Alex Cordell
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BFA in Furniture Design
2012
Owner of Solid Manufacturing Co.

Why did you choose to study furniture design?

I chose furniture design because it was the most tangible way to express an idea, define space, and innovate. The way people move through space and utilize furniture has always fascinated me. It is a very important component to the furniture we design today.

What do you do for a living?

Co-owner at Solid Manufacturing Company and Ace General Store.

What kind of work do you create?

We design and build furniture, home and leather goods.

What inspires you?

Our work is inspired by classic, modern design. We tend to steer clear of trends as they come and go so quickly. At our core, we are inspired by functionality, minimalism, and design for small spaces. We believe in the power of community and are often inspired by the makers around us. 

Have you always known what you wanted to do professionally or has your path changed over time?

I always knew that I had to be involved in every component of a project. I started my college career as an architecture student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I transferred to MCAD a year in and knew almost immediately that it was the right choice. At MCAD I was able to refine my craft and come to the realization that both designing and manufacturing are important components to running a business.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

The best part about my job is the freedom to design new products, collaborate, and be involved in our community. Every week contains something new and exciting. There is never a dull moment.

Where was your favorite place on or near campus?

Spyhouse

How did MCAD best prepare you for life after college?

I not only learned about furniture design, but also about business. My instructors, many of whom are business owners themselves, were always honest with us. The courses gave us the freedom to create. More importantly, they pushed us to ask ourselves why. After graduation, I not only knew that running a business was possible, but more importantly that I was capable of doing it.

Best thing you ever got/saw on MCAD’s free shelf?

A Gitman Brothers oxford shirt.

What advice do you have for current or prospective art and design students?

Take advantage of all the resources MCAD offers. The educators are some of the absolute best. Ask questions. Work hard. Enjoy every minute! 

Biggest takeaway from attending MCAD?

MCAD gave me the opportunity to forge my own path and the freedom to make my academic career my own. My greatest takeaway is that your future is not going to fall in your lap the day you graduate. It's up to you to create the life you want and MCAD will give you the tools to do just that.