Sit on It!

By Centennial Middle School, August 7, 2008

Grade Level

  • Middle School


  • Architecture

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology

Lesson Time

five (5) ninety (90) minute sessions


Students will be introduced to design education by identifying and defining the challenges of chairs in the art studio.

National Standards


  • Students will gain an understanding of design education by designing and creating a chair that will be used in the art studio.



  • cardboard
  • pencils
  • sketchpads
  • assorted donated materials


  • design
  • process
  • prototype


1. Send out requests for various materials to be donated to the school for the project.
2. Set up display of chairs/stools include seats that have damage if available.
3. Begin a conversation with the students structured on the following design process.
Identify and define the problem:
1. Our current stools are breaking.  Could we come up with a better designed seat for the art class?
Gather and analyze information:
1. Look at current stools.  What works and doesn't work with their designs.
2. Interview several fellow students as to what they would like in the design of a stool/chair for the art room.  Consider people with special needs.
Determine performance criteria:
1. What should the stool/chair be like?  What size?  What materials? 2. How strong?  How should cost be determined?
Prototypes/ Alternate solutions:
1. Small teams of students design and build prototypes from donated materials.
2. Students present prototypes and discuss pluses and minuses of designs.
3. Students pick the best attribute from each prototype and combine into one final design.
Implementing choices:
1. Final chair is constructed from final student design as professionally as possible.
Evaluation of outcome:
Chair should be tested in various settings including other areas of the school.
Discussion on final design and results of testing.
Display chair in a prominent area of the school with interpretive signage.


Students will be involved in a group project that will involve peer critques.  The final chair will have evolved from individual groups to one final class project chair.  Success will be based on the design of the final chair.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.