Inspired by Shaker furniture, Upper Sixth product design student Jess Lewis has conducted a feasibility study around the school campus to determine a suitable location to create a product that promotes the values of Quakerism. Under the guidance of Roger Starr, several venues and products were explored including furniture, sun dials and clocks. Ultimately, attention was drawn to the simple concrete and wood bench at the entrance of the school on the triangle of land that fronts the A38. This bench not only desperately required a refit, as the existing wood had deteriorated, but also occupied an enviable position for the promotion of the values of the school. Several design proposals were drafted and after consultation with senior students, the preferred design was presented to the local council for their approval.
Work started on the manufacture of the bench, which is constructed from sapele hardwood, as the product component of the A2 Design Technology qualification.
Manufacturing techniques combined the capabilities of the school workshop utilising CNC technology for the lettering and traditional hand and machining techniques for the bench components. The bench is shown here on temporary end supports to display the piece in the forthcoming Arts and Technology exhibition during our festival weekend. The bench woodwork will then be given a weather resistant finish and installed into the existing concrete supports to became a permanent feature of the school entrance.
Head of Technology Faculty