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VI Former wows with woodworking
The Haverford School

Testing engineering design by building a catapult, considering factors like weight distribution in creating cardboard furniture, building a mallet as a first step in learning about woodworking ... these are all projects tackled by students in The Haverford School's Engineering and Design Studio. The studio facilitates cross-curricular exploration and a focus on the creative process - from proposal and fabrication to critique and reflection.

VI Former David Chikowski has honed his woodworking technique in the Engineering and Design Studio. In his creation of trays, bowls, coffee tables, and boutineers made from wood shavings, David exhibits a tremendous amount of technical skill. He has crafted a table inlay designed in Adobe Illustrator and formed with a laser cutter, as well as a block created from saplings, compressed using 15 tons of force. David cites George Nakasheema as his inspiration for a live-edge coffee table made of black walnut (see photo).


I'm interested in pursuing package design in college; I'm drawn to how to make things approachable and simple. It's one thing to have the technology - but how do we help people intuitively understand how to use the technology?

"My design teacher Mr. Ressler got me into woodworking four years ago," says David. "He showed me the way, but let me develop on my own and pushed me to try new things. I'm interested in pursuing package design in college; I'm drawn to how to make things approachable and simple. It's one thing to have the technology - but how do we help people intuitively understand how to use the technology?"

David's personal woodworking portfolio has evolved into an Etsy shop, on which he sells items ranging from boutonnieres made from wood shavings to cutting boards. "It's not just about the product - it's about the interaction," explains David. "The cutting boards sell not just because of their function; it's because of the twine I wrap around them, the card printed with a funny saying on organic paper ... people are looking for an experience."

Peruse David's portfolio of work at dchikowski.myportfolio.com.

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