Looking at public spaces and public seating, this projects focused on the how to design public seating in the Northwestern Bienen School of Music building. | 2016


Quick Facts:

  • 5 hours of laser cutting
  • 15 hours of field research
  • Inspired by a quarter rest
  • Prototype was originally created with only cardboard


SueSan Chen

Isabel Ngan


Inspired by the quarter rest in music, the Rest allows the public to lounge, sit, and relax within the space of the Bienen Music Building. The seating is all 100% made from cardboard, and we looked at the material and the qualities of cardboard to create this piece to support the weight of individuals.

The Process

We looked at what and how the space is used through interviews of students, and we ethnography research that was documented through photographs and video. Our interviews and research revealed insights and user needs, and the challenge was creating seating that not only was beautiful while still fulfilled user needs.

The Method

1. Researched space and interview students who interact with the space

2. Collected user insights and needs

3. Sketched out ideas that accomplish fulfilling user needs

4. Utilized CAD to render idea

5. Utilized Illustrator to convert the form for laser cutting

The Challenge

The challenge we faced was the material and how we wanted to utilize the cardboard. Though this would be a temporary installation, we were also worried about the wear-and-tear of the material, so we had to think about the way users could interact with the seating.