Toomer’s Oaks Studio Offers Students Unique Design Opportunity
Although the original Toomer’s oak trees were cut down and the new ones are ready to be planted on Feb. 14, there are still memories to be made with the remaining oaks that were given to an Industrial Design studio in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
Associate Professor Jerrod Windham’s third year Industrial Design studio worked with Auburn University Development to design endorsed university products with remains from the two original Toomer’s Oaks that were removed on April 23, 2013.
Windham said that the goal of this studio project was to design a variety of products that are accessible and affordable to the Auburn Family out of the limited oak that they had to work with. The Toomer’s Oaks Studio ended up accomplishing that goal by designing products, such as clocks, coasters, framed artwork, furniture, key chains, necklaces, rings, shaker handles and watches.
“It was an extremely unique design challenge,” Windham said. “Rarely do you consider the limits in materials to the degree we did on this project.”
According to Windham, there were some obstacles that his class had to overcome when designing these different products. This included not being able to design a few large pieces since that would take up a lot of their material and also not quite knowing the quality and state of all the wood given to them. Although the trees were in a protected environment, they did experience some decay.
The university committee responsible for which products to produce and eventually sell ultimately chose to pursue the following types of products designed in the Toomer’s Oaks Studio: artwork, jewelry and memorabilia. The studio is currently in the process of sharing their designs with vendors in an effort to make final decisions before hopefully having their products for sale by April’s A-Day game.
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