CFT 153 - Studio Furniture Design

This course presents a survey of the history of furniture, with an emphasis on design elements applicable to the creation of contemporary works. The course begins with the ancient record, examining the cultural history of the Greeks and Romans, through Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque. Special attention will be paid to the development and identification of the English, French, and American periods and styles, as well as an examination of the 19th and 20th century innovations that continue to influence contemporary designs.

We will examine the structure of important pieces, including the joinery, the uses of ornament, the development of contours and lines, the uses of materials and technology, and how all of these change as tastes and techniques evolve. Students will keep a design notebook, and will be required to submit original drawings based on classic forms or re-create classic forms to fit contemporary needs.

Finally, we will explore current trends in design, from Memphis to the contemporary crafts market and studio furniture movement. We will view the works of the leading figures in America and abroad, and will discuss the problems and possibilities that confront the designer and craftsperson working in the 21st century.





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