As a Buffalo State student, Nathaniel Hall, '13, was recognized at national competitions and juried exhibitions for his original designs. Since graduating from the wood/furniture program, he has earned widespread acclaim for his inventive, yet functional work. Now Hall is set to gain a much wider audience thanks to a new reality-competition television series.
Hall is one of 13 emerging designers appearing in Framework, which airs Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on the Spike Network.
"It's really exciting to know that people are recognizing the talent and skill that I am bringing to the furniture world," said Hall, now a graduate student in the furniture design program at San Diego State University.
Hall will require that talent and skill as he competes in the series.
In each episode of Framework, the designers must face a new challenge and earn approval for their creations from the show's judges—renowned craftsmen Brandon Gore and Nolen Niu and show host, rapper/actor Common—to avoid elimination.
The stakes are high—the winner receives a $100,000 cash prize, $20,000 in tools, and inclusion in the CB2 home décor store—and the rivalry is intense.
"Nathaniel always impressed me with his distinctive ideas and concept development within contemporary design and demonstrated a focus beyond his years," said Sunhwa Kim, associate professor of design, coordinator of the wood/furniture program, and Hall's former instructor.
"He frequently chose challenging designs to complete his projects...I am so pleased that he has grown into a mature and professional artist."
In the debut episode, which aired January 6, contestants were required to create a custom piece from scratch using materials salvaged from abandoned boats. The catch? The builders had just 24 hours to complete the assignment—new furniture projects usually take weeks or months of planning and execution.
"The experience was unequaled in intensity, focus, and mental strength," said Hall of his appearance on the show.
Hall made the cut in Framework’s premiere episode; however, viewers will need to keep watching to find out how he fares in the rest of series.
For Hall, the sudden exposure seems secondary to the opportunity to practice his craft. "Whether in school or for myself, I have been working in the furniture design world for over 10 years now," said Hall, who runs his own design studio, RxMadera. "It is my most intense passion in life…this show will be only the beginning of my widespread presence."