Midtown Artful Outdoor Furnishings

Submitted by Dustin Headley

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Client: Norris Design / Brookfield Residential Design

Location: Denver, Co, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $30,000

Project Team

Other

Dustin Headley

Landscape Architect

John Norris

Norris Design

Other

Brookfield Residential

Overview

These furnishings were designed and developed by K-State University students through the Digital Fabrications course offered by Dustin Headley in the department of Interior Architecture and Product Design (IAPD). Norris Design, a Landscape Architecture firm, approached K-State to develop these furnishings for their Midtown Project in Denver CO with Brookfield Residential. The students participated/lead design charrettes to develop the initial design ideas, which were then developed within the course and fabricated in cooperation with the Advance Manufacturing Institute at K-State. Students were encouraged to create work that sparked high levels of creativity along with functionality.

Goals

The goals for this project was to develop artful and creative furnishings within a realistic budget that would enhance the Landscape Architecture of the Midtown development. In many respects this work is an extension of an already rigorous endeavor to shift perspectives on urban living, landscapes, home, and, within this particular dimension of the project, creative engagement in furnishings. Each piece is a functioning work of art that contributes to the extroverted community which houses urban farming as well as highly tuned architectural homes, extending the attitude for design into the landscape at a more granular level of detail – human scale. This enables the work to feed off of the sister scales engaged in the project (a hallmark of the IAPD program), generating inspiring and playful spaces and objects that enrich the built environment. In many respects the works have already been a “hit,” as this project went through two full rounds of students and fabrications (the second of which being at a much larger scale). The value of these designs has been felt by both the residents of the community as well as the developer and design team.

Process

This work was conceived from the onset as a collaborative effort, springing from the vision of Norris Design and Brookfield Residential to incorporate students in the design of future objects and spaces. Norris Design hosted a design charrette for each iteration of the course, inviting participation from all students from all the departments within the College of Architecture, Planning and Design. The students in the course (also from each department) lead design teams, each exploring different functional programs. Once the charrette was completed the students went to work developing the designs for fabrication with the support of the Advance Manufacturing Institute. These works were then engineered and fabricated and delivered to site for assembly (in some cases these pieces were too big to transport assembled). During this process the students received feedback from the developer, the landscape architect, and the engineers (in addition to the professor) and had to deal with pitching each design to the larger design team, detailing the design within tolerance, and budgetary issues as well as overall fit within the urban schema.

Additional Information

The second round of furnishing is currently still in fabrication, but represents the next scale up in the furnishings while also assisting in the branding – one of the pieces is 8’x8’x8’ ‘M’ (for ‘Midtown’) that is an M in both elevation and in plan to engage both the site and tag the satellite images of the park space it will be incorporated into.