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Intro to pottery course

In the spring of 2015, I will be entering my final semester in graduate school at North Carolina State University. I am pursuing a masters of industrial design. Thus far, I have tailored my graduate studies to be more of a designmeets-craft focus with an emphasis on hand work with materials and processes. My undergraduate studies were in interior design and my goal is that my future career will be an intertwined combination of both design disciplines. I am drawn to simple, modern designs that reference the skill and craft of the designer. My current interests and focus are in furniture, housewares, outdoor gear and coffee accessories. The following collection of work shows a range of my interest and design abilities.

rachel whitaker

resume EDUCATION Current Spring 2012 August 2011 December 2009

Fall 2007

North Carolina State University | Raleigh, NC Candidate for Masters of Industrial Design | Anticipated Graduation 2015 Honolulu Academy of Art Screen Printing Course LEED Green Associate Oklahoma Christian University | Edmond, OK Bachelor of Fine Arts | Magna Cum Laude Concentration | Interior Design Minor | International Studies Pacific Rim Study Abroad Capital Normal University | Beijing, China Ibaraki Christian University | Hitachi, Japan Macquarie University | Sydney, Australia

SKILL SET Proficient in: AutoCAD Google Sketch Up Adobe Illustrator Microsoft Office Adobe InDesign CAP Studio Adobe Photoshop

Supplementary Skills + Experience in: Solidworks Laser Cutting 3D Printing Digital Photography Keyshot Sketchbook Designer Pottery Screen Printing

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE September 2012 - August 2013

November 2010 - June 2012

February - October 2010

October - November 2009

Carolina Business Interiors | Knoll Dealer | Showroom Resource Manager | Raleigh, NC Design and space planning - bid specification and preparation Material library management - product representative liaison Corporate Environments International | Knoll Dealer | Jr. Designer | Honolulu, HI Design and space planning - bid specification and preparation Material library management - project renderings - website management Office Concepts | Knoll Dealer | Design + Sales + Project Management | Oklahoma City, OK Specifications - proposal and sales order preparation - manufacturer and client liaison Fitzsimmons Architects | Academic Internship | Oklahoma City, OK Website management - social media management - production of presentation drawings and images - construction documents - appliance specifications for home on AIA 2010, 2011 Architecture Tour


Summer 2014

Summer 2013

NC State College of Design | First Year Experience Teaching Assistant | Raleigh, NC Supported professor in educating students on design principles to create a foundation for future studies Participate actively in discussions, course development, provide critiques and feedback to students on their projects. Design Camp | Camp Coordinator + Instructor | Raleigh, NC Assisted with program development, organization and served as female lead staff. As an instructor, I created the curriculum for the week and taught middle schoolers the basics of design. Design Camp | Camp Counselor + Industrial Design Teaching Assistant | Raleigh, NC Worked with a co-counselor to support, guide and educate students through various design disciplines. Supported studio instructor through critiques, drawing demonstrations and individual feedback.

Summer 2008

Southwest Youth Leadership Conference | Lead Counselor | Edmond, OK Served as head female counselor for the conference, responsibilities include coordinating activities and ensuring that all participants were engaged and involved in conference activities

Summer 2008

Oklahoma Leadership Academy | Assistant Director | Edmond, OK Coordinated camp activities and assisted with all aspects of the camp from course development to individual student involvement throughout the week. Camp focus was to promote and educate youth leaders in Oklahoma.

AWARDS 2014 2013 2009 2006-2009 2005-2009

Selected to represent NCSU as ‘Rising Star’ for IFDA Carolina Group member of the winning team for an NCSU Chapter IDSA Student Competition Creative Lightning Award Winner for 3D design: Bronze, Gold Academic Honor Roll, Oklahoma Christian University Art and Design Scholarship, Oklahoma Christian University

AFFILIATIONS 2013-2014 2012 2010-2011 2010-2011 2009 Summer 2008 Summer 2008 Summer 2007

NCSU Chapter IDSA student member Honolulu Printmakers IIDA Hawaii Chapter member USGBC Hawaii Chapter member American Society of Interior Designers student member Counselor for Southwest Youth Leadership Camp Assistant Director of Oklahoma Leadership Academy Counselor and Board Member for Oklahoma Leadership Academy

flix | variable turner

The flix variable turner was designed to reduce the number of utensils needed for daily use in the kitchen. The button on the handle pushes the expanding mechanism down a track in the disc and slides out to vary the width of the spatula arms.

flix variable turner button with stop

expanding mechanism soft-touch plastic handle insert

anodized aluminum handle

silicone covered metal disc

silicone covered metal ends


Project Goals: > > > >

Design a multi-use kitchen tool Solution should be easy to use Accommodate different pan sizes Innovative style and function

children’s table

The driving force behind this project was to design and build a piece of children's furniture that could blend in with the furnishings of a modern home. The goal was to make the piece functional and usable for children, but not look like typical children's furniture. When not in use, the two felt cushions nest inside the table, which is turned upright and can be used as a side table.

kissick creek farmhouse

The Kissick Creek Farm is a 250 acre working cattle farm located in Dent County at the Northwestern edge of the Missouri Ozarks. The farm buildings consist of a well preserved 1940’s era livestock and hay loft barn, a residence built in the earl 1980’s and a small collection of unremarkable metal out-buildings. Since its construction, the residence served as a home for a family of four. Now retired with grown children, the parents wanted to expand the small home and establish the farm as the gathering place for current and future generations of the family. *Anticipated construction completion: Spring 2015


This project focuses on a solution driven by research, observation and user feedback. Emphasis was placed on designing for the user, within their specified constraints and needs. Three goals were developed from the research, which were to reduce handling, absorb shock and deliver a solution that can stack and nest for easy storage.





Project Objective: > Reduce post-harvest loss of produce for local farmers through improved harvesting and transport methods.

bins stack into each other for display and palletization

lid secures into recess at bottom of bin

1. collect

2. sort and wash

3. transfer to bin

4. palletize and transport






This project is the result of an independent study in wood and metal materials and processes with a focus on small scale manufacturing. The goal was to design one lamp and to prototype it in multiple iterations using different materials and processes. By creating the same design in different ways, I was able to better understand the factors involved with each decision of a design based on how it is made.

Consumer feedback and extensive research on lighting design drove the projects form. The module above is a wood base, with a ceramic shade.

The various materials were selected to test the users’ perception of value, comfort and aesthetic appeal. The module above is a concrete base with a walnut shade.

noise reduction

Project goal: create a variable acoustic solution tailored to improving sound intelligibility and the changing needs of a school multipurpose room.

Typical multipurpose room functions and recorded dB levels


80-100+ | GYMNASIUM


(0.8-1.2 s reverb) wall or ceiling mounted panels around perimeter

(1.2-1.6 s reverb) capture background noise to increase clarity

(1.1-1.5 s reverb) non parallel surfaces to break up standing soundwaves

top concern: background noise

top concern: reverberant echo

top concern: dead spots

Concept Generation

2D to 3D translations, form studies

Material characteristics: > non woven cellulose material > Estrobond plasticizer used to impart rigidity to acetate fiber rods > ‘raw’ material is feltable > can be produced in a form that resembles paper or sheet products > desirable characteristics can be added for durability and clean-ability


> Max dB level: 9’ x 10’ room with music playing room without solution: 72.9 solution extended: 71.4 solution contracted: 67.5

Concept Testing

perforated paper pulp

metal frame

felted acetate tow

contracted position absorbs more sound

extended position diffuses and reverberates more sound

Next Steps > full-scale product testing > motor/electrical system development > user feedback > material variation testing > life cycle analysis of product > manufacturing processes and cost calculations > explore alternate applications

mini bar

During the course of this project, I experimented with a variety of joinery and construction methods. The goal of the course was to familiarize ourselves with the materials lab, while creating a shelf that consisted of a combination of wood and metal. Function drove the form in this project, providing a straightforward solution for a wall-mounted mini bar. A sliding powder-coated shelf allows access to either side of the unit and a removable tray provides a space for serving drinks.

complimentary interests

mini bar

coffee cozy

The design for the cozies was prompted by a request on my Etsy page from a pie shop owner who wanted to serve coffee in Chemex at her shop, but didn't want to run the risk of the coffee getting too cold. The response has been overwhelming and I have since fulfilled 220+ orders in various sizes for these cozies and continue to look for new accessories to design related to coffee.

rachel whitaker 817 480 0542

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