Embracing Form As Well as Function: Furniture Design Degree

For the vast majority of people on earth, furniture is an integral part of life. Although we rarely give much thought to them, it would be impossible to function properly without our tables, chairs and other furniture. If you don’t just pay attention to furniture when it is time to purchase new items, but actually enjoy coming up with your own attractive or comfortable designs then a furniture design degree is just the thing for you. It is a very rewarding occupation, but to hone your talent and skill while increasing your knowledge of the process it is vital to study the subject.

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Furniture Design Degree Information

Bachelor’s Program

Enrolling in a bachelor’s program for furniture design will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to work with a wide range of materials and technologies. The emphasis is typically on the practice and principles of furniture design. You will be taught to take a project from concept to finished object and become well versed in the fundamental issues of furniture design. When studying at a campus you will have access to a work shop for working with models as well as full-scale pieces. Completing your bachelor’s program will usually take about four years.

Master’s Program

Completing a master’s program in furniture design can take an additional two to three years and will teach you to further hone your concept development skills, in two and three dimensions. You’ll also learn how to complete full scale design prototypes as well as communicate technical and conceptual content to others to assist in the manufacturing process. For this type of program you will have full access to well-equipped studios and shops, while refining your work thanks to reviews and critiques of lecturers and other students. In most programs you will be required to produce a final body of work as well as have an accompanying written thesis by the end of the project.

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Furniture Design FAQs

Who Is The Ideal Candidate To Enroll In A Furniture Design Program?

Enrolling in a course to become a furniture designer is ideal for students who have a real passion for design. You have to enjoy working with your hands and be creative enough to visualize design concepts that will appeal to contemporary society. Being self-motivated is important, as is the ability to work either as an individual or as part of a larger group. Some artistic talent is definitely required to be a good furniture designer as it often involves a lot of drawing, computer aided design and model making. If you decide to work independently you will also have to have some business-related skills as well as people and communication skills. An aptitude for visual aesthetics, math and critical thinking will definitely come in handy too.

What Will I Learn During A Furniture Design Program?

Most courses that cover furniture design will teach you about elements such as usability, aesthetics and ergonomics that are important for the design and creation of products. You will also learn about branding, visual language and user-centered design.

Can I Enroll In Online Furniture Design Courses?

Online furniture designer courses are typically useful for students who want to use it as a starting point before moving on to live courses. These type of courses usually offers a combination of online learning as well as assignments to practice outside of the online classes. Topics can include the key areas of furniture design, such as research, concept development, creation of design directions and the production of scaled models. Since most of the planning and modeling done in the furniture design industry is accomplished using computer aided design software, it can be very beneficial to use online courses to become proficient with the use of this technology. This is especially useful if you want to focus on the design aspect of furniture instead of working as a furniture maker.

What Will My Career Outlook Be Like As A Furniture Designer?

When you become a furniture designer there are a couple of career paths open to you. Many furniture designers choose to use their skills on a freelance basis by working as independent designers or makers. However, you can also find employment with large retail chains, interior design consultancies or furniture manufacturers instead. Finally, there are many other related professions where you can put your skills as a furniture designer to good use. These include designing displays for galleries and museums as well as set designs for theater companies. There is a worldwide demand for furniture designers, which makes it easy to work for international design and manufacturing companies if you are talented. When you are just starting out, it can be beneficial to get an apprenticeship or internship that will allow you to learn more about the industry from the inside.

What Type of Work Activities Will I Have To Perform As A Furniture Designer?

Depending on whether you work on a freelance basis or for an employer, your first task will generally be to liaise with clients. You might be in charge of managing design projects and will have to draw designs using either free hand methods or computer aided design software. In addition, you could be required to build full-size samples and explore the use of different materials for the design process. Sometimes you might be tasked with producing new design although you could also be required to improve on exiting ones.

For inspiration, it is also important to stay on top of new trends in design as well as to study classic styles. As a furniture designer you will typically be working during traditional business hours. However, you might have to be more flexible if you are self-employed and working towards deadlines to meet customer’s needs.

How Much Will I Earn As A Furniture Designer?

According to Payscale.com, when working as a furniture designer in the US your yearly salary will be about $51,000. The biggest influence is the duration of your career, followed by the city in which you operate. If you go on to become a well-known, independent designer your earning potential can rise considerably. When working for an employer you will be able to progress to the role of senior consultant designer or higher as you move up the career ladder.

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