Last week, two members of the Murphy Burnham & Buttrick team travelled to Copenhagen to attend the School Furniture workshop held in at UNICEF Supply Division.

The purpose of the workshop was to give the project group the opportunity to provide constructive feedback on the five schemes of school furniture created by the Murphy team.

The presentation of the schemes led to keen discussions where members of the project group, composed of UNICEF education and procurement specialists based in Copenhagen, New York and Malawi’s country office, actively contributed to eventually gain a valuable understanding of how the design of the furniture should fit the usage made by school children in UNICEF program countries.

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Models brought by the Murphy team as well as samples of the materials available in the local areas they visited during the field trip in Africa. Photo credits: Loïc Sanchez, Copenhagen

3D printed models of the furniture helped the participants to picture the actual design of the products and foresee potential flaws in the scheme.

The type of material to be used for the furniture was also heavily discussed during one of the sessions. It was agreed that the final design of the product should be so simple that it can be adaptable to a broad range of materials available by local manufacturers. This will potentially include materials such as laminated woods, bamboo, plastic and tubular metals.

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Jeffrey Murphy presenting the schemes to the project group. Photo credits: Loïc Sanchez, Copenhagen

Our colleagues from New York and Malawi managed to virtually join the workshop bringing their expertise from the field and providing valuable inputs on the different schemes.

The project group eventually came to a consensus on moving forward with two of the schemes. A third one is still under scrutiny as it was agreed that the technology requested for developing moulds might not be found in all the program countries.

Murphy Burnham & Buttrick will now have two weeks to make the requested adjustments to the two schemes selected by the project group before the final review takes place.

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