RAD Lab, First Edition

RAD Lab, First Edition
RAD regularly hears from young designers who are finishing their studies and trying to figure out how to translate their passions into their professions. RAD is a lean team, and we unfortunately cannot hire all these excellent members of the next generation of designers. But this winter, one email particularly resonated. Krista Lebovitz of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee wrote to us about the ways in which the year’s struggles had influenced, impacted, and inspired her thoughts around design.
“This year has been topsy turvy to say the least, but I’ve found a strange sort
of hope in the act of making. Working within the confines of my childhood bedroom has posed many unusual problems. However, in this pared-down space, I’ve realized that despite where I might be, the lack of room or equipment at my disposal, or what the world looks like outside my window, I’ve never stopped asking myself: what can I make next and how?”

Inspired by Krista’s perspective and gumption, we wanted to find a way to engage in conversation and to offer some insights from the professional realm to students going through a similar experience. Working with Krista and her collaborator Karina Encarnación of Columbia University, we developed and executed a trial run of RAD Lab: a mini studio. The spirit of the brief we provided to the group of students was departure - a directive to use the skillsets they’ve developed throughout their time in their various architecture, design, and art programs to make something that surprises them.

We were inspired by the work of the young designers, and we hope it provided the soon-to-be-graduates with some encouragement as they begin
to navigate the wild waters of the working world.
--
Wilson Rawlings and Michael Quirk, UC Boulder
We designed this chair to be an artifact that contributes to a personal ecosystem that promotes a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This chair balances ergonomics and functionality with a clean and minimal aesthetic. We curate out environment, and in turn, our environment shapes our behavior and lifestyle. By surrounding ourselves with clean, minimal designs and objects that are useful but not indulgent, we can promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle.”
--
Krista Lebovitz, Rhodes College, and Karina Encarnación, Columbia University
“With this multipurpose object, we hope to stir our hardened ideas of what it means to interact with the items and people around us. Its abstracted form allows multiple entries of possible interaction by allowing the user to create places of rest (for things or the body) wherever they see fit.”
 
--
Derek Ronding, University of Minnesota
“The world is reflected in the body, and the body is projected onto the world. We remember through our bodies as much as through our nervous system and brain.”