How I Make Things: Leelo

Documenting your progress when making something is important in a design process. It’s also important when you’re a nerd and want to do things by the book. Luckily I’m just nerdy enough for this, I’ve got plenty of material – photos, sketches, models, bigger models, more models – left from my design processes, even from the unfinished projects. One might say it’s a lot of junk on your shelves. Well, it is. And that’s awesome.

I never thought of myself as a really good drawer. I’m not bad but I’m not great either. Plus I lack patience for it. That’s why design is so great – you can just say that this is your “handwriting” and be proud of it. These are ideas and thoughts put on paper, no need to worry about straight lines and perspective.

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Making scale models is probably my favorite part of the process. This is when I start forming my idea into something real and spatial. This is also when I see what kind of shadow my product is going to cast!

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After an endless amount of models in different sizes and materials, it was finally time to cross my fingers and start building an actual prototype (uncrossing fingers when using a circular saw though). This is a tough part because you really have to focus on technical details. How to connect the feet? How thick should be the plywood of seat modules? What about the metal connectors?

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At the same time, my project partner Mari was testing different patterns and methods to weave the fabric. This was all part of our furniture+textile departments’ joint project for the 2013 Stockholm Furniture Fair.

Finally, when all parts were ready for assembly, the prototype was put together and tested for the first time.

And of course, it is beyond compare to sit for the first time on the chair that you just built. All the blood, sweat and tears (all of those actually happened) finally pay off.

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