Design Time

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on March 23rd, 2011

Since the late January opening of Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller and It’s Herman Miller Time: Today’s Furniture Makers Respond, all of us at the Woodson Art Museum have been counting down to the launch of the Design Studio on March 22.

The live-date has finally come, and without a doubt the Design Studio has exceeded our expectations.
The Design Studio provides opportunities to experience the ins and outs of design firsthand. Why was an object – a rotary beater, for example – designed in a certain way? It is a matter of aesthetics or function or both? These are questions visitors to the Design Studio will explore. 
In addition to exploring a half dozen interactives, now through Saturday, March 26, visitors also will benefit from interaction with University of Wisconsin-Madison furniture design student Paul J. Lorenz and graduate art and design education student Yu-Nung Lin.
Paul and Yu-Nung are in residence in the Design Studio to bring the design process to life by putting faces, personalities, and interpretation to the concepts presented by the interactives. Their residency is made possible in part by a Community Arts Grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation, and the Community Foundation.
Paul and Yu-Nung also are available to talk about the furniture pieces created by fellow UW-Madison students in response to classic Herman Miller, Inc. designs comprising the exhibition, It’s Herman Miller Time: Today’s Furniture Makers Respond. Paul’s striking loveseat is among the works featured and it provides an interesting case study in the form versus function debate.
Another thought-provoking aspect of Good Design and It’s Herman Miller Time – and amplified through the Design Studio – is explored by a recent blog post on the Herman Miller, Inc. web site, “Art or Flattery.” Blogger Randall Braaksma concludes: “Take inspiration from everything is the creative person’s mantra. And we love it when creatives take it from us.”
And we love it when visitors to the Woodson Art Museum take it from us!
Check out the Design Studio and Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller and It’s Herman Miller Time: Today’s Furniture Makers Respond now through April 3.

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