Furniture Design Degree Outlook
Furniture designers create the designs that people use as furnishings in residential and commercial properties throughout the world. In many cases, you may find furniture designers who began a career as an interior designer. Or, a woodworker or textile designer may kick their skills up a notch and expand on their skills to create a piece of furniture rather than just create one part of another person's design.
A trend lately has been for graphic designers, or any other designer, to contribute to the furniture design market through a "green" initiative that calls on all creative individuals to design furniture from recycled goods. This practice proves that furniture design encompasses all areas of design elements and principles. Additionally, it shows that furniture design can come from any area of design, with few specialists in the field.
For instance, furniture design is much like fashion design, as the materials, textiles, metals, etc. used to make a piece of furniture can be comparable to materials used to make a piece of clothing. Additionally, a piece of furniture is a matter of personal preference, as what may be comfortable and elegant to the designer may not appeal to a given market. But, furniture design also is much like architecture in that the furniture must prove stable and safe. Finally, the furniture is a product, so packaging is a major portion of how the piece of furniture is presented to the public. The piece of furniture, after all, isn't sold in a box, hidden from view.
So, the furniture designer may come from any one of those fields with a little further training. And, once established as a furniture designer, that person may branch out into product design (or visa-versa!). A bookcase, a sofa or sofa bed, and a stove all start with an idea and then with research, sketches, and prototypes. Then, the item is made to make sure that there are no flaws. Finally, if the item is deemed marketable, it goes into production for the masses. In some cases, however, limited edition items are made for individuals who don't want mass-produced furniture.
Education for furniture design most often is found either in the interior design or architectural fields. Look closely at the courses that a particular school offers to find what you desire. In other cases, you can take courses at a local vocational school to learn how to work with wood, metals, and with other materials. Some skills in these arenas wouldn't hurt, especially if you had those skills under your belt before you attend college.