Deam + Dine Reveal Their Design Process Behind Modern by Dwell Magazine For Target

Deam + Dine Reveal Their Design Process Behind Modern by Dwell Magazine For Target

By Paige Alexus
Now that we’re able to show you more of the Modern by Dwell Magazine home collection that we’ll be launching with Target on December 27, we wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how it all came together.

We spoke to designers Chris Deam and Nick Dine (of Deam + Dine) to learn about their creative process and to see how their ideas were brought to life. They began by telling us, "Our process is simple. We both had our own practices until recently—so, we enjoyed making the design process a shared experience, rather than a solo pursuit. You have to work together creatively—as both friends and business partners." 

Scroll down to see sketches, renderings, and 3D models that came directly from the desks of Chris and Nick.

As some of their favorite elements of the collection, the outdoor seating pieces were designed with posture in mind. Chris and Nick point out that the final results are amazingly comfortable—especially for being so affordable. A drawing of the Outdoor Lounge Chair is shown here, with and without cushions.

 After Chris and Nick came up with a plan for the line, they started with the pieces they had already been thinking about. Some came from Chris, others from Nick, and the remaining were born from mutual discussions. They then began the editing process with sketches—one of which is shown here for the Dining Chair.

Their next step included building the pieces to scale with 3D computer models so that they could work on materials, proportions, and other vital details. They then used 3D CAD files when going through the prototyping process with Target. Here, you can see their digital 3D model of the Dining Chair, which transitioned from the prior sketch.

The collection includes a number of playful and functional animals that Chris and Nick had fun designing. Chris explains that it all started when Target suggested they design something "figural" or decorative, "which is not a typical starting point for a modernist." He continues, "But I did recall that many of the midcentury Scandinavian furniture designers had also created animal figures. I thought that was a good place to start." 

Chris wanted to make sure that the animal figures would still be functional, so they came up with simple formulas that guided the process: speaker = sound = screech owl; coasters = water = whale; cards = memory = elephant. They then needed to figure out how to recreate the most minimal gestures to capture the essence of the animals.  

Chris continues, "I started sketching, which led to a simple marriage of turned wood forms with leather accents." 

After making the sketches, they moved to creating 3D models on the computer. In these renderings, you can see how they were able to capture the personality of each figure. The elephant acts as a card holder (for a custom set of cards that's included), the whale is a wooden coaster set of four, and the owl is a sound amplifier.

Chris and NIck then 3D printed their designs in order to verify scale and proportion. The actual prototypes of the whale and owl are shown here. Finally, they sent the prints to Target’s design team to coordinate with their vendors for fabrication.

"The wood and leather animals were some of the most fun pieces to design. They just make me smile." - Chris Deam

Another one of the accessories in the line is the Lantern. This sketch with rough measurements shows one of the earliest stages of the process.

You can see how it’s gone from a sketch to its digital 3D form. It available in two sizes in either copper (shown here) or silver.

Another example is the Wingnut Candle Holder, which is shown here in its early penned sketch stage.

They utilized multiple mediums and layers to visualize the different elements of the piece.

Nick is proud to say that they created lighting pieces that are versatile and understated. The Solar Pathway Light is shown here in its early stages of development.

Chris is excited to have created high-design LED pieces that are available at such a competitive price point. "We used very thin steel profiles. I’m sensing a trend," he says.

Make sure to explore the lookbook here so that you're ready when the collection becomes available in stores and online on December 27.


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