Alum wins design contest with innovative stage furniture

Tall Furniture, a new kind of stage furniture that aims to revolutionize the live music experience, designed and built by former Texas A&M environmental design student Bob Turek ’08, won first place in the do-it-yourself category of the inaugural Core77 Design Awards, which recognize excellence in all areas of design enterprise.

The innovative furniture from Turek’s “Microstages” collection creates a performance system that allows musicians to perform while raised above and spaced throughout an crowd, providing for instantaneous interchange between musicians and their audience. By spreading the stage into multiple focal points, Turek said, the audience is deeply immersed in the performance, but free to move about and experience intimate and unique vantage points.

“We loved that it is both sculptural and community building, and the furniture is strikingly elegant,” said Eric Wilhelm, a member of the Core77 Design Awards jury who reviewed Turek’s submission in the contest’s “diy/hack/mod” category. The category included projects involving do-it-yourself know how, including modifications of an existing system or artifact or the creation of something new.

Turek’s question-and-answer session for the Core77 Design Awards, as well as photos of his work, can be viewed on the contest website.

The competition, sponsored by Core77, a design magazine, featured 15 categories, providing designers with opportunities to communicate the intent, rigor and passion behind their efforts. From client work to self-initiated projects, entrepreneurial to pro-bono engagements, the contest welcomed commercial, cultural, social, environmental, or discursive entries.

In addition to winning the Core77 contest, several pieces of Turek’s Tall Furniture will be featured the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., which is reopening Nov. 11, 2011, after a building renovation.

Additionally, Turek said, “the museum’s curator has asked me to develop another furniture performance piece specifically for reopening night. I have been hard at work designing a set of tall furniture that will accommodate actors in a musical, writing music for it, and trying to figure out how the hell to pay for it!”

Turek operates a woodshop, ceramics, drawing and model-making studio from his home in Michigan. More of his work can be viewed on his website.

posted July 25, 2011