Retro Revival of Old T.V Table. Part 2

Design Principles., Education, Retro Revival

In this clip I explain the basics of shape and form and how it applies to good design.

Lesson Plan: The Importance of Shape and Form in Three-Dimensional Design


Today, we will explore the importance of shape and form in three-dimensional design. Understanding these concepts is crucial for creating structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing objects. Our focus will be on how shapes transition into forms and how this transformation impacts structural integrity, using a practical example of repurposing wood from an old table into a new TV stand.


By the end of this lesson, students will understand the relationship between shape and form, and how these principles apply to design projects. They will learn why certain shapes are commonly used in design and how to ensure structural integrity in their creations.

Materials Needed

  • Old table wood or similar material
  • Sheets of paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Basic drawing tools (pencils, rulers)
  • Sample models (cylinders, triangles, squares)

Lesson Outline

1. Introduction to Shape and Form

Discussion Prompt: “What do you think of when you hear the terms ‘shape’ and ‘form’? How do you think they differ?”


  • Shape: A two-dimensional area with identifiable boundaries, such as a square, circle, or triangle. Shapes are flat and have height and width but no depth.
  • Form: A three-dimensional object that has depth in addition to height and width. Forms are shapes with volume and structural integrity, such as a cube, sphere, or pyramid.

2. From Shape to Form

Activity: Transform a sheet of paper into a three-dimensional shape.

  • Take a flat sheet of paper (shape).
  • Roll it into a cylinder and secure it with tape or glue (form).


  • How did the structural integrity change when the paper went from a flat sheet to a cylinder?
  • Why does a cylinder support weight better than a flat sheet?

3. Structural Integrity and Common Shapes


  • Square and Rectangle: Commonly used in tables and boxes because they provide a stable and balanced form. They can easily accommodate loads and are straightforward to construct.
  • Triangle: Known for its strong structural properties. Often used in roofs and bridges because it efficiently distributes weight and resists deformation.
  • Circle and Related Shapes (e.g., Ellipses): Used in design for their aesthetic appeal and even distribution of stress.

4. Practical Application: Designing a TV Stand

Scenario: Repurpose the wood from an old table to create a new TV stand.


  1. Planning: Outline the design considering the wood available. Sketch the new TV stand, focusing on the shape and form.
  2. Understanding Load: Discuss how the new TV stand will need to support the weight of the TV and other items.
  3. Choosing Shapes: Decide on the shapes to use in the construction:
    • Use squares for the main structure for stability.
    • Incorporate triangles to reinforce the structure, especially for the legs or support beams.
  4. Constructing the Form: Assemble the pieces, ensuring that the shapes transition into forms with strong structural integrity.

5. Triangle in Depth: Structural Strength

Activity: Construct a model using triangles.

  • Create a simple triangular frame and apply weight to observe its stability.
  • Add a cross brace (collar) to see how it enhances the strength.


  • How does the triangle distribute the load?
  • Why is the triangle a preferred shape in many structural applications?

6. Recap and Reflection


  • Review the key concepts: difference between shape and form, and their importance in design.
  • Discuss the transformation of the old table wood into a structurally sound TV stand.

Reflection Questions:

  • What challenges did you encounter when designing the TV stand?
  • How did understanding shapes and forms help in creating a stronger design?

Final Thoughts:

  • Always consider both aesthetic and structural aspects when designing.
  • Shape and form are fundamental in ensuring that your designs are not only beautiful but also functional and durable.


  • Sketch a piece of furniture you would like to design. Label the shapes and explain how they will transition into forms. Discuss how you will ensure the structural integrity of your design.


Thank you for participating! Remember, in design, always start with a clear understanding of shape and form to create strong, functional, and beautiful objects. See you next class!


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