on sabbatical academic year 20/21
Cas Holman is a Providence- and Brooklyn-based educator and designer. After graduating from UC, Santa Cruz in 1998 Holman started her professional life first as a sous chef and later as a research assistant researching biodiversity in the Galapagos Islands. She eventually landed back in northern California with CRI San Francisco, working in contract furniture with Herman Miller. She began her ID career fabricating one-off furniture pieces in her basement that were sold in galleries and to restaurants. In 2002 Holman decided to pursue an MFA in 3D design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. While at Cranbrook she designed the building toy, Geemo, which launched at New York's MoMA in 2007, and she went on to show in design fairs in Tokyo, Moscow, Hamburg and Seoul. In 2005 Holman joined Rockwell Group, a New York City architecture firm, to develop the Imagination Playground for Manhattan's South Street Seaport. The oversized building blocks she designed for that park are currently found in playgrounds and schools worldwide. In 2011 she was hired by the Friends of the High Line to work alongside early childhood educators to imagine play opportunities in the High Line's elevated park in Manhattan. Her pop-up playground, the High Line Children's Workyard Kit, debuted in June 2011. Holman has since re-engineered the Workyard Kit for mass production, and it is now available to schools and playgrounds.
In her teaching and professional practice, Holman explores scales of manufacturing, using emerging technologies to make small-batch production and distribution feasible for independent designers and small companies. Her courses engage the design and production process as the product itself. She works alongside her students to find form through sketching, playing, tinkering, critique, prototyping and testing.