Bench made from wood

Planks of black walnut and white oak wood were used by students in Professor Amy Forsyth's furniture design course to create benches for community use in art galleries.

Design: Benches as Art

A furniture design course created benches for community use in art galleries.

Story by

Christina Tatu

Photography by

Christa Neu

As part of Professor Amy Forsyth's furniture design course in the Fall 2021 semester, students used planks of black walnut and white oak wood to create benches for community use in art galleries. The wood—estimated at 150-to-175 years old—came from trees donated by Heather Rodale ’74 ’76G ’05P, founder of the Healing Through the Arts program that incorporates art to help in the healing process.

Rodale, a member of the Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG) Director’s Advisory Council, initiated the project with LUAG Director William Crow, professor of practice in Lehigh’s art, architecture and design department.

The course traditionally has students create a piece of furniture for their final project that they keep. The seven custom-designed indoor benches were earmarked for art organizations.

The benches will be installed at the Allentown Art Museum and the Baum School of Art, both in Allentown, Pa; Healing Through the Arts and the art, architecture and design department.

Story by

Christina Tatu

Photography by

Christa Neu

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