Joel Beeby | Design
Joel Beeby

Capstone Blog

Joel's 2017 University of Cincinnati Capstone blog. Most recent updates at top.

Choosing a Focus

Two system concepts began to emerge as I sketched variations of how the different modules could come together. Since the number one biggest concern of travelers was access to power, I worked to create a repeating element based around built-in power modules.


One system is a back-to-back connection, with the power running through a main rail behind the seating. While this is a clean and visually consistent way to offer access to power, it is not convenient to travelers who would have to reach behind their heads to plug in and unplug their devices, and then drape cords across themselves. The idea behind this system is that the power channel serves as the base to which seats, desks, or other elements can attach. The modules are fixed to either the front or back of the rail, making it able to be one-sided or double-sided. Since power was already running through the channel, I want to integrate lighting to soften the feel of the collection and bring an element of residential furniture into the system. It's also a feature not offered on any comparable system in the market.

The second concept is a side-by-side module with the power running through a repeating leg. While less visually consistent, the system does allow better access to outlets as well as greater expandability and flexibility than the back-to-back design. This design is simpler and eliminates redundant parts. For example, there are fewer legs on the side-by-side concept, making cleaning much easier and reducing the number of parts. The plugs are also able to be placed more conveniently for travelers by positioning them either between or at the ends of the legs, and cables don't have to be draped over people's shoulders. 

Sweating the details is something that will make or break this project. My next step is to define the form language and materiality of the design, then to meticulously refine the design elements to ensure they are efficient and beautiful. Since the leg is a critical part of the design, I am starting with how the multi-height leg system will work, its materiality, and it's form language; and using this design to inform the rest of the system.

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