A Brief Interlude About Cabinetry

While the immediate, semester-long goal of Studio V is to design and produce a fully functioning Crop Stop unit for deployment in Greenville County, our studio’s responsibility’s also extend to Clemson’s Solar Decathlon studio. As we act in concert, using their construction methods to build our Crop Stop, we are in turn designing the fabrication methods for their interior cabinetry.

This week, our studio has (yet again) divided into two groups: a larger body to investigate and finalize the structural scheme of the Crop Stop, and a smaller body devoted to fleshing out construction details–materiality, finishings, hinges, and the like–for the Solar House’s cabinetry system. Aligning with the narrative of the Solar House’s modularity mandate, we in the cabinetry group began exploring means and methods with which to design freestanding cabinetry meant to both efficiently accommodate appliances, and provide spatial division across the floor plan. A diagram of the area we have to work with can be found below.


Our aim in the design is to develop European-style cabinetry, such that the each door will lie flush next to its neighbor with about an eighth-inch gap betwixt; in accomplishing this, we’ve investigated adjustable hinges–through companies like Hafele–that conceal within the interior when the cabinet is closed, providing the desired aesthetic we seek.

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The materiality of the cabinetry–in keeping with the rest of Solar House’s palate–involves choosing and finishing the right kind of plywood to work with CNC fabrication. Thus far we’ve been pointed in the direction of two intriguing companies: Plyboo and Appleply. The former sells a sturdy and environmentally friendly product culled from (as the name might imply) bamboo, while the later offers a premium hardwood product made from sixteenth-inch panels of apple wood; both companies emphasize the lack of voids present within their respective woods, highlighting their marketability as not just simply structural, but also potentially eye-catching when brought to a finish–a design decision we’re currently aiming for.

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