The Design Process: A Table, part 1

I’ve been meaning put up a post that describes the process I go through in designing a simple project such as dining table. This project was completed this fall.

The client contacted me about a dining table for a new kitchen they had recently added. The client, Jackie Boynton, and I discussed the general requirements and set an appointment or me to visit her house so that I could get a sense of the space and other furniture they had.

The table would need to regularly seat 3 and occasionally seat 4. Once I got to the site it appeared that an oval shape top would be appropriate. The new kitchen was contemporary enough, with large windows and clean woodwork for an oval to work, the space was somewhat small for a rectangle and we did not want to constrict the traffic flow of a busy kitchen, used for cooking, homework, family gathering and many other activities.

I eventually established a comfortable table size by taking measurements of the site, modeling the site in my 3D cad program and by using my “ergo man” model. This is a model I’ve created to allow me to assure enough room for table settings as well as many other ergonomic design concerns in many projects. Here’s a screen shot of this model:


Here’s an image I took while on site of the area the table would eventually occupy.p6050001.jpg

You can see the old table, obviously too small.

I manipulated this image in my photo editing application and added a rendering of an early sketch idea for a table to get a sense of the style direction I should be going towards.


This process of manipulating the image in a photo editing program is awkward and doesn’t allow me to measure the clearance around the table and to get a good idea of how the table will look so I modeled the space in the 3D cad program and was able to drop in various rough ideas for table designs.

To get a dialog going betwenn Jackie and myself about the table design I created a series of 3D sketches and quickly rendered them and was able to email them to her and her husband, Peter. They were able to discuss them and get back to me. Here’s a link to my Flickr set showing several of these sketches:


I think that these designs have a lot of potential and look forward to interesting another client into having me finish one or more of them.

In part 2 I’ll show the two finalists that Jackie and Peter chose, the eventual final choice and the completed table.

4 thoughts on “The Design Process: A Table, part 1

  1. Thanks for sharing a bit of your process. That’s pretty cool what you can do w/ some photos and a little 3d rendering. That’d be a good way to prepare an installation or a sculpture for a specific location too. Hmmm…

  2. Yes, it works well for sculpture as well. I’ll likely post about a sculpture project in which I did exactly that soon.

    In part 2 of this story I’ll show the 3d model I created of the site with the table models in it.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Pingback: The Design Process: A Table, part 2 « Art Furniture Design

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s