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NewSchool of Architecture and Design Students Develop Modular Bench Designs

Work to be featured at ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair 2013 Nov 7-10


NewSchool of Architecture and Design Students Develop Modular Bench Designs

NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students have developed a 12-foot-high modular bench design that will be on display at the ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair 2013, Nov. 7–10 in San Diego’s Balboa Park Activity Center. The 40 benches, produced by the students through a collaboration with ART SAN DIEGO, incorporate sustainable design practices and materials and can be reconfigured to suit the changing needs and ambience of the fair’s center lounge area.

To see a short video of the project:

ART SAN DIEGO, now in its fifth year, is San Diego's premier contemporary art fair attended by more than 10,000 people. This year ART SAN DIEGO is demonstrating the future of sustainable-friendly events by coordinating with several partners, including the NSAD students, to set a new standard for creating high design temporary furniture and event infrastructures using recycled materials. The interior design team for the Fair’s center lounge area is a collaboration between Noble Environmental Technologies' material ECOR® and NSAD students who are part of the Numisius Colony of Alpha Rho Chi fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. This project is part of the student group’s community outreach efforts to meet criteria in becoming a formal chapter.

“NewSchool of Architecture and Design students have a reputation for coming up with creative and relevant designs that enhance our communities through sustainable design approaches,” said Ann Berchtold, founder and director of ART SAN DIEGO. “The students involved in this project demonstrated a professional-level commitment to working on this collaborative project, resulting in this innovative and delightful modular bench design for the fair’s center lounge area that demonstrates the sustainable future of temporary events like ours.” 

For the center lounge space, Noble Environmental Technologies/ECOR® Lead Developer Matt Arrigo, an NSAD alumni, and company founder Robert Noble have designed and created a central seating area and other sectional pieces entirely with ECOR® products. The NSAD student team created complementary modular benches. The benches feature back-lighting and elongated backs that integrate fabric, creating a swooshing sail visual effect. The seating portion of the benches was designed with ECOR® material molded at NSAD’s Materials Lab to provide a comfortable contour. NSAD students have also integrated sustainable approaches to minimize waste of source building material. The modular bench design allows for multiple configurations that can suit the changing needs of the space.

This project underscores the opportunities available to students at NSAD to put into practice sustainable design practices that are emphasized through the school’s programs. It also demonstrates the interdisciplinary connections of design-related specialties such as architecture, interior design and product design. In addition to offering students global design study opportunities, NSAD’s interdisciplinary design offerings provide a range of opportunities for students to develop valuable skills in related specialties such as construction management, digital media arts, product design and interior design.