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Jonathan Louis x Otis College of Art & Design - Intro to Jonathan Louis

Read our last installation? Go ahead and skip the intro. 


Developing the next generation of talent is a big part of our ethos (see here, and here for our talent development series). We’ve extended our efforts outside of our four walls to Otis College of Art & Design. From installations to trends, Otis students have been active participants in our market-focused endeavors. 


This fall, we’ve expanded our collaboration with Otis College to sponsoring a Product Development Studio I class. Open to third-year students, the class is a hands-on, “project-based course bringing consumer products from concept to market.” The goal of class is to better understand how to incorporate practicalities like manufacturing into the design, and “to gain a greater understanding of how to translate a concept into a product for sale in the market.”


Projects include individual home decor and the Jonathan Louis sectional group project. At the end of the semester, we will select one team’s concept, and work with them to build a final piece to display at Spring 2023’s High Point Furniture Market. Follow this blog to see the progress of these students as they deconstruct, explore, play, ideate, and create.

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Otis JL Sectional Final

We’ve reached the end of the semester and it’s time for the students to present their final sectional models! 


Quick recap: The goal of this final project is to design a sectional that appeals to Gen Z customers (in about 10 years’ time) that fits with their expectations and lifestyle. The students are tasked with developing for the future customer, while keeping in mind the Jonathan Louis brand and market. At the end of the presentations, we select one team’s design to build and showcase at April 2023 High Point Market. See the inception and development of the project at their last check-in.


Without further ado, here are the final results of the students’ teamwork and creativity….

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TENNOCC: Changing the way you connect

Team members: Jason + Cristana + Dillon + Artie

Key points: Promoting connection. A modern conversation pit. Multiple arrangement options–each piece is functional on their own, so that the consumer can buy one or two pieces without having to commit to the complete collection, but it’s more beautiful as a whole.


Presentation-wise, need to pay a little more attention to detail, but great job in showing the evolution of the project, and tying the concept and story back to personal experience. We still liked the idea of having the ottoman next under the sofa, but Tennocc wanted all the pieces to look uniform, and not have a gap in just one; they wanted the ottoman to work with all the pieces, not just the one that it could nest under​. Overall, great concept, all pieces interacting is phenomenal, especially as each individual piece work on its own or with other pieces.

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MOHO ("ambiguous" in Korean)

Team Members: Abigail + Alex + Emily

Key Points: Freeform, without one specific way of arranging the piece. Multiple configurations–for community, separated spaces, entertainment/theater seating based on arrangement of taller cushions and shorter cushions; adjustable for larger and smaller spaces.


It is reminiscent of theater seating, with a cozy loungey vibe (in one of the configurations). There's potential for fun, giving the consumer the opportunity to customize each section with fabric and the ability to play around with proportions, texture and color. However, the wooden bases limit shapes and are an additional cost in manufacturing. As far as the presentation goes, the pictures really present the concept and flexibility.

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Abraco ("hug" in Portuguese)

Team Member: Audrey + Anushka + Augusto

Key points: Midrange. Customizable. Focused on combating loneliness and anxiousness of Gen Z.


Good job on simplifying concept and design for manufacturing and sales. All three pieces are symmetrical, which allows for a lot of configurations, and there’s plenty of room for individual creativity. The team really listened to feedback to come up with salable pieces. The big piece on its own is phenomenal. We suggested that the seat height could be lower and to adjust the seat back pitch to be more relaxed, as the style lends itself to a slouchier, relaxed and inviting feel.

And the winner is...Abraco!

Keep your eyes on this space for the full-sized version coming to Spring/Summer 2023 High Point Market! 

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