The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Sound and Style

Ninth grade students in Advanced 3D Design have been exploring how culture can influence the design and development of a product. Each student researched a designer, architect, or engineer from their home country and designed and built a Bluetooth speaker that reflected that designer’s unique design ethos.

Before students could put their designer’s stylistic imprint on the speaker, they had to build the wooden casing for their speaker to exact parameters, reinforcing some critical construction and fabrication skills in the process. Students were required to use the CNC router, CNC laser, and CNC printer in their construction and fabrication as well as particular construction elements like dowel pegs to reinforce the corners. They also had to “think in the round,” notes Director of Creativity and Design David Dixon as they planned their design elements and considered how their speaker would look once all the constituent parts came together. “Students had to consider in a thoughtful way how these three technologies could complement their fabrication and construction skills in an imaginative and unique way.” The project also required students to pay particular attention to quality control and craftsmanship in their construction skills. “I want them to understand that in the real world, their product would never come to market unless it is extremely well made,” notes David.

Ly N. from Vietnam chose Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia who is known for using geometric shapes in the massive buildings he designs. Echoing his style, she used the 3D printer to embellish the top of her speaker with a variety of geometric shapes. American student, Joseph S., took on the challenge of creating a speaker that reflected the style of high-concept architect Frank Gehry. While another student, Sam L. from China, was inspired by Chinese architect and designer, Ma Yansong, who is known for the rolling curves in many of his buildings. This student took the unique approach of overlapping the actual shape of an old-fashioned phonograph with elements inspired by his designer.

This project segues nicely into the classes’ next design brief, where they will be working with mentor designers from the Bose Corporation who design, engineer, and market high-quality audio technologies for the consumer marketplace.