a transient bookshelf.

Spring 2015 
Georgia Institute of Technology

Ara is a desktop bookshelf made for light readers with few books. It is thermoformed from a single cut piece of acrylic. With a quiet, white exterior and loud, vibrant interior, ara reveals itself as less books inhabit the shelf, hence its name “ara”, an interjection describing a small “aha!” moment.

While looking into how books could interact with a shelf, ara's form inspirations were also drawn from its intended manufacturing process of thermoforming a simple pattern.

Upon arriving at the idea of the books resting on each other while not in use, I started to define the overall form and transitions of the linework. A key gesture of the form gave me a starting point for prototyping.

Due to a two-step manufacturing process (lasercut pattern, thermoform bends), every prototype was informative of 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.

Through this project I learned to rely more on rapid prototyping instead of sketching or CAD to quickly iterate on details and form.
In 2015, I was invited to exhibit ara at the Atlanta Design Expo.