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Furniture Design

The Furniture Design Program is a wood-based program that focuses on the design and construction of furniture and functional objects within the context of contemporary culture. It integrates creative and technical processes necessary to build objects with structural logic and visual relevance.

The sequence of courses follows a progression of teaching joinery, tools, machines, materials, and furniture forms. Significant discussion of history, aesthetics, and context will augment technical instruction. The concentration culminates in each student developing a senior project in the area. The focus of each course is summarized below:

Introduction to Furniture Design: hand tools, joinery, machines.
Intermediate Furniture Design: turning, bending, veneering, cabinetry.
Advanced Furniture Design I: other materials (steel, aluminum, fiberglass, plastics).
Advanced Furniture Design II: chair design and ergonomics.
Furniture Design Portfolio: senior project.

Furniture Design FACULTY


Furniture Design Facilities

The Furniture Design facilities are currently housed in Briggs Hall and include a machine room, bench room, and glue-up area. Machines include: table saw, 2 band saws, jointer, planer, disk sander, mortiser, 2 lathes, scroll saw, 2 drill presses, bench grinders, mini mill, and vacuum bag system. Access to the sculpture studio is permitted and encouraged for non-wood processes.

Furniture Design Courses

ARTS 245 Introduction to Furniture Design

This course introduces students to the tools and materials of furniture making, focusing on the physical characteristics of wood and ways to shape, cut, and join it. The course will also introduce design methodology, furniture design history, and drawing techniques. (Formerly ART 280)

Prereq: ARTS 122 and department permission

ARTS 490W Capstone

This course is taken in conjunction with the last course in each student’s area of concentration. It is designed as the culminating learning experience for students in the BFA curriculum and will help provide direction for their future professional careers. The course will focus on preparation for a required senior exhibition, the development of a professional portfolio, and the creation necessary written documents to support one’s professional career. This course fulfills the General Education Writing Intensive requirement.

Prereq: must be enrolled in final area of concentration and department permission

ARTS 345 Intermediate Furniture Design

Intermediate Furniture Design will focus on advanced woodworking processes along with their structural and aesthetic implications. These processes will include turning, laminate bending, vacuum bending, veneering, and relevant joinery methods. Students will design and build multiple furniture projects using these techniques.

Prereq: ARTS 245, ARTS 290, passed foundations review, and departmental permission

ARTS 445 Advanced Furniture Design I

Advanced Furniture Design I will focus on non-wood fabrication processes, along with their structural and aesthetic implications. Materials used will include aluminum, steel, fiberglass, and plastics. Students will learn welding, casting, and fiberglass lay-up processes, and will design and build multiple furniture projects using these techniques.

Prereq: ARTS 345 and departmental permission

ARTS 446 Advanced Furniture Design II

Advanced Furniture Design II will focus on chair design, ergonomics, and upholstery methods along with their structural and aesthetic implications. Students will design and build multiple chair projects combining previous methods/materials with these concepts.

Prereq: ARTS 445 and departmental permission

ARTS 447 Furniture Design Portfolio

Furniture Design Portfolio will focus on the design and execution of each student’s degree project and the preparation of a professional portfolio. Students will conduct research and/or data collection relative to the nature of each project. Projects will demonstrate a personal style or mode of expression.

Prereq: ARTS 446 and departmental permission; Co-reqs: ARTS 490w