Furniture Design

Courses

  • Fall 2014

    ADVANCED FURNITURE STUDIO

    This a required studio for seniors that continues advanced theory and practice of furniture design. Upholstery techniques are introduced.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    CABINETS, DOORS AND DRAWERS

    This course will provide an opportunity for students to design and make cabinets of various types with doors and drawers. Students will learn the subtleties of casework and fitting doors, drawers and hardware. While a wide range of design approaches from very simple to complex will be encouraged, this course will be an especially good opportunity for those students who wish to explore advanced woodworking.
    Elective; Furniture majors only

    CAD MODELING FOR FURNITURE DESIGNERS

    This course will provide students with a high level of competency and an increased sensitivity to the creative potential that CAD modeling presents to designers. Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts and technologies of CAD using Rhinoceros. There will be expenses associated with outputting services (printing, rapid prototyping and/or CNC machining).
    Elective

    DRAWING FURNITURE 2-D

    Drawing for Furniture 2D will focus on the ways in which drawing can help generate, evaluate and communicate design concepts. Students will be introduced to the conventions and techniques of technical drawing for Furniture Design while pursuing experiments that supplement and challenge established practices. Focus will be on two drawing systems, orthographic and paraline projection, working by hand and with computers.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    FURNITURE THESIS SEMINAR

    This graduate seminar is organized in parallel with the Graduate Furniture Design Thesis studio for the purpose of guiding the written thesis document. The goal is to provide students with a focused opportunity to map their thesis projects and to create the document that supports their studio practice and body of work known as the thesis.
    CoRequisite: FURN-246G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN I

    This course concentrates on the exploration of personal design aesthetics and the development of furniture projects that exhibit a high degree of technical proficiency.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN III

    This course concentrates on projects that begin the thesis body of work. Advanced design and technical processes are continued as part of this process.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    JUNIOR STUDIO I

    This studio will consist of advanced furniture design and practice. There will be two sections, one will concentrate on furniture design using advanced wood techniques and materials while the other will relate to metal fabrication and cast materials.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AND PORTFOLIO

    This class will focus on professional presentation with regards to all aspects of your work including visual portfolio, artist statement, resume and clear articulate correspondence. With a basic understanding of what you are trying to achieve combined with a philosophy of how you will achieve it, this course will help equip you with the foundation to deal with the business of making a living from your art.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    RESEARCH ELECTIVE

    Students will research specific furniture themes and materials in a variety of contexts including external partnerships.
    Major required elective with adequate wood studio experience
    Permission of department head required

    SOPHOMORE STUDIO METHODS

    This studio course introduces materials commonly used in furniture making and the foundation skills necessary to integrate them into furniture. Emphasis is on techniques, structures and materials properties. These are integrated with theoretical exercises that focus on design.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
    Tool Rental: $150.00

    Wintersession 2015

    EXPERIMENTS IN WEAVING FURNITURE AND FORM

    The design of Furniture requires an understanding of the relationship between function, form and the body. The balancing of each of these elements is essential to the creation of a successful piece. Weaving, at its most basic, can be understood as the interlacing of individual elements into a complex whole. What does it mean to weave a 3 Dimensional form that must provide support and comfort, as is the case found in the design of Furniture?
    This course will focus on exploring the process of weaving, as applied to the art and design of Furniture. With an emphasis on experimentation, students will be encouraged to utilize non-traditional materials and invented techniques. Through twisting, folding, bending, overlapping, tying, and knotting materials both bought and found will be interwoven to create new and exciting possibilities.
    We will begin a series of quick investigations into materiality and connection that will evolve rapidly into 3 dimensional forms. The information and experience gained from these initial exercises will then be expanded upon to inform the design and creation of a final, refined Furniture piece.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00

    INTRODUCTION TO FURNITURE

    This course will be an introduction to the skills and techniques for furniture design. The primary focus will be on developing innovative concepts through drawing and model-making. Simple hand tool techniques and basic woodworking machinery will be introduced. Exercises in sketching, model-making and various design strategies will aid in developing an understanding of materials and processes, culminating in two substantial products. Through a series of informative presentations, hands-on lectures, technical demonstrations, and short project assignments, students will explore the relationships between concepts, techniques and built objects.

    MATERIAL CONNECTIONS IN FURNITURE DESIGN

    This course explores a range of materials and techniques relevant to Furniture Design with a focus on where they intersect. Employing wood, metal and plastic forming, students will combine methods specific to each in fabricating a series of small objects. Through design practice and discourse we will evaluate meaning in materials and their connections.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00

    METALS FOR FURNITURE DESIGN

    This course is an appropriate introduction to furniture design in metal. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic techniques of metal fabrication as they apply to furniture design. Design issues will be resolved through a series of drawings and models and welding skills will be honed through several preliminary projects. Students will be expected to complete a piece of furniture.
    Estimated Material Cost: $75.00

    RAPID PROTOTYPE PRINTING: FROM ANIME FIGURES TO GILLETTE RAZORS

    This course will explore detailing and finish of rapid prototype models. We will look at existing products in the market place from Anime figures to Gillette razors. Starting at the ground level, this course will be an introduction to the rapid prototype printing process with an exploration of form, fit and detailing of the ABS material. This will be followed with hands on exploration of sanding, coloring, decorating and the finishing of the ABS models for presentation. Multiple parts and connections and combinations of colors and materials are encouraged, as the goal is a strong display of graphic quality. Gluing, drilling and other manipulations of the ABS material will be explored.
    Estimated Material Cost: $30.00 - $100.00 for RPM use
    Prerequisite: 3D digital drawing capability

    Spring 2015

    DESIGN FOR PRODUCTION

    Long known as the "Beehive" of industry, Providence RI is one of the most diverse manufacturing hubs in the US. Although today's global market continues to absorb these resources, Providence has retained a highly skilled manufacturing center that is eager to work with the creative arts. This rare resource provides designers the unique ability to work locally with manufacturing re-sources from traditional lost wax casting to emerging manufacturing technologies such as laser cutting, multi-axis cnc, and rapid prototyping. Throughout the course we will visit manufacturing, marketing, and retail facilities to develop a working understanding of production processes and methods available to you and how best to effectively implement these resources into your work as a designer/artist. The studio course will conclude with each student presenting a finished production ready object in multiples along with supporting marketing materials. By approaching this class from a design, manufacturing, and marketing perspective students will acquire a practical knowledge of production strategies essential to the success of a designer today.
    Elective

    DRAWING FURNITURE 3-D

    This course continues drawing and concept development techniques, sketching with three-dimensional models, mock-ups and prototypes. Working in several scales and levels of articulation, students will expand pre-visualization and detailing skills. Basics of 3-D computer simulation will also be introduced.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN II

    This course explores advanced design processes and methods of construction. The evolution of a project through a complete design process is required including conceptual and design development phases.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN SEMINAR

    The graduate seminar is a forum for discussion and research outside of the studio setting. Through a series of topical investigations, lectures, presentations, and field trips, students will explore current design issues, professional practices, directions, and developments within the field, and other topics that will help to formulate the basis of the graduate thesis work.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
    Elective for senior, fifth-year; Nonmajors with permission of instructor

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN THESIS

    This course culminates the completion of the thesis body of works and accompanying written document.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    HISTORY OF FURNITURE

    A survey of the development of furniture and a critical assessment of styles of each period. Considerable time will be spent studying the collection of the RISD museum. The course will include lecture, papers, field trips, and exams.
    Major requirement
    Art History credit for Furniture majors
    Liberal Arts elective credit for nonmajors on a space available basis
    Non majors permission of instructor required
    Spring restricted to students in Furniture Design

    JUNIOR STUDIO II

    This studio will mirror the fall studio with students reversing the section of advanced wood and metal and cast materials.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    LIGHTING DESIGN 101

    Lighting design is an ever-growing category of furniture and product design, constantly evolving alongside technological advances in available lamp hardware. This hands-on course is an opportunity for students to explore the various types of lamp options, including incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED. Students are first provided with the technical skills and safety factors involved in creating and wiring a lamp, to adding more complicated items such as switches, dimmers, and hardware, and finally moving on to designing and creating a body of functional lighting pieces. We will cover various lamp typologies (sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers, pendants, etc), as well as light as art through installation and sculpture. Students are encouraged to work in a variety of materials and scales, developing their designs from sketches, models, and renderings, to a fully realized object. Designs will evolve through in-class discussions, pin-ups, and critiques. This class will focus on the design and fabrication of lighting as an object in a space, rather than the lighting of a space.
    Estimated Material Cost: $50.00 - $100.00
    Elective for Majors and Non-Majors

    SENIOR DEGREE PROJECT

    Seniors will complete their final portfolio works in this studio. Seniors will design and execute a final degree project. The degree project will be individualized according to student interest.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    SOPHOMORE DESIGN/PRACTICE

    This sophomore studio expands basic principles of furniture design and material skills, exploring how the made objects interact with the human body. Intermediate skills will be demonstrated and practiced as students further explore materials and their applications in design.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration

    WITNESS TREE PROJECT

    Witness trees, as designated by the National Park Service, are long-standing trees that have "witnessed" key events, trends, and people in history. In this joint studio/liberal arts course, students have the unique opportunity to study and work with a fallen witness tree, shipped to RISD from a national historic site. The course will involve three components: 1) a field trip to the tree's site at the beginning of the semester; 2) classroom-based exploration of American history, memory, landscape, and material culture; and 3) studio-based building of a series of objects from the tree's wood, in response to both the site and students' classroom study. Overall, the course will explore both how material artifacts shape historical understanding and how historical knowledge can create meaningful design. Wood this year has been designated from the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, New York.
    Students must also register for HPSS S732
    Students will receive 3 credits in Furniture and 3 credits in HPSS, for a total of 6 credits
    A single fee of $100.00 will be charged for your concurrent registration in HPSS S732/FURN 2451 courses.