturing. 

Here are some of my favourite photos from our last 4 tours.

Portable Coffee Mug

Made some more portable artwork! Not dual walled so medium-hot coffee only; ceramics are serious heat conductors! The hole in the top will fit a used wine cork! Reduce, reuse, recycle!

More Trimming

Trimming pottery is wonderfully relaxing. Real-time trim of a tall bowl. I have been assigned a desk in the junior Industrial design studio so I decided to make a planter! Song is Coming of Age by Julia Jacklin.

Cliché Throwing

Throwing some cliche pieces on the wheel. We just moved to Philadelphia and my roomie forgot his pour-over.  No problem, I'll make you one! You'll just have to wait two weeks to make coffee in the morning!

Designing Sustainable Ceramics

Prototyping Design Concepts: This is the first prototype for a heater based off of an instructable that uses terracotta pots and tea-light candles to heat a room. Once this is fired I'll be able to give it a try. Potential issues include lack of oxygen to the flame, not enough material to collect heat or the need to add a heat conducting metal.

Throwing and trimming this was a blast. I love creating new shapes and fitting them together.

Song is Dreams of a Samurai- Red Hot Chillis

Throwing a Teapot Start to Finish

My first week at UArts and I've found my way into the ceramic studio. Here is a video of me creating a teapot from start to finish. I only had a few tools and was too excited to wait for leather hard clay to trim, so the trimming is wet.

First, a 4lb lump of clay is pressed onto the wheel. The top gets centered and a spout and lid are thrown and placed aside. Then, the body of the teapot is pulled and put aside to become leather hard with the lid and the spout. Once the lid is dry I center it back onto the wheel to trim it and a small handle is scorred and slipped onto the top. The teapot body is flipped upside down, with supporting pieces, and a foot is trimmed. I measure the spout onto the trimmed body and cut a hole for tea to pour through. I pull a handle and score and slip it onto the back of the pot. Ta-da!

The song is Unwrap the Fiend by Thee Oh Sees.

Constructing Large Vessels

While building the pieces I learnt a lot about the capability of clay and techniques for throwing large vessels. I was surprised how strong the leather hard structure was once it was scored and slipped together. Each piece held the ones above it seemingly effortlessly.  

This was one of the most exciting ceramics projects that I have created. I would most definitely do it again even just to experience the process once more. Next time I would push it further by creating larger pieces with more diversity between shapes.  It would be interesting to see how high the structure could be built. 

The process is so rewarding that I wouldn’t be worried about firing it and fitting it into a kiln.  It could be interesting to create a teetering sculpture that is so tall and so fragile bone dry. This project was effective because I was able to practice my throwing with large pieces yet I didn’t end up with a cluster of bowls for my kitchen, which is what usually happens when I throw on the wheel.