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News . Feature Stories . CIA Exhibits Sustainable Furniture Designs


July 12, 2010

CIA Exhibits Sustainable Furniture Designs

Come down to the Halle Building July 12-16 to see CIA student work in the Sustainable Furniture Design Exhibition, presented as part of the Cleveland Furniture and Millwork Fair in the Cleveland District of Design.

Come downtown this week to see CIA student work in the Sustainable Furniture Design exhibition, presented as part of the Cleveland Furniture and Millwork Fair in the Cleveland District of Design.

Furniture designed by students in The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Department of Industrial Design will be on display from Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16 in the Halle building at 1228 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Public viewing hours during the furniture fair are from 3 to 7pm both Wednesday and Thursday. If you’d like to arrange another time to view the work, please contact Dan Cuffaro, Professor of Industrial Design at CIA, at

This exhibition is part of the first-ever Cleveland Furniture and Millwork Fair (July 14 and 15), which features Northeast Ohio’s finest furniture makers and millwork companies alongside Cleveland’s world-class design community.

The fair will be held in Cleveland’s newly defined District of Design, an area near Playhouse Square which celebrates Cleveland’s design heritage and promotes future design-focused business growth in a concentrated area. The District of Design initiative is spearheaded by Dan Cuffaro ’91, Chair of Design at the Institute, and Ned Hill, Dean of Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs.

Read on for more details on the exhibition.

In the 1950s Cleveland was a city with over 900,000 residents, but is now home to fewer than 500,000 people. The loss of population and the recent upsurge in home foreclosures have resulted in many abandoned buildings that have become health and safety hazards, taxing local resources. Because of the lack of demand for these buildings and the resulting liability, the City of Cleveland has begun to demolish them.

Local organizations such as Growth Ring Enterprises have taken steps to deconstruct - rather than demolish - these buildings, while companies like A Piece of Cleveland (APOC) design and manufacture furniture from the deconstruction material. The concept is to divert useful landfill-bound material, treat it as a valuable resource, and use it to create new up-cycled products.

As part of its strategy of embracing green design, the Industrial Design Program at The Cleveland Institute of Art has partnered with APOC on a project to develop furniture using reclaimed material for CIA’s new campus. The project is intended to meet a local need with locally designed and manufactured products made from local raw materials.

The eight-week project started with research focused on understanding the needs of users of four areas: integrated technology classrooms, student workspaces in the Integrated Media Environment, faculty and staff offices, and public/community spaces. Next, students developed concepts for each of the four areas, choosing one concept to refine into their final design. The final phase was construction of working prototypes made from reclaimed material.

In addition to the pieces developed in partnership with APOC, this exhibition includes student designs that push the boundaries of sensory experience and explore the rich possibilities of flat-pack designs.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the help of:
The Cleveland Foundation
A Piece of Cleveland (APOC)
Forest City Enterprises
Richardson Design
Trevor Marzella
CIA alumni, faculty and staff who organized and set up the show

The furniture fair is getting great press:
The Plain Dealer

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