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Product Design senior creates furniture line for Chicago firm

Samantha Shappell Product Design

MIAD’s product design major was a good fit for Samantha Shappell’s longtime love of interior design and furniture.

For the MIAD Senior Exhibition, Samantha designed a four-piece furniture line for Third Coast Interiors, a Chicago-based interior architecture and design firm. The firm recently was formed from a merger of a Chicago interior design studio with an architecture firm owned by an architect from Mexico. The furniture line celebrates the company’s rebranding and the intersectionality of Mexican and Scandinavian cultures and its location in Chicago.

This Senior Exhibition project was the first time Samantha had built furniture. She designed and built:

  • a lounge chair featuring custom upholstery.
  • a side table, featuring a concrete tabletop embedded with black and white mirror pieces.
  • a coffee table featuring a concrete top and woven cord shelf.
  • a concrete terracotta planter.

Samantha received a MIAD Alumni Thesis Scholarship Award for her project. “A lot of the materials were really expensive to source. The scholarship helped offset the cost of material exploration, which is very important in furniture design,” Samantha said.

Samantha was hired full-time by Third Coast Interiors and plans to continue to develop the furniture line further for the company.

Samantha’s project is currently on view in the virtual MIAD Senior Exhibition at seniorexhibition.miad.edu. The MIAD Senior Exhibition is generously sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

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