Studio Collaboration Table

exploring a multiplicity of behaviours for
CMU School of Architecture

academic, independent project, fabrication, furniture

carnegie mellon university, pittsburgh, pa, usa

completed,  spring 2015


5 months
advisors + support
Richard Tursky, additional assistance by Scott Smith, Jon Holmes, and Kevyn McPhail
Wolf Metal Fabrication
An independent project that utilized the Burdett Assistantship Award as a vehicle to explore furniture design in a communal table for CMU’s School of Architecture. The design aims to manifest a table for the various behaviors that would afford a table for students and faculty through three scales of interaction that sculpt the table. The activation of the open plotter space has given the school a new place to hold presentation, offer a place outside the studio for students to work on studio work.

With the opportunity to utilize the Burdett Assistantship towards a project, I set the charge to offer the school a piece of furniture to use for students and faculty. Given the space near the studios of the first two years of the program, the design of the table derives to answer how a table can offer different scales of behavior, collaboration, or work. The process of understanding use and scale derived from three different scales of behavior: a single user, a dialogue between two individuals, and a large group discussion.

Details of the leg connections evolved from a necessity to assemble the structure in the space as a result of the scale and asymmetrical shape. Additionally, small details in the top offer guides for user’s computer cords as this space may be used to work or give presentations. Ultimately, the table will activate this underutilized space.

In regards to materiality, quarter sawn white oak plywood reflected the use of the figured oak in the railings in the building, while the black powder coat metal leg structure and exposed mig welds was inspired to express the honest construction and architectural mileu.

I collaborated with a local metal fabricator, Wolf Metal Fab. in New Kensington, PA, to fabricate and powder coat the leg structure. The table top was double sided milled with the dFab lab 3 axis CNC mill and assembled in the woodshop with guidance from John Holmes and Scott Smith, the architecture department woodshop managers.

Table Assembly on Vimeo.


Joel McCullough Copyright 2020