Wood Joints

I never realized how many different options there were to join two pieces of wood other than a butt joint.  After our technical drawing discussion, Martha mentioned that we need to consider how the butt joint would affect or detract from the hierarchy and focus of the cube and also that it is one of the weakest joints.  This didn’t occur to me that I had this corner construction issue until I talked to Mark in the woodshop.  He asked me how I was planning on joining the corner and I thought wood glue was the answer, but he said that it wouldn’t be very effective because it would have opposing wood grains glued together.  Mark suggested that I look at the Joinery book by Gary Rogowski in the shop.  I found so many different options and possibilities that would be sturdy and effective in connecting two long-grain pieces.  I would definitely recommend spending some time looking at the book but in the mean time here is are the scanned pages of the table of contents with the name and image of each type of joint.
Wood joints


Part of being a designer is an evaluation of your work.  Someone might absolutely love it, another might hate it.  But that doesn’t mean you have to take every idea or suggestion.  It may be something as little as changing the material that changes an opinion about a design.  After hearing the critique of a piece of work, it is up to the designer to go back and re-evaluate the design intention, assertion of interest, and how and why it is or isn’t successful.  Critiques aren’t meant to be a negative experience, but provide helpful feedback to challenge the way the designer thought about an element or principle of design.  I know some people dread the day where everyone puts the work up that they have become so attached to and it’s hard to hear someone say that it isn’t working for them or they don’t see it, but personally, I enjoy hearing different ideas and suggestions that maybe I didn’t think of before.  Critiques are a necessary part of the design process to strengthen the finished product.


Writing out my thoughts has always been hard for me and blogging is definitely the perfect example.  There’s something about putting your thoughts out on the internet for everyone to see and read that isn’t quite my style.  Keeping up with a weekly blog is definitely a struggle for me, but as a designer I know that it is so important to document my thoughts and ideas.  While this can only get easier each time I post, it is definitely going to take some time to get used to.

Wire as a material

Each material holds a form differently than another.  Wire and metal are technically the same material, but why do they react so differently to being manipulated?  Working with 22 gauge sheet metal is nothing like using 22 gauge wire.  They don’t hold right angles the same or provide the same amount of stability and structure.  Making a cube out of sheet metal is easier in a sense because each piece that is cut out will hold its shape.  Bending sheet metal is much harder to do compared to bending a wire.  After working with wire to suggest a 6 inch cube, I’ve discovered just how frustrating it is.  Wire doesn’t hold a straight line perfectly or a right angle.  After trying to bend wire into a perfect angle or even replicate the same angle multiple times, I’ve gained a better understanding of characteristics of wire and when it is and isn’t the ideal material for a design.


Every material has a different texture, effect, and reaction to folds, bends, and cuts; but I never really thought of a material as design itself. Bristol reacts to a fold entirely differently than regular computer paper, and cardboard and chipboard have different levels of stability in terms of which will support more weight or what will hold its shape.  I knew material choice was an important decision leading towards the overall success or failure of a design, but it didn’t really hit me until I was given the choice of what material I wanted to use.  It really made me think when I started to look at the differences between each material how much it truly impacts the design.  Materiality is an element of design that affects the principles of design.  Choosing a material will no longer be a minor decision, but one with many itterations in different materials to experiment with how it impacts the overall design.