white pine, walnut, poplar
How far can you push a project? I designed and built the first V STOOL in the spring of 2019 as an experiment
with Japanese joinery. What came next were architectural drawings of the stools elevations, axonometric,
exploded axonometric, etc. From these drawings came graphics and screen printed tee shirts, selling out fast. Next came giant dance parties hosted by V STOOL, with music sets by "DJ V STOOL." Then in the spring of 2020 came deliveries from the lumber yard, and mass production, leading to my senior thesis, "Community" - an art installation of 59 V STOOLs in Groot Gallery. This project only gathered meaning in the months to come - characterized by the isolation of the COVID19 pandemic (the gallery opening was canceled), the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police department, BLM protests and white nationalist riots throughout the city where I grew up. I watched Minneapolis burn as ashes fell to my feet in my backyard. I lost friends to accidents, and I lost family to cancer. After months of trauma and reflection, I decided to take this meaningful piece of me, and extend the meaning of "Community." I sold all the V STOOLS, and donated all the profits to Colloqate Design, (a group promoting justice thru design) raising more than $2000. Because many of the stools were broken down to flat-pack ship across the country, I designed folding assembly guide to accompany each stool. It was the perfect end (or new beginning) to a project filled with so much love and support.
Looking back, the V STOOL was a fluid channel for my own creative exploration. Over the course of 2 years, I collaborated with photographers, graphic designers, printmakers, sculptors, artists, poets, wood-workers, lighting designers, curators, DJs, event planners, philanthropists... the V STOOL was an open road for creativity. And I hope it touched, and continues to touch, the lives of many. So as I pack up and ship the last of the stools and they travel to their new loving homes, I wonder to myself, 'what is next for the V STOOL?'
Status: In progress (always)
Date: Spring 2019 - WIP
Type: Personal project
Location: Northfield, MN
Photography: Will Cipos, Paddy Mittag-McNaught,
Melinde Madsen, Marcel Hones, Peter McCrea-Hokensen
Collaborators: Juan Romo, John Saurer, Wendell Arneson,
Eamonn Stanton, Lily Nelson, Meg Rossman, Irve Dell,
Jane Becker-Nelson, Stephen Schroeder