In The Workshop: Christine Lee

August 12, 2014 by Christine Lee

Hello everyone in the Workshop Residence community! It was an honor to win the residency competition and be considered among such a diverse and compelling group of proposals!

Since I arrived here at the end of July, I have been moving at a pretty steady pace. The days are filled with designing, constructing and modifying prototypes, material sourcing, and meeting many wonderful locals in the art, design and manufacturing fields.

It is now day twelve of my residency with many projects underway. The common thread for the majority of my pieces involve the use of a patent-pending composite panel I developed with research engineer John F. Hunt of the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. We do not add any formaldehyde or toxic adhesives to the panels and the raw materials used to make the boards are compostable. Having been an artist in residence at Recology SF, our society’s abusive pattern of overproduction and waste became pretty apparent. It is important to me to be part of a smarter and more environmentally sensible alternative to MDF and Particleboard, which are made with formaldehyde and cannot be fully recycled. 


The functional objects we are developing at Workshop range in scale. I am finalizing the prototypes for a series of handbags made with woven felt that feature my composite material as handles.


I designed a set of clothes hangers that feature the series of truss bridge designs that young architects and engineers learn in school.

I also have also been working on a couple collaborations; some Ipad cases made from my composit material with Dogpatch neighbor DodoCase...


Finally, a chore coat designed in collaboration with artist Agelio Batle. This came about after we toured Workhsop's sewing shop and their project manager asked me to design a product made from their enormous and growing pile of leftover denim scraps.  The panels and pockets are designed to be made from mismatched indigo denim.  Agelio and I made this mock up for the sewing team.  The samples are being sewn now and we should have it back in the workshop next week.

I will begin working on larger furniture pieces soon...




P.S- There are a lot of dogs here at the workshop, which is good since I was thinking about getting one (or two!) in the future...


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