Joe Wheeler, AIA and Robert Dunay, AIA were invited to present student work in the Richmond, Virginia Convention Hall during Architecture Exchange East. As the annual convention for the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, the professional meeting attracts nearly 1000 architects and designers to the three-day event.
Wheeler, Assistant Professor, and Dunay, T. A. Carter Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture + Design designed, fabricated and assembled in Richmond the exhibit structure. The title of the exhibition, industrialize furniture, links design as an intellectual and physical process. These modes of engagement challenge and measure the separation of the commonplace and banal from the engaging and exquisite. Projects presented in Richmond aspire to the latter, making a particular case. As attempts to exploit and exhibit technological innovation, new forms are sought. Presented in the form of prototypes, the works require extended study. Yet in each lurks an idea skirting the realm between fantasy and false fiction.
This body of design research was recently accepted for presentation at the SaloneSatellite at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2008. The exposition, the largest and most important of its kind in the world, will showcase the best work from over 50 countries and will give students the chance to interact with top international designers. Virginia Tech will be one of the few American university entries. The vision for the School of Architecture + Design exhibition is to fulfill the promise of industrialized furniture by sending digital files and having the work fabricated in Italy.