During high school, Patrick Kana ’12 became fascinated with the process of building things, constructing guitars and an array of furniture. At HWS for his senior Honor’s project he designed a chair in a mid-century design as inspiration, while gearing the production process toward limited production.
Working under the guidance of Professor of Art and Architecture Ted Aub, Kana implemented a design plan that could be accomplished in a small workshop and was efficient in terms of material usage and workshop time. He saw the project as a perfect opportunity to bring together all he had learned, while positioning himself for life after graduation.
“The Honors project I worked on was an opportunity for me to synthesize all that I had learned in my multiple apprenticeships, along with my study abroad experience in Copenhagen,” says Kana, who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in architectural studies and studio art, with a minor in environmental studies. “I knew that an Honors project was what I needed in order to bring everything I had learned together and apply it to one specific specialty.”
Now an independent furniture designer, Kana specializes in both woodworking and metalworking. He notes that the Honor’s project got him on his feet and got him started as an independent furniture designer. He also credits Aub for helping develop the aesthetics while working on the project.
“After completing the project, not only did I have a total understanding of my design and the process of what went into to designing it, but more and more I have heard positive responses from the work I do now and I really do think that can be credited to Ted’s expertise in sculptural thinking and his critique in that regard.”
On campus, Kana was a member of the sailing team, an experience he says helped balance out his work in the classroom.
“It was almost like being out on the lake kept me sane from the workshop and being in the workshop kept me sane from the lake. At the same time, my professors supported my involvement with the sailing team, and coach Iklé was one my biggest supporters of my work in the workshop.
Kana is currently enrolled in the Rochester Institute of Technology where he is pursuing an MFA in furniture design. His ultimate goal is to pass down what he has learned to future generations.
“I see myself in the future sharing this craft with others, whether it’s teaching at a university, high school, or a craft school,” says Kana.
To learn more about Kana’s furniture design, visit his website at http://patrickkana.com/furniture.html