Student Work

  • Product Design (BFA)

    Gregory Carroll

    Improvisations on an Heirloom

    Improvisations on an Heirloom is a family of objects made from discarded chairs. Inspired by dish gumbo and the connection between southern cooking and slavery, this project highlights the value in working with scraps, just as slavery forced a culture to find great value in the least considered materials. Improvisations on an Heirloom is an exploration in creating heirlooms that will exceed the life expectancy of their individual parts. This project was born from the need to extend empathy. These objects would not exist without the three women that they were informed by and made for: Saudia Jones, Logan Magee, and Sjournee Quaidoo. Reflecting on these objects is reflecting on the lived experiences and stories of these women. The objects: a hand mirror, a keepsake box, and a picture frame, act as a tangible history and invite one to “listen in” on the delicate contours of their lives. If one is unable to connect to the experience of these women as being both black and female, it is still possible that the experience of simply being human is enough to empathize with their reality.