Designing from Scratch

When I set out to design something, I sometimes find it helpful to make a list of requirements.

If designing a chair, my list might look like this:

  1. the seat must be at an appropriate height and shaped or upholstered for comfort;
  2. the chair must bear the weight of the user;
  3. it should have a back rest;
  4. it should be stable in use;
  5. wood is the primary material used; and
  6. I want to use traditional joinery; etc.

For Insanity 2, I made a different-looking list of requirements to help me think outside of the box:

  1. the design should be adventurous enough to make me question my sanity for attempting to build it at every step along the way;
  2. the design should be easily distinguishable from other designs;
  3. wood does not have to be the primary material;
  4. the figured ash does not need to be the focal point, nor does it need to be used in the final product;
  5. the framed ash panels do not have to be doors;
  6. if making a cabinet, the apparent doors do not have to be working;
  7. I don’t have to use a clear finish;
  8. a cabinet does not need to have completely enclosed space;
  9. it doesn’t need to have curves;
  10. I don’t need to finish it this month, or this year;
  11. it doesn’t need to be functional;
  12. it can be wall-mounted or free-standing;
  13. I want to be able to make the entire piece myself (no outsourcing); and
  14. the overall construction should be sound.


2 thoughts on “Designing from Scratch

  1. Sorry but if the doors don’t work are they just art? If so then they aren’t doors? Just sayin…

    Or perhaps a door that does not open is just a prison? hehe….it has you stuck on how to open them so long you feel like you are in prison. Personally a pivot door would be kewl and would work, if you built the case to match.

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