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Posted on Mar 27, 2015

The Challenges of Design

The Challenges of Design

I received this letter from Brindan Byrne, furniture designer, and Michael Sim, master wood craftsman, highlighting their recent experience on campus.

Dear Alison,

The Gillispie School Design Challenge preliminary feedback session that Michael Sim and I participated in on March 11, was a positive and stimulating experience for these “old hands” in the custom furniture world. It is heartwarming to see how excited the students get when they make a connection with three-dimensional design.

From the far-reaching Gecko chair with sun hood to the very do-able, practical stackable benches, being able to see elementary students explore design and develop ideas is inspiring. With extensive material research and handcrafted model work, the pride in the students’ efforts was palpable, making Michael and me proud.

Learning to understand basic building principles, material limitations, and design concepts is great training for the future consumers, designers, scientists and artists these children will become. The task of improving an existing design is a challenge all designers face, so being given this chance in elementary school is amazing.

What a wonderful learning opportunity Chip Edwards has created with this Design Challenge. We look forward to seeing what the next month holds as the young designers adjust and re-design to get ready for the April 22 Design Fair.

All Best,

Brindan Byrne

P.S. My students at the Design Institute of San Diego (seniors in college) all wished they had gone to Gillispie when I told them about my day on the panel!

Alison Fleming Head of School The Challenges of Design
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