Chris Martin

Associate Professor, Art and Visual Culture (Furniture)

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-1639
Office: 089 Design

Mailing Address


BFA, Iowa State University, 1990
MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, 1994

On the Web

Research Interests

Although my drive for creative expression through the design and production of furniture forms continues, my research focus has changed and expanded.

From June 2008- July 2010 my wife and I served as US Peace Corps volunteers, teaching arts in a rural village in Ghana, West Africa. This proved to be a profound and life changing experience. After encountering seemingly infinite variations of development concepts and seeing what works & what does not, I have gained an interest and passion for issues of sustainable development. More specifically, I am interested in what artists and designers roles can be in sustainable development and how cross-disciplinary collaborations can serve to advance honest and effective sustainable development.

I also hope to continue to investigate Ghanaian indigenous arts & crafts, and the craft village tradition there. I want to focus on the history and specifically current and past production processes. My goal is to understand and document these various unique techniques. In regards to sustainable development, I hope that this will Ghanaian artisans in promoting their craft as well as preserving these unique arts for posterity.

Current Projects

Body of furniture pieces based on my experiences in Africa.

Working on a manufacturing process to produce furniture forms, primarily schools desks, from waste plastic & agricultural byproducts.

Investigation into developing  sustainable development curriculum & possible program.

Supporting Files