Good design comes to life March 22-26 with two University of Wisconsin-Madison design students in residence at the Woodson Art Museum. A furniture designer and a future design educator lead programs for all ages – constructing stuffed-animal-sized furniture with children, cardboard chairs with teens, and demonstrating design technology and woodworking techniques for visitors to the Design Studio, a gallery space complementing three exhibitions on view through April 3.
These exhibitions explore the idea that good design is art with a purpose – aesthetically pleasing and functional. Using chair design as an example, “Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller” presents the sophisticated, ergonomically sound furnishings that transformed the office furniture industry. “Google Doodles: Design for the Modern Office” showcases images that have adorned Google’s home page search box. In “It’s Herman Miller Time: Today’s Furniture Makers Respond,” UW-Madison furniture design students offer a fresh take on classic Herman Miller pieces through the chairs, tables, and cabinets they envisioned and constructed.
Furniture designer Paul J. Lorenz, whose “Office Loveseat” is included in the student exhibition, demonstrates his woodworking skills throughout the week-long residency. Art and design education graduate student Yu-Nung Lin leads visitors through hands-on interactives created by fellow students and demonstrates design technology. Little Masters, ages 5-7, and Young Artists, ages 8-12, construct miniature furniture with Paul and Yu-Nung in two free programs on Tuesday, March 22. Call 715-845-7010 to register for Little Masters, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Young Artists, 5:30-7 p.m.
Architecture and design professionals from throughout the state gather at the Museum to enjoy “Good Design” and related exhibitions, refreshments, and interaction with the UW-Madison students during an Architecture & Design Event, Thursday, March 24, 4-7 p.m., presented by Samuels Group | Environments and Herman Miller, Inc.
Teens construct cardboard chairs, embark on a scavenger hunt, and enjoy food and music with the university students during TLC3= Teens Love Customized Cardboard Chairs, 7-9 pm, Friday, March 25.
Visitors to the Museum can watch Paul and Yu-Nung in action one last time during Student Last Hurrah, Saturday, March 26, Noon-5 p.m.
Design Studio funding comes from a Community Arts Grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Community Foundation, and the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation and additional support from Judy Cherwinka. The Design Studio was produced by UW-Madison undergraduate art and design education students, under the direction of professor Doug Marschalek and graduate student Yu-Nung Lin, and coordinated by Museum educator Erin Narloch.
“Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller” was organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, Michigan, in collaboration with The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, through the support of Herman Miller, Inc. Local support for the Woodson Art Museum’s focus on design comes from UMR, a UnitedHealthcare Company; Herman Miller, Inc.; and Samuels Group | Environments. “Good Design” was curated by John Berry, Holland; coordinated by Timothy Chester, Grand Rapids; designed by Judy Hillman and Barb Loveland, Hillman Associates, Saugatuck; and fabricated by Vincent Faust, Kalamazoo.
“Google Doodles” was organized by curator of exhibitions Andy McGivern and Preston Hershorn, of Google, Inc.