Prototype wicker furniture pieces designed by three students through an Northern Michigan University partnership with Lloyd Flanders were included in the company’s showroom at the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago. NMU’s human-centered design program, under the direction of Peter Pless, partnered with longtime Menominee manufacturer Lloyd Flanders to develop concepts for contemporary woven furniture that might appeal to younger consumers. Students gained valuable experience working for a real-world client and tempering their creativity with the constraints of available materials, production methods and labor costs. Company officials appreciated the fresh perspective and imaginative uses for the trademark wicker material that is weaved on the original 1917 Lloyd Loom and hand-stretched over frames of aluminum tubing. Students presented their final designs at the company late last year. They received constructive feedback on aesthetic value, practicality and manufacturing potential. Lloyd Flanders selected three to fine tune for its display in Chicago. The pieces were designed by (from left) Matt Steinmetz of Grosse Pointe Park, Paige Doolin of Birmingham and Nolan Warn of Shawnee, Kan.
Student Designs Showcased by Lloyd Flanders in Chicago