Purdue News

May 19, 2005

Purdue table designs honored at international furniture exhibit

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Twenty furniture and appliance designs by Purdue University students have been honored at the world's largest exhibition of furniture in Italy.

Student industrial designers
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Five students and one lecturer from the area of industrial design, which is housed in the Division of Art and Design, were invited to the 44th Salone Internazionale del Mobile, in Milan, Italy, on April 13-18. The exhibition attracted 190,000 furniture-industry representatives from around the world.

"This is the first time Purdue was invited to this show, which certainly provides a tremendous amount of visibility for our industrial design program," said Steve Visser, associate professor and area representative of industrial design in the Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts. "The items selected for display are from three industrial design classes. More than a dozen students contributed to the designs, but five students' table designs really stood out and demonstrated how basic materials, such as glass, plastic and bent tubing, can be used to create aesthetic designs."

The five students who attended the show were Steve Mistarz, from Northbrook, Ill.; Andrew Monteleone, from Indianapolis; David Angel, from San Antonio, Texas; Audra Bielskus, from Hinsdale, Ill.; and Rich Gustafson, from Indianapolis. All are juniors studying industrial design. Laura Drake, continuing lecturer, also attended.

The students displayed the prototypes of their designs, including eight full-size tables; six prototypes of furniture, including a bathroom faucet; and six graphic panels about furniture and appliances. One panel highlighted a low-cost kerosene stove design that was created to improve the safety of stoves used in impoverished, rural communities in places such as South Africa and India.

All of the tables were required to fold for shipping and could not exceed two inches when lying flat. Angel created The Zipper, which is 2 feet tall and with a glass top that is 20 inches in diameter. The table's base is made from the same plastic used to make 2-liter soft drink bottles. Unzipping the base on its three sides easily dismantles the table.

Part of Angel's assignment was to use predominantly clear materials to construct the table.

"This assignment was a challenge because it's much easier to use solid colors to create shape," he said. "With clear materials you have to create lines with folds, and experiment with the design to find ways to reflect light."

Classmate Mistarz used the same materials to construct his table, Revolve. However, his design was required to support 250 pounds.

The Milan work will be on display at Purdue next fall in the Rueff Galleries located at the Yue-Kong Pao Hall for Visual and Performing Arts, 552 W. Wood St.

Purdue's industrial design curriculum in the College of Liberal Arts focuses on the study of material and processes, original design projects and methodology. Specific courses look at rapid sketching, rendering and model-making techniques. Computer courses in portfolio preparation and presentation techniques also are available. More than 100 students are majoring in industrial design at Purdue.

Purdue industrial design graduates have found jobs in corporations and consulting firms focusing on the design and development of products for manufacturing. Specifically, industrial design students have worked in transportation, commercial and residential equipment, recreation, medical equipment, electronics and exhibits.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Steve Visser, (765) 494-2295, svisser@cla.purdue.edu

Laura Drake, (765) 494-3058, lauradrake@purdue.edu

Steve Mistarz, (847) 858-6280, smistarz@purdue.edu

David Angel, (765) 409-5028, drangel@purdue.edu

Audra Bielskus, (630) 986-2225, abielsku@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

 

PHOTO CAPTION:
Industrial design students Steve Mistarz, Audra Bielskus and David Angel exhibited their table design at Milan Furniture Fair in Milan, Italy, in April. Purdue University was invited to the 44th Salone Internazionale del Mobile exhibit April 13-18. The exhibition attracted 190,000 furniture industry representatives from around the world. The students displayed the prototypes of their designs, including eight full-size tables, six prototypes of furniture including a faucet and six graphic panels. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2005/visser-students.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:
Revolve, made by Steve Mistarz, from Northbrook, Ill., is made from the same plastic used to make 2-liter soft drink bottles. The table is 24 inches tall with a 20-inch circle top. It is designed to hold 250 pounds. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2005/visser-table1.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:
The Zipper, made by David Angel from San Antonio, Texas, is made from the same plastic used to make 2-liter soft drink bottles. The zipper sides on the base allow the 2-foot tall table to be easily dismantled for transportation. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2005/visser-table2.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:
The base of Ámbia, created by Audra Bielskus from Hinsdale, Ill., is made from steel bent tubing. The cocktail table, which is 34 inches tall, has a 21-inch glass top with sand blasted trim. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2005/visser-table3.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:
The Safety Stove, created by Professor Steve Visser and industrial design students, is designed for use in Third World countries, which rely on kerosene for cooking fuel. Every year hundreds of South Africans are killed in fires because of the substandard kerosene stoves in their homes. The Safety Stove has a pressurized fuel tank that has a can of sand sitting on top of the flexible tank. When the stove tips, the can of sand falls off to the ground, extinguishing the fire. The base is flexible and shaped like an accordion, so it easily collapses from the weight of the sand. Once the can of sand falls off the tank, the pressure on the fuel tank is gone, so no more fuel will leak. (Photo provided)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2005/visser-stove.jpg

 

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