When I was a kid I designed a chair.

Over the past several months we’ve enjoyed watching my mom’s project Studio Neptune grow. My mom’s an artist and children’s art educator. I grew up both participating in her art classes and eventually teaching some cartooning classes myself. On her website Studio Neptune she is meticulously documenting and making available step-by-step instructions on various art projects that she’s created over the course of more than two decades teaching children. I am honored that last month’s project – the “Gabe Chair” – was one in which I had a part to play.

As a child some of my passions were Legos and origami. I was fascinated by the seemingly infinite combinations that were possible within the limited systems of bricks and square origami papers. I can see the influence of these hobbies in my design of what my mom called the “Gabe Chair”. My design was simple: starting with a square piece of rigid material, two cuts – an initial bisection and then a bisection of one of the newly formed pieces – created three fundamental pieces which could be combined to form the chair. This construction would then serve as the base for limitless customizations and variations. I am very happy to have this design archived now on my mom’s site, and I’m looking forward to see what other childhood art memories resurface as she continues to populate the site with projects.

Speaking of childhood memories, be sure to check out her fascinating interview series When They Were Kids: Artists Talk About Their Childhoods in which she interviews adult artists about their childhood art experiences. What are your childhood memories about art and design?

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