Furniture Design

Course Description

This studio will emphasize on the theory, materials and construction techniques of furniture design. Furniture studio experiences will be taught in the theory of the design process and an understanding of wood, metal, plastic detailing for architectural furniture.  Field studies are conducted at several furniture manufacturers and millwork shops.  Projects focus on material selection, design development and design research involving physical, social, and psychological factors.

Students will focus on the evolution of two-dimensional sketches into a three-dimensional piece of furniture.  The advancement of emotional abstraction (two-dimensional sketches) will transform and influence spatial design as well as furniture design.  A study of positive and negative space with regards to the principles and elements of design will influence the final compositions.  Each student will utilize the information presented in the course and found through independent research to inform their design.


Emotional 3D Abstraction

Utilizing the list of adjectives below, create Five (5) small Balsa wood sculptural compositions of three volumes each.  Balsa wood is the best medium because you can add or take-away with relative ease.  The edges should be clean and read as clearly as possible.  Within each composition, the volumes should be distinct and vary in character as much as possible.  For this exercise, all three volumes in each composition are to be linear and each volume must be different than others used in the assignment.  (Meaning no volume can duplicate length, width, or height.)

Each composition must contain a dominate volume that drives the axial movement; a subdominant volume that responds to the dominate volume; and a subordinate volume that completes the idea.

·         Dominate volume: occupies a dominate position within the composition, largest element, most interesting, dramatic in character

·         Subdominant volume: compliments the dominate volume and makes the dominate volume more exciting due to contrasts in character and              position

·         Subordinate volume: enhances the design by introducing a third visual element which enhances the overall three-dimensional                                    characteristics; this volume should complete the feel of the composition

 In addition, incorporate one of the following joints: cradling, wedging, or piercing.

·         Cradling: something that is used to hold or support something else

·         Wedging: a connection between two forms

·         Piercing: to go through or into something


Alone                                        Flexible                                     Victorious

Dangerous                                 Hyper                                       Caution            

Playful                                       Honest                                      Confused                                  

Steadfast                                   Anxiety                                      Volatile 

Stubborn                                   Empowered                               Passionate

By Christian Johnson

By Christian Johnson

The model compositions are to be placed on 6” x 6”x1” piece of black board with the adjective written in 1/2” text towards the “bottom” of the square.  Note – because you are working in abstract three-dimensional compositions, there is no true “top,” “bottom,” or “correct” view of your composition.  Constant consideration should be given to all views of the composition.

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