Architectural Elements teams up with WWU Industrial Design students to create new and unique outdoor products.
The Ultimate Learning Experience
BELLINGHAM, WASH. MAY 5, 2015 -- Trying something new is often the hardest thing anyone can do. But when Architectural Elements teamed up with Western Washington University on creating new and unique products for outdoor spaces, the students at Western blew Architectural Elements away with their creative approach to traditional outdoor items.
“This is where you get a new and fresh approach to things,” said AE owner Joe Clark. “The challenges not only come from your original design revisions but re-doing things over and over. Working with students with bright minds and great abilities just goes to show you what can be created.”
The goal was to create one-of-a-kind products that would enhance any outdoor space such as benches, lighting, partitions, walls, planters to create a new and unique feel to being outside.
Students were challenged to develop a small-scale prototype within an eight-week period and each generated a broad range of ideas, which were narrowed down by peers and designers at Architectural Elements. Employees Kyle Thomas and Jon Falcon, both veterans of WWU’s program, worked heavily with the students helping show them what is reasonable and feasible when bring their ideas to life.
“These items had to be created with cost in mind,” Thomas said. “That is a challenge for any product designer. If it costs too much people just won't buy it.”
Industrial Design student Emma Nestvold said she enjoyed the program and Architectural Elements gave her design process room to grow.
“They encouraged us to break the mold and moving away from preconceptions of what we thought a product should be,” she said.
Our favorite part of this project was being able to show the students how things are manufactured in the “real” world. A lot of what you learn in school is very conceptual and not focused on the details of fabrication and manufacturing. With the type of work we do at Architectural Elements & TiTE Design, we are required to think about how things are going to be manufactured the second the pencil hits the paper. The part that was challenging was having to tell some of the students they were “wrong”. As a student, you spend hours upon hours dedicating yourself to a particular design and convincing yourself that it is the perfect solution. To have to tell a student that something needs to be made differently than what they are proposing is really tough to do. You can see it in their eyes that they are really disappointed and they feel like they failed, but in the end when you guide them to find the right solution. The reward becomes that much sweeter in the end.
About Architectural Elements
Architectural Elements is a full-scale company with large-scale capabilities including in-house industrial and product design capabilities, 3D modeling and printing and cutting edge software capabilities. The products built by Architectural Elements are normally one-of-a-kind and specially designed for the client with an emphasis on detail and high quality.