When Princeton Day School shifted to Panthers Online remote learning this spring, many furniture design students were three-quarters of the way into completing projects. In true Panther fashion, furniture design teacher Christopher Maher and his students adapted and found ways to continue their design work.
"With the prospect of finishing their pieces lost, we took to creating new designs with the rendering program Sketchup," Mr. Maher said. "All students learn this program in the introductory Furniture Design class and continue to use it throughout the advanced course, so students could make a smooth transition to new products without too much trouble," he added.
An opportunity to stretch their learning and their imaginations presented itself when they learned of a national Design It Digital 2020 competition hosted by the highly regarded Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) society. The AWFS also hosts the national Freshwood competition to which PDS has been one of the few high schools invited to compete for the past several years based on the high quality of the student work submitted. All intro and advanced furniture design students submitted entries to Design It Digital, which presented competitors with three hypothetical scenarios in which a client is asking for a specific custom piece of furniture. Participants were able to choose their favorite client project and design a solution using computer-aided design (CAD) and rendering software.
Recently, the School learned that PDS students Caden Bialow '23 and Nikhil Gandhi '22 won two out of the top three prizes for the competition, finishing second and third respectively. All winners were celebrated in a digital awards ceremony hosted by the AWFS. Congratulations to Caden and Nikhil for their awards and to Mr. Maher and all of the Princeton Day School furniture design students for their innovative work.
Images of Caden Bialow's second place winning design (top) and Nikhil Gandhi's third place winning design (bottom)