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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

bedroom/ dining room

for those of you too lazy to scroll back into our later post this is how the bedroom works.  Jess designed the bed which functions as storage and a table/ bench set.  With all three pieces put together it is a custom made bed that fits the interior of the island.  Pulled apart it is storage and if the cushion is removed a table.  This design is so nice because it meets so many needs and is still sensitive to our space requirements.  It has proven useful in all of our various situations spontaneous requirements.  I believe Jess has had a few requests to build furniture for people who have been impressed with it’s functionality.


adapted shelves

whipped this puppy together today. yup.

Since the interior walls of the island are severely slanted, we have to be a little creative about how we hang things.  One way we are getting around that is with a flexible cork board and a magnetic chalk board.  to house our dishes, and keep precious counter-space open, i made these little cradles.  They will clip into the fiberglass with special U-pins and hold a small stack of dishes.  I think it will help to make the space feel more homey.  Once they dry i’m going to paint them gray to match some of our already chosen color schemes.


old bike-new power

I started taking apart the bike to re-purpose the parts for the generator.  I bought this bike for an old girl friend, I feel a little bad saying that it felt good to cut it in half. It’s been sitting in my garage for 3 years and it’s nice that it’s being put to use.

The design of this contraption has been a little fuzzy, but i think we are on the right track now.  Instead of the generator being built onto a chair it will be a separate device that folds up for storage and when being used can attach to any chair.  I drew a diagram because that always helps me understand things, but i’m afraid my scattered sketches may only aid in the confusion. The only thing i’m using from the old bike is the back half of the frame with the gears and rear wheel.  While playing with how this part of the bike would work in space it quickly became obvious that flipping the frame upside down and sitting more in a recumbent position would not only be more comfortable but give us more power.  The back half of the frame will be welded upside down to steel supports which also hold the generator and power converter that charge the battery pack.  Horizontal supports will slide into square steel tubing at the front and back of the base. These are needed because there will be a lot of side to side motion through peddling. To keep the generator from being pushed away there will be another bar that slides from the front and latches onto the chair of choice.  Got it?

To store the generator the chair latch slides back in, the horizontal supports are removed and the battery pack can be disconnected.  I feel really good about this new design and i feel confident that it will work well.


Take a seat…

Unfortunately, the only time I get to go home to my apartment is when I am sleeping or using my sewing machine. It feels as though I have been living at the sculpture building (studio) all semester! Anyway, I was happy to work in my bright apartment as I made the cushions for the furniture.

I lucked out and found some nice 2″ memory foam on sale so I could make a comfortable “mattress” for sleeping and sitting.

After cutting the foam down into their specific shapes, I began meticulously marking off the specific curves of each piece on the fabric so I knew exactly where to sew. There was little room for error…if I messed up the shape then it might not fit on the furniture correctly.

I installed the cushions today and got to test them out. I think they are more comfortable than my own bed at my apartment!

I think this furniture will be quite useful and versatile. I am happy with the way it aesthetically and functionally interacts with the unique shape of the island.


moving in

So, I don’t know how many of you have ever moved into your house using a row boat, but it’s not easy.  Thank goodness Jess changed the design of the bed into three pieces.  We took three trips with the bed section perched on the nose of the boat. Jess rowed and i kept a hand on the bed so that it didn’t fall off and go straight to the bottom. (there is some joke about sleeping with the fish, but i’m not that kind of guy.)

We took it slow. When we got to the island Jess held onto the deck so we wouldn’t fall away and I, carefully, lifted the portion out of the boat and brought it inside.  Water makes everything move weird and it’s taking some getting used to. I’ll talk more about that later. For now, we have our first and probably biggest piece of furniture installed and it feels good.



Today, Mike and I finally installed the modular furniture on the island.  We took one piece at a time on our little rowboat until all three parts were on the island.  I was so glad that all of the tedious measuring and individual cuts I made for hours and hours paid off, because the bed is a perfect fit.  Hoorah!

The pieces of the furniture can be pushed together to form a bed.

OR the pieces can be pulled apart to be two bench seats and one table, so four people could sit around the table and play cards or something.

Storage cubbies exist under each of the pieces, so a variety of objects can be stored out of the way.  If we want to show off our items for trade, we can face the cubbies towards our guests we are making a trade with.  The yellow also brightens up the room.

Now, all we need are cushions!


Finishing touches.

Mike came in last night and helped me bend the plywood around the forms I created for the furniture.  Bending the wood felt like a workout.  Thank goodness Mike has muscles!  I am starting to get back into shape since I am working long days with lots of physical work:  lifting boards, hammering, sawing, running around the building, multitasking…haha.  I should be set for island living in the summer!

Anyway, here are the forms before a layer of paint…

Later today, a couple of friends helped me paint.  Thank you Emily and Evan!  Everything went so much faster with extra hands.  Check out the colors!

I cannot wait to install this in our currently colorless abode!


bit of home

Our cave needs some life.  As Jess works on the modular funiture i’m concerned that we’ll be living in something that resembles a cryogenic space pod.  It’s a cool aesthetic but honestly, not me.  I think it is important to have some flares of the comfortable. A friend has this awesome quilt.  I’m on the lookout for something that has the same homely spice to give us comfort but retain killer style.  Do i sound like i know what i’m talking about, cause i don’t.


Busy Day

Today was a full 11AM-3AM workday.  After hauling 20 paintings from school to my apartment, Mike, Emily, and I went shopping for some supplies.  We bought lots of poplar and birch board for the modular furniture as well as many other supplies.

We also brought an old bike to the studio to use for the bicycle generator.  It needs some cleaning up, oil, and tender loving care, but we would rather recycle something old into something new:  OUR GENERATOR.

Then, I worked the rest of the night cutting out the top and bottom platforms and assembling shelf structures supporting the furniture I designed.

As you can tell by my expression in the photo, I was exhausted by 3:00AM and decided to call it a night.  I may have been physically tired, but mentally I was so ecstatic to see things come together so quickly.

Next up…PAINT!


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