Artist name: Will Holman
Featured Work 1: Zip Tie Lounge Chair
“The Zip Tie Lounge Chair is a flat-pack armchair made of plywood panels sewn together with zip ties. Requires 16 square feet of plywood, 44 zip ties, and no tools for assembly. Available as a free download or in kit form at OpenDesk.”
William Holman is an innovative designer and maker of furniture, architecture, and objects. He sees the potential for transformation in raw, solid, organic materials and he reintroduces them to the world in a variety of creative, accessible, useful, and attractive new forms.
Other Featured Works: before and after image from the Currency Exchange, and slideshow of works
5 Questions for the Designer:
1. What is design to you?
“I try to work by the Charles Eames maxim “the best for the most for the least”: For me, that means solutions to common problems that are cheap, green, and intelligible to the user, i.e. hackable or repairable.”
2. What did you make in the past, and why?
“In terms of architecture, I have worked on high-density, low-energy urban housing (Arcosanti, Arizona), low-cost rural housing (the 20K House at the Rural Studio, Faunsdale, Alabama), and artist-led placemaking (builder for Theaster Gates, Chicago, IL). In terms of furniture, I have worked on lightweight pieces made from salvaged materials (Guerilla Furniture Design).
All of my design work is predicated on the idea that design shouldn’t be only accessible to rich people. There’s a common perception that design is a luxury good, available only to those who can afford iPhones and Teslas and bespoke houses by fancy architects. Everyone deserves good design, and my heroes are those who have always strove to drive down cost and democratize access – Samuel Mockbee, Jean Prouve, Buckminster Fuller, and Paolo Soleri (amongst others).”
3. What are you making now, and why?
“I am the general manager of a 34,000 s.f. makerspace, Open Works (www.openworksbmore.com) opening later this year in Baltimore. It is a meta-extension of the ideas embedded in my design practice, in that we are trying to lower the barriers to making things exponentially. Folks in many areas of Baltimore City lack access to education and jobs. Everyone is a maker of something, and Open Works can be a platform for turning that into a learning experience or an economic opportunity.
In my personal practice, I am working with Open Desk to release some more open-source designs for CNC fabrication: a second chair that is made with zip ties as fasteners, and a storage hutch held together with a ratchet strap.”
4. What are your hopes for the future?
“My hope for the future is to bring design to everyone, through makerspaces, through books, and through open-sourcing my work online.”
5. Do you want to add anything?
“I’ve just launched a YouTube channel (search Object Guerilla), and am working hard to get some more accessible video content out there.
And thanks so much for having me!”
Artist Supplied Background:
Will Holman trained as an architect at Virginia Tech and the Rural Studio, melding classic Bauhaus-ian education with a social practice focused on inexpensive but elegant solutions to universal problems. He has worked as a concrete finisher, carpenter, artist’s assistant, educator, author, and is now the general manager of Open Works (www.openworksbmore.com), an interdisciplinary makerspace opening in central Baltimore in fall, 2016. He is also the author of Guerilla Furniture Design, a manifesto/project book about building inexpensive furniture from salvaged materials.You can also find him on Instructables and twitter and Instagram: @objectguerilla.
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