Stephen Moore made a decision several years ago to study furniture design, veering off the architecture path he had originally begun at California College of the Arts (CCA).
Even after making the switch, he admitted it was rough at first and he was not sure furniture design was “the right choice.”
“I was kind of just going for it, kind of on a whim,” said Moore, who will be a senior this fall.
Architecture had begun to feel theoretical, he said. He was hopeful that furniture would enable him to explore the physical aspects of design, work with his hands, and experiment with materials.
“I really enjoy the process of making something functional and physical,” he said. “I like the problem solving involved with that, and really just experimenting with materials and trying to find what makes a material work.”
As a student in a chair techniques course this past year, he drew inspiration from organic and natural world elements, as well as a tropical bird to create a woven lounge chair, which he affectionately calls the “Throne of Paradise.”
"I’ve always been interested in bending (materials), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try bending,” said Moore during a phone interview that he conducted from the comfort of the throne.
The finished chair caught the attention of judges this spring when Moore submitted it for consideration of the Bill Moggridge Award—and won. He got the good news about a week before he ended his junior year at CCA. The honor was emblematic in the sense that Moore felt validated by his earlier decision to switch out of architecture, he said.
“Every time I do a project, I find something I love, my process gets a little bit better, and I enjoy it a little more each time,” Moore said. “Since winning this award, I’m feeling good, like I’m going the right way.”
Moore is now focusing on finishing the furniture design program and preparing for his senior thesis. The prize money he won as part of the Bill Moggridge Award will enable him to do some travel and put more thought into design ideas such as the intersection of sound and physical form. Or perhaps, the money will even offer him a start toward pursuing his own design venture one day.
Bill Moggridge “won a similar cash scholarship award and went on to start a business, so I could definitely see that happening for me as well,” Moore said.
Beyond that goal, Moore said he really hopes that he will continue to be able to express his ideals and world views confidently through design and make contributions that inspire and matter.
Moore continued: “I hope that someone can look at the work I do and see integrity in it, I guess, like I'm being real. I'm doing something that matters to me, and I'm expressing some ideal about how the world could be, or should be, or how people should see things.”
To learn more about Stephen and his work or to contact him directly, please visit his website.