inspiring creativity
Coterie is designed to be a portable loveseat inspiring creative and unique designs within the world of camping furniture. As explored as furniture and seating are, the world of portable furniture, specifically furniture for multiple people, is set in its ways and is lacking creativity making it unused and unexplored.
Market Research
Existing portable couches and loveseats love to utilize what I like to call the "X Frame" where the seat is supported by poles in an X shaped pattern. This style of seat has been in use by humans since 1400 B.C.
Folding chair from Thebes in Egypt, dating to around 1400 BC.

Folding chair from Thebes in Egypt, dating to around 1400 BC.

Mountain Summit Gear Quilted Low Loveseat
Mountain Summit Gear Quilted Low Loveseat
Kelty Lowdown Couch
Kelty Lowdown Couch
Villey Double Camping Chair
Villey Double Camping Chair
Trademark Innovations 8 Seater Bench
Trademark Innovations 8 Seater Bench
Age: 32
Occupation: Leasing Consultant
Family: Husband, 2 Children
Interests: Camping, Hiking, Beach Trips

Diane enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, and plans trips and outings for most weekends. Even if it's just a trip to the beach or camping in their backyard, she loves the outdoors and loves to enjoy it with her family.

How can we spark creativity in portable furniture while maintaining comfort and strengthening bonds?
I selected 3 main categories to narrow the design process and the best sketches of each. I wanted opinions from users, so I rendered my sketches in AI to show what the product could be.
In addition to AI renders, these mock ups provided people with something they can feel how the product might work.
NEMO - New England MOuntain Outfitters
From this project I came into contact with the furniture developers at NEMO. Holly Leone has met with me on 3 separate occasions to discuss the designing process as well as give me critiques on my designs.  This winter I spoke with her and fellow designer at NEMO Rich Woessner. They gave me a tour of the NEMO facility and what they do day to day. Lastly they talked with me about my final concept and gave me helpful advice about avoiding bent pipes.
Gathering Data
This lovely photo was taken by an employee at the Central Rock Gym in Rochester, NY, where I went to get feedback from active and outdoor individuals. I showcased my mockups as well as my AI renders, and received feedback on my concepts.
Final Design Concept
After discussing the pros and cons I have decided to take the hanging seat further into development. It's design is the most unique and visually appealing, while still maintaining durability and a possibility for a lightweight design.
Full-Scale MockUp
I've created a full-scale mockup, tested different hinge and joint mechanisms and finished a CAD model of the loveseats frame. Below you can see the rendering of the frame as well as the couch at a peer review session. My fellow designs stated that they liked the concept and wanted to see the final piece. I asked them about colors and while a bunch of colors were suggested they all genuinely enjoyed the green color fabric of the mockup.
I went back to Central Rock Gym to showcase the full-scale model as well as to ask for further opinions on colors. I provided these simple possible color combinations that I drew over the CAD model couch frame. Similarly to the peer review, there were a lot of suggested colors, but people preferred the green colors. A lot did also enjoy the temporary orange joints and ropes I had on the model stating that it contrasted the green well and reminded them of camping gear. Everyone was fully against the white and dark blue color scheme that came about from the AI renderings. White would get stained and dirty in any outdoor environment which I fully agreed to, but wanted to test opinions on.
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