Are you interested in designing and creating beautiful and functional pieces of furniture? You might want to become a furniture designer.
Furniture designers design and create pieces of furniture both for private and public spaces while considering function, fashion and comfort. They design furniture keeping factors such as sustainability, ergonomics, customer preference and practicality in mind. Some furniture designers design a line of furnishings for furniture stores, while others work solely to craft pieces based on individual customer requests.
Designers can find employment in manufacturing companies, or work in partnership with one or two like-minded individuals. Alternately, and especially in the case of experienced furniture designers, you can choose to be self-employed.
A furniture design job entails creativity, business knowledge and marketing, sales, finance and manufacturing skills. For the self-employed, the job will involve wearing multiple hats, to include designer, production manager, purchaser, salesperson, accountant, and maintenance engineer.
Certificate programs for furniture designers exist and are mostly offered as part of continuing education programs by various schools and colleges. Most employers prefer applicants with a furniture design degree.
- North Bennet Street School and Massachusetts College of Art and Design offer a Furniture Design Certificate Program. This unique, in-depth program focuses on the design and craft of studio furniture and on the development of each student as an artist/designer/craftsperson. Students who successfully complete the program will have gained the ability to design and build unique studio furniture, limited production pieces and prototype furniture, as well as a basic understanding of issues, materials and production that are essential in the field. The program consists of eight core courses and two studio electives which are taught by experienced educators who are at the same time accomplished woodworkers, designers and craftspeople.
- Florida International University offers the Certificate in Furniture Design through its College of Architecture and The Arts department. This certificate program introduces students to the design and creation of furniture pieces for use in commercial and residential spaces. The furniture design course aims to develop the students’ skills, knowledge, and critical thinking about designing, creating and marketing of furniture pieces. The certificate program is offered to individuals who possess a minimum of an Associate of Arts degree in a design related field who wish to extend their design education into this particular field of specialized study. Courses include introduction to furniture design; advanced furniture design; history of 21st century furniture design; professional practice and entrepreneurship in furniture design. The certificate program awards graduate credit.
- The Furniture Program at California College of the Arts allows students to explore furniture in the realms of studio art, craft and design. Students explore both traditional building methods and the latest technological advancements in this program and are immersed in real world experiences outside the studio with opportunities to work with partners such as Design Within Reach and the California Academy of Sciences. In addition, students are given the opportunity to participate in off-campus gallery exhibitions, national competitions and established industry events such as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.