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MFA Industrial Design Student PARKER IVES Interviewed by WantedDesign

October 11, 2018

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MFA in Industrial Design student Parker Ives was featured in WantedDesign. He is one of two young American design talents to be selected by Domaine de Boisbuchet for a week of experimental work with renowned designers, architects and artists.

Domaine de Boisbuchet is a unique, off-the-wall design destination situated on the French countryside. For more than 20 years, Boisbuchet organizes a series of interdisciplinary summer workshops where students and professionals from all over the world come together for a week of experimental work with renowned designers, architects and artists. For the second year, WantedDesign partnered with Domaine de Boisbuchet and French Airline XL Airways to offer US design students the opportunity to take part in a Boisbuchet’s Summer Workshop.

Parker Ives, current student at Oregon College of Art and Craft, was the first to be selected. He chose to attend the workshop led by British–Canadian designer Philippe Malouin, which focused on designing a simple object and producing it locally at Boisbuchet. The selected objects will be part of Boisbuchet’s inaugural product line which will be subsequently sold on the Boisbuchet website.

WantedDesign: Can you give us a quick background about yourself and your path until now?
Parker: I am currently pursuing my MFA in Industrial Design at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. I have always had an interest in making things but didn’t really discover design until high school where I gained experience in 3D printing and computer–aided design. I received my BA at The College of Charleston in studio art concentrating in sculpture. Even throughout my arts degree, I had a habit of wanting to make functional objects and after a while of being out of college I chose to pursue my masters and strengthen myself as a designer by attending OCAC where I’ve really been able to explore and experiment in design with different materials and processes while working to establish my thesis."

Why did you apply to the Boisbuchet + WantedDesign contest and what was your expectation in going there?
I discovered the contest while looking to attend WantedDesign in the spring. After reading more into Boisbuchet, I knew that it was a place that I wanted the opportunity to attend and applied. I saw it as an experience that I wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere and the artist and designers that were leading the workshops are at points in their careers that I hope to be some day.

Going there, I was looking forward to interacting with and learning from designers from all over the world and to grow as a designer. I have a strong interest in materials and process and I felt that my experience there would be valuable in learning of new processes as well as pushing me explore a singular process and material given the time frame of the workshop.

Can you describe in few lines the workshop you were part of? The setup, the process, and the project you achieved?
The workshop “Mass Production” was led by Philippe Malouin and was an exercise in the design process that went from pitching a concept to the finished product, packaging, and branding using sand cast aluminum to develop a line of functional and simple products. In my group, we worked together to come up with four concepts to pitch and ended up having a candle holder designed from a stone found at Boisbuchet chosen as the product for us to produce. We then finalized the design and went forward with casting our product in aluminum while also working to complete packaging and branding for the product line as a group. At the end of the week we were able to present a line of seven different objects, all designed and produced at Boisbuchet.

What inspired you the most there?
The sense of community created after only a week was inspiring and really made the experience one that I will never forget.

What is your dream project or career?
I am dedicated to the dream of directing a studio that uses traditional materials in new ways though new techniques to create interesting, beautiful, and useful products. Before then, I would love to work with other designers that are exploring new techniques with unique materials.