Well, we’ve gone and done it again, the studio has split in two. The simultaneous development between the Crop Stop and the Decathlon cabinetry is crucial at this stage, since we are working up to our porch build in Greenville next week, and the Cabinet mock up in the weeks that follow that.
The cabinetry design has been an incredible learning experience so far because of the level of detail required. You wouldn’t think it, but designing the carcasses goes down to the 32nd of an inch! This is partially because of the thickness of plywood, which is actually 23/32″ instead of the more well known nominal 3/4″ dimension.
Choosing a cabinetry material can depend on the type of requirements the material needs to fulfill. We need our material to be compatible with the CNC method, in order to produce custom detailing and patterns within the material. The material needs to easily accept hardware that won’t damage the faces or edges. One of the ways we wish to articulate the cabinetry is with the edge detailing by composing a way to intrigue the visitors with a more tactile experience in the storage units. Should we leave the edges of the material exposed with open box storage and hide the edges of the closed box storage? This is a double ‘edge’ sword of course, since the material’s durability will determine how the edges retain their beauty. Structural capabilities pair closely with this, since we want to stack the boxes to create the walls. In some cases we will potentially need to double up the panels to gain the box spans we want. Finally, how the material will hold a paint or stain will impact how we decide to color or pattern the cabinets. In addition to the innovation of how the box carcasses work together, how the aesthetic is presented to the visitors should also be a point of innovation.
The firmness, delight, and innovation is of course paramount for the cabinets to succeed. But what about commodity? The function of good design has an enormous impact on the user. We must make sure these cabinets are able to function with the program we give them, whether it is rigorous or flexible. Looking at different iterations of how to lock and open the cabinets has just as much functional impact as spacing does. Book shelves have a certain depth requirement in comparison to TV consoles or clothing. Keeping in mind the ‘canvas’ of the walls, design should be driven both by those space requirements as well as what makes sense in terms of how to best use and access each function. Speaking of what makes sense, did you know the eye and mind naturally look to perceive things as lighter on the top and heavier on the bottom? Picture frames and drawer sets are a good example of this. The deepest set of drawers is always on the bottom, preceeded by a medium depth drawer underneath shallow drawers. The bottom of a picture frame is ever so slightly wider than the sides or top. Doors too! Take a look at a door near you: do you see that there is almost always a band thicker on the bottom than the sides or top?
All these details need to be taken into account as we begin to move the cabinets past schematic design and into the development and construction document phase. The mock up is beginning in just a few weeks! Stay tuned for more!