Design Competition Winner Saahiti Kothamasu

Design Competition Winner Saahiti Kothamasu

Design Competition Winner Saahiti Kothamasu
Saahiti Kothamasu of Boone, North Carolina, is a student designer at Appalachian State University.

Design Competition Winner Daniel G

An Interview with Saahiti Kothamasu

Saahiti Kothamasu of Boone, North Carolina, is a student designer at Appalachian State University. After taking inspiration from our custom table leg collection, Saa designed an elegant statement piece. Her Empire Table Leg calls attention to the long, linear orifices reminiscent of Art-Deco motifs. This design made her one of our 38th Annual Design Competition winners. A captivating piece that leaves a lasting impression is exactly what our Mockett catalog calls for.

Design Comp Winner Daniel

What is your background in design? What led you to our Annual Design Competition?

I'm an industrial design student and I'll be getting my Bachelor of Science in industrial design and concentration in product design at Appalachian State University. I've always been interested in making things and art and I chose industrial design because that was my best combo of the two. I have like a very engineering kind of mind, so I sort of like to do both. I heard of this competition through a lot of my teachers and students, so a lot of my classmates were also participating in it.

Tell us about your design. What was the inspiration behind it?

For my design, I really wanted to do something very elegant and ornamental. So, I was basing a lot of what I thought I should do off of Mockett's existing catalog. So, what I did was I sort of went through the website and looked at all the table legs and looked at the different categories of offerings. And I was really drawn to the custom table legs. A lot of them had a lot more interesting design features that you don't see a lot that were a lot more sculptural and had more of a statement to them. So, I really wanted to do something along that same vein. While doing that research, I sort of landed on a very Art Deco-inspired silhouette. And over time, I sort of gathered my inspiration references and narrowed it down to the silhouette that it is now.

What was the process like, and can you explain your approach? How did you envision the concept-to-part pipeline, and how did you execute it?

The first step I always take whenever I'm doing a project like this is research. So, I did a lot of research on the market brand and products to sort of figure out what was the current market offerings and where there was a hole that I could fill or an opportunity. So, after that, I did a lot of visual research. I was looking into what kind of style I wanted to give my table leg. I decided on an Art Deco-type design. So, I was looking up a lot of architectural and furniture and art references to sort of give me a visual board. Once I got all those, I did a lot of quick thumbnail sketches to sort of just get the ideas flowing and get some ideas out there. After doing a bunch of those, I developed maybe about eight or so of them into more substantial designs and went through a couple rounds of that, and over time that sort of developed into the current final design. I also have the feedback of my classmates and peers to sort of lead me through this process. And I think one of the most important things for me was having that feedback.

What would your advice be for someone looking to submit but is hesitant about the process?

My biggest advice would be to just go for it. I usually am not the type to submit for competitions because there's always this idea that you're not good enough and there's always people better than you. But if you just let go of that and only focus on doing your best work and just trying anyway, I think that's the first big step. Another important thing, I think, is to have people around you that you can always look to for feedback, like you can always show them, “Hey, this is my design; this is what I'm trying to do. Can you tell me what you think about it?” Because I think having those people around you can really help, especially when you're stuck on one of your concepts or something. But yeah, I think the most important thing is to just let go of all these ideas that you're not good enough, putting yourself down, and just go for it.

We’re incredibly elated by Saahitit’s design and can’t wait to feature it among our existing table leg collection. Congratulations to Saahiti on becoming one of our 38th Annual Design Competition winners! To see her full interview, click here

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