• Colorful, wave-shaped bench by Frederick Kim '11. First Prize winner of the 2010 MADFAB Competition.

    Photo: Tom Gearty

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  • Wooden table with an innovative system of movable gears by Ben Peters ’11. 2nd Prize winner of the 2010 MADFAB Competition.

    Photo: Tom Gearty

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  • Bench by Ella Peinovich G. 2nd Prize winner of the 2010 MADFAB Competition. The bench was lauded by MADFAB judges for elegant lines and an efficient use of materials.

    Photo: Tom Gearty

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Junior wins inaugural campus furniture-design competition

Winning bench will be installed at the student center


A colorful, wave-shaped bench designed by Frederick Kim, a junior majoring in architecture, has won a new MIT furniture-design competition that gives students a chance to leave their mark on campus.

Kim's design for the inaugural MADFAB competition features sharp bandwidths of color supporting a gentle wave pattern, and will be installed at the Stratton Student Center.

“The design intention arose from the disparity between the Stratton Student Center's brutal gray concrete exterior and the vibrancy of color and ideas it contains,” Kim said. “This integration of fundamental forms is a celebration of color, of spectrum.”

Kim will now work with Chris Dewart, manager of the Architecture Wood Shop, and Ken Stone, director of the Hobby Shop, to build a full-scale version of the bench. The completed piece will be featured at the 2010 Furniture Society Conference, which will bring some of the finest craftsmen in the world to the Institute on June 16-19. After the conference, the bench will be installed in the Stratton Student Center with a plaque commemorating Kim’s effort.

Sponsored by the MIT Hobby Shop, the School of Architecture + Planning, and the MIT Campus Activities Complex, MADFAB (MIT's Annual Design and Fabrication competition) offers student-participants the chance to win $1,000 and leave behind a legacy at MIT.

This inaugural contest challenged students to create an original design that is functional, durable and able to be fabricated with computer numerical control equipment in the Architecture Wood Shop and Hobby Shop. The use of efficient, cost-effective materials or reuse of discarded materials was encouraged.

Architecture graduate student Ella Peinovich and mechanical engineering junior Ben Peters tied for second place, with Peinovich designing a bench/table lauded by MADFAB judges for its elegant lines and an efficient use of materials, while Peters created a wooden table with an innovative system of movable gears. Ari Kardasis and Xiaoji Chen, both architecture graduate students, received honorable mention for a table made entirely of recycled materials.

“We are excited by the creativity and individuality of the design models,” Dewart said. “Frederick Kim’s colorful bench begins a legacy of celebrating mind and hand.”

All designs will be showcased in an exhibit in the Stratton Lounge on the second floor of the Student Center from April 26 through June 20. A reception to recognize the contestants and to display all the models will be held from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, in the Stratton Lounge.

Visit the MADFAB website for more information about the competition.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Community, Hobby Shop, Special events and guest speakers, Students

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