Into the wIld Bow
When challenged to create a physical representation of the phrase "into the wild", I designed a bow that is symbolic of the intersection of my past design experience as the prop maker for Kimer Props with the new journey I was beginning for my Engineering Design Innovation masters program at Northwestern University.
When Stories Collide
I started graduate school at Northwestern University with a very different background from my peers. As a biological science major, most of my design experience came from the Segal Design Certificate program at Northwestern and self-teaching through Kimer Props instead of from my major. Entering graduate school, I immediately sought new fabrication techniques to apply to my first project. This bow represents the intersection of my past design experiences in the smoothly finished walnut with the new and raw technical skills I am to learn in my graduate program represented by the aluminum.
The Past: Experimental Design
Working as the founder and prop maker for Kimer Props has allowed me to hone hand skills for material manipulation. As a self-taught Maker, I am very familiar with a very wide range of fabrication techniques. The handle of this bow was hand shaped out of walnut and finished with an oil based urethane sealant to provide an ergonomic design and pleasing aesthetic.
The Present: Applying New Technology and Skills
Entering graduate school for Engineering Design Innovation is opening new doors for product design and fabrication. Becoming highly familiar with new equipment such as a water jet will promote endless possibilities for ideation and prototyping. Using the water jet to cut the aluminum arms of the bow allowed for precision control of the bow's dimensions.
Support From My Past
Holding up the bow in the air is a custom display stand made from walnut. Laser cut into the base of the stand is the Kimer Props logo, which represents the origin of my passion for design. This display stand precisely balances the bow on an extended arm, allowing for full view of the bow from any angle. This stand was sealed in an oil based urethan sealant.
Aiming For Innovation
This project was a challenge to fabricate in less than 2 weeks, but provided me with timeless lessons about fabrication. Working with metal and load-bearing joints was an exciting journey. The springs in the bow that gives the bow its flex can be replaced for higher or lower weight extension springs, allowing for precision tuning while aiming for innovation.