Arais a small tabletop bookshelf designed for the transient reader.
Its simple form is derived from optimizing proportions and structural cues from its material—thermoformed and lasercut acrylic.
Its playful posture presents a leaning gesture, allowing a "resting" position for books that aren't being read. Whenever a book is removed from the shelf, more of ara's vibrant yellow color is revealed.
The name "ara" is inspired by an interjection describing an "aha!" moment - a feeling the reader would get when picking up a book from the shelf.)
I started off by looking at different ways in which books could interact with the shelf they rest on. In addition, ara's formal inspirations also had to reflect its intended manufacturing process of thermoforming a simple pattern.
Arriving at the idea of books resting on each other while not in use, I started to define the overall form and key transitions of the line work. The key, leaning gesture of the form gave me a starting point for prototyping.
n-th Time's A Charm: Due to a two-step manufacturing process (lasercut pattern, thermoform bends), every prototype provided key information for the next. Several iterative adjustments were made to the pattern to reduce flexion of the base as well as to control the visual proportions of my design.
Masking off the inner surface of the form, I applied a matte white coat to the exterior faces and edges to emphasize the active area of the bookshelf. Whenever a book is removed from the shelf, more of ara's vibrant color is exposed. The name "ara" is meant as a playful interjection, reflecting on the notion of an"aha!" moment—the feeling I hope a user would get when interacting with the shelf.
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