As a furniture artist I create sculptural environments to explore the boundaries of function. Each piece is an experiment in how shapes make space and how these spaces affect a passing observer. The shapes I create range from curved open spaces to partially closed volumes, each allowing different levels of comfort and shelter. These works provide a unique place for sitting or reclining, alone or in groups, but ask an occupant to conform to the space and reassess their own expectations of body position.
I draw my design inspiration from both the natural environment and the devices human crafters have developed to better support life. In nature I may see a spontaneous negative space created by the forces of the natural world and envision how that form could function as a simple shelter if enhanced by human hands. In the constructed world I am often drawn to the evidence of human activity, the enhancing of materials and forms provided by nature. This can be seen in simple tools, where function is discovered through form; and in architecture, where sculptures of space meet our most sophisticated mastery of materials.
In my furniture projects I build occupiable space by combining forms derived from nature with the structural expression of materials and connections found in engineered objects.
Joshua Torbick is a furniture artist and educator in his final year as an MFA student at San Diego State University in the Furniture Design program. Joshua’s furniture forms utilize curved elements of wood, steel and fabric, creating unique pieces to explore the boundaries of function. His pieces range from organic to architectural and provide comfortable seating and semi-private spaces while challenging our expectations of body position. He has recently been awarded the SDSU Art Council Scholarship, Windgate Foundation Endowment Scholarship, Isabella Kraft Sculpture Scholarship, Carey G. Bringle Jr. Scholarship, and the Heater Fund Scholarship Award. Joshua earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a dual BFA in Woodworking and Sculpture from the University of New Hampshire, graduating Magna Cum Laude, with High Honors in his major. He has studied painting in Italy, and was chosen three consecutive years to represent the University Of New Hampshire Art Department in the Undergraduate Research Conference. Joshua has taught woodworking and drawing at the University of New Hampshire and at San Diego State University.
Resume in Brief
2015 Master of Fine Arts, Furniture Design; San Diego State University
2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Furniture Design; University of New Hampshire
1999 Bachelor of Science, Architectural Design; University of Virginia.
Recent Professional Experience:
2014 Graduate Teaching Associate. Instructor of record for Drawing Foundations Course; San Diego State University
2013 Graduate Teaching Associate. Instructor of record for Introduction to Woodworking; San Diego State University
2012 Teaching Assistant; Introduction to Woodworking and Furniture Design, San Diego State University
Selected Recent Exhibitions:
2014 Measured Twice; Space for Art, San Diego CA
Craf-Twork; Glashaus Main Space, San Diego CA
2013 Headless; University Gallery, San Diego State University
Bridging the Piscataqua; Discovery Center, Portsmouth NH
Applied Design; James Allen Rose Gallery, Francis Parker School, San Diego CA
2012 In/tangibles; Southwestern College Gallery, Chula Vista CA