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Furniture Design

"Art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic." - Charles Eames

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” - Charles Eames

In simple terms, furniture primarily helps physically support various everyday human activities in an un-obtrusive, comfortable way by allowing us to focus on the task at hand. For example, when we are working on an assignment, a well-designed chair helps us to concentrate on what we are doing, rather than on our physical postures for a reasonable length of time. A well- designed seat allows us to rest comfortably in an aircraft or bus for longer hours.

Furniture acts as an extension to human self with our immediate surrounding, which makes it dynamic as well as challenging to work on. Well-designed furniture caters to variety of needs through our lives, such as; from a baby born in a hospital in which all the furniture is designed keeping specifically the health, safety and comfort of a newborn, to the time we spend in school, at home and then in office, as we grow older. Furniture Design plays a very important role in all walks of life.

The core areas of study in Furniture design are:

  • Understanding materials and technologies
  • Human lifestyles, activities and Interactions
  • Form and Aesthetics
  • Mapping Spaces – Interior and Public Spaces
  • Ergonomics

What does one learn as Furniture Designer?

The main emphasis is hinged on developing a “culture of making”. The focus is to work with the material and process technology, to develop a practical purview which aids enhancement of knowledge and understanding. As furniture designers developing sensitivity towards factual and perceived attributes of materials as well as their potential and sustainable application, would be core. Developing empathy to the way design could impact social, political, environmental & commercial aspects would be a challenge.
Developing capabilities to conceptualise and visualise form, structure, context and material by building workable prototypes in “ making spaces", would be deliverables. Live interfaces with practitioners (be it industry or artisans), understanding constraints and challenges in their area of practice – be it smaller craft project and / or accepting the production challenges at big industries, would give the much needed edge to the budding professionals.

The areas of engagement in this discipline would be informed by:

Elements of Making

The intent is to provide an introduction to materials, 3D making processes and also to typical industrially produced raw materials. To explore and understand their intrinsic properties, learn how hand-tools and simple machine tools can manipulate to shape these materials. Typical and experimental finishes will be explored during multiple projects. Creating three dimensional forms and models that demonstrate our understanding in handling of various materials, would be a constant endeavor.

Analytical Drawing

This practice explores different drawing techniques on objects and shapes we interact with, in everyday usage. It would helps understand how basic elements like lines and curves give shape to everything that one observes around, in a measurable and communicable format. Various ways of representing the 3D objects in 2D and visa versa using different drawing techniques both, freehand and software., would also be explored. Understanding of basic and complex geometry, orthographic projection, technical as well as free hand perspectives will also be a focus area.

Design Process

Developing critical thinking through various research methods in design towards better solutions, would be the focus. The process of exploring, redefining and prototyping of design solutions continually, would be comprehended. This studio helps us to see the process behind designing a product and to understand the importance of context as well as scenario in the design process and how it can lead to a better-designed product. We will also look upon iterating and drawing inferences from our research for developing the concepts.

Simple Furniture Design

Furniture is integral to activities in our daily life - such as writing, storing or sleeping. Though use of furniture looks simple, a complex set of processes go into designing each one of them. This studio focuses on developing a design process, theoretical understanding and acquisition of technological knowledge, necessary for designing simple furniture. An integral part of this course will be to develop furniture that will keep in mind the users, context, ergonomics, materials, processes and finish.

System Furniture

Understanding the role of furniture in a particular system would be the core objective. We explore various systems and try to understand how we can design our furniture to seamlessly fit in its function in the particular system. The outcome is to formulate and design a final piece/ pieces based on particular system. The intention is to understand the complex inter-relation of furniture in/to a space. It will make us familiar with various systems that influence furniture, simple as well as complex.