Sixteen Student Stools

sixteen stools of many colors shapes and materials

Economic growth, material extraction, and greenhouse gas emissions have a near-99 percent correlation. Building is an act of climate change.

This exhibition draws increased attention to climate change pedagogy at the Graduate School of Design by showcasing sixteen student-designed stools from the MArch core course, Materials. The stools are a minimal functional architecture for students to investigate the environmental and social impact materials have through the production of waste (materials, toxins, emissions, etc.) across the entire building lifecycle. And through the hands-on experience of making, the stool project seeks to extract the latent opportunities for designers to shape the future of such impacts.

Highlighting these opportunities, the student-designed exhibition structure dismantles, reuses, and reimagines waste materials from the decommissioning of the American Architecture (Model) Kenzo Tange Pavilion. Its student designers state, “This structure has been offered a second life, that of a true soapbox, to be dismantled and used to display student work, to serve in elevating voices and ideas. Maintaining certain iconic qualities of the original structure, the history is not entirely erased, yet functions specifically for its new purpose. Creating a platform for each student’s design allows the student’s work to become the priority and the structure to have a supporting role. Design is kept minimal for this reason, to give precedence to the work.”