How to Become a Furniture Designer
Design in any form is a way to fulfill the desire to create something unique. Expressing one’s vision, especially when it is informed by culture and technique, can help to shape the world, as it has done since the beginning of time.
Creating New Pathways
As one of today’s most interesting furniture design stores, Viesso is one of the leaders in carving new pathways in the industry by allowing the retail process to become more creatively interactive. Their model is one where consumers play a major part in the construction and design of the pieces they wish to buy. As they specify not only the color and texture of fabrics, but also the details of construction, a design partnership begins to form.
This means that instead of buying a piece of furniture right off the “shelf,” one becomes more invested in how that piece will best be suited for its need. For example, if you like to work on your laptop in the living room, this may mean that the sectional you are interested in should have a wider arm on which to place the machine. If you need a comfortable seat to nestle into after a long day at the office, then a wider cushion will be a good selection, rather than a smaller and firmer model.
In developing this kind of relationship with its customers, Viesso is subtly encouraging them to take greater part in their world as it relates to their personal lifestyle.
A Personal Connection to Your Environment
Getting you to take into consideration the details that make better sense for your purchase also makes you better consumer. When you are invested in the elements placed around your home or office, you will have an infinitely more personal and connected feeling about your environment.
Pursuing a Career in Furniture Design
Viesso takes this theory one step further, encouraging interested consumers in pursuing a career as furniture designers themselves. Because of the designer’s own passion for the industry, they are encouraging others to get more involved.
If the spirit moves you to experiment with your ideas about design and function, taking courses at a college, university or art institute is the way to begin what can be an exceptionally rewarding career as a furniture designer. In an educational environment you not only learn by doing, but also have the advantage of working with knowledgeable teachers and guest artists as well as students in parallel areas of interest.
OTIS School of Design
One of the most exciting institutes for furniture design is the OTIS School of Design in Los Angeles, California. The school’s emphasis is on the development of your own creative practice through technique, technology, and experimentation. Here you experience hands-on practices for creating and integrating design in a functional context. With emphasis on 2D graphics and 3D CAD (computer aided design) modalities, you learn how to create prototypes that later can be fabricated in single or mass production. The school encourages students to play with their creative vision, as its mission is to help create design innovators for the future.
California College of the Arts
At California College of the Arts there is also an extremely cohesive furniture design program that incorporates industrial design, sculpture, architecture, and fashion. With information gleaned from kindred departments, the student can develop an informed body of work on a small scale or for larger production runs. Emphasizing collaboration with other designers, manufacturers, and contractors, along with taking advantage of the many lectures and workshops given by visiting artists is an essential way to widen horizons that give way to more options for fueling the creative process.
Parsons /The New School for Design
Parsons /The New School for Design in New York is a mecca for those pursuing a career in furniture design or any of the other design arts. Whether you enroll in courses dedicated to urban design, integrated design, design studies, design and urban ecologies, or design and technology, the emphasis is on deepening and expanding creative possibilities through knowledge of construction and deconstruction, as well as how each art form configures with the next. With many internship and networking opportunities, the school offers numerous lectures with celebrated artists and thinkers, exhibitions, and summer intensives.
Whether you pursue a furniture design career in a conventional setting or through continuing education, the courses will help you hone your creative vision as you experiment with materials and gain feedback from working professionals.
Past to Present
Working with actual materials as you begin to make your vision tangible is an exhilarating experience. Taking an idea and turning it into something solid is what makes furniture designing one of the most rewarding careers. But it is not only the physical pleasure of putting hand to tool to material, it is also the understanding of the roots of furniture making and how it relates to the present that provides depth to the work.
Understanding the Patterns of Culture
Learning how furniture making has changed over the centuries is a way to understand the patterns of culture. Think of pre-modernist design, for example, and how furniture was considered an ornament, whereby fabric and form were placed at a much higher value than function. Now turn to the modernists themselves, who shifted the emphasis to how a piece of furniture performed for the user. Here we can see the simple lines of Mies van Der Rohe and how his pieces allowed for a different kind of lifestyle. Materials changed, whereby steel, plastics, and molded plywood became favorites with which to experiment. Look at Isamu Noguchi, who introduced his organic form so signature to a modern way of observing and participating in the world.
Functionality and Comfort
As we move through time, furniture provides a key reflection on how we are living our lives. Today we want functionality, comfort, and crisp lines in direct response to our more efficient and technological age. How we put this together is as individual as the vision of each designer.
Solutions for Today and Tomorrow
At Viesso, their designers are creating furniture that provides solutions for both today and tomorrow. Their inspirations are clearly reflections on how consumers envision their lives. They believe that the mission of furniture creation is to stay current with improvements and changes in the industry while exploring new means of expression, always in service to the contemporary lifestyle. An organic process, they use the interactive process that they encourage from their customers to refine and hone their products. Because of their understanding of proportion, construction, and a wide variety of materials, they are constantly creating pieces that enhance their clients’ lives while they fulfill the dream they had to become the furniture designers they now are.