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Added on by Joshua Rhodes.

I am so excited about this! I want to organize an industrial design contest open to the general public.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving and thinking about how much I love being in Phoenix, making furniture, and the creative people that I have already met in the short time we've been here (random thoughts, I know). Then I started thinking that other people out there might like designing/creating furniture. That led me to the idea of having a competitons among local designers, giving them a chance to present their ideas in a venue of like-minded people, as well as professionals that can share their insight.

Understanding that industrial design is a very broad field, for the first contest I think we would narrow it down to furniture design. We could have several categories (material used, sustainability of material, degree of complexity in production, etc.).

I want to make this contest legit. I think it would be a valuable way to promote community and innovation among local artist/designers and small business/retail/local shops. This is how I see it going down: several people submit design ideas  > a panel of professional designers judge the entries > top design/s are chosen then produced (sponsored by local designers who either donate resources or we set it up so they get a cut of the profits (which helps set it up the grounds for which the winning design is picked)  > the pieces are sold through local venues and abroad. (promoted through local avenues, design blogs, etc.)

This post is a call out to anybody who would be interested. I have little to no knowledge about the industrial design process, so input would be valued. In order to make this happen like I imagine, we would need to assemble the following:

  • Judges/panel of local ID pros who who could look at the entries, decide which ones gets produced, and help make it happen. As well as give advice to me in organizing/promoting this thing.
  • Sponsors (I need to to print fliers, build a website, and most importantly I would love to see at least 1 to 3 of the winning designs actually produced!
  • Entries, I'm curious if people would actually be interested in participating in something like this. (would they pay to enter?)
  • Help. I couldn't do this my own. If you would like to assist in organizing, logistics, promoting, etc.
  • Legal advice- would the winning design need to be trademarked or anything?

If you like this idea, and would like to be involved please contact me, and spread the word.

Thanks, lets get the ball rollng on this. I think it could help grow the local creative community.

building a bench

Added on by Joshua Rhodes.

I had so much fun with this project. I scored a bunch of free Brazilian hard wood from a marble foundry downtown. I can't believe they're are just giving this stuff away. If I had a truck, I'd have enough reclaimed lumber in my back yard to build a second house. We are fortunate to have our trusty Volvo, so I was able to bring a fair amount home.

The wood is used to keep marble slabs in place, so it has to be super hard. Which is a great thing for me, but it wasn't easy tearing them apart.  I manned through it, and ended up with some great pieces to work with.

The more I make stuff like this, the nicer the hardware I want to use. I ended up just screwing all the pieces in with 2.5" wood screws and it turned out pretty sturdy! I love taking "scraps" that somebody was going to throw out; and and with a little good ol' fashioned elbow grease, and a couple of beers, turn it into decent looking furniture!

I hope to make my way down to the marble yard soon, and grab another free DIY furniture building kit!

 To see other projects I am working on, have a look at the project gallery.