Courses

Curriculum

pdf iconBFA Curriculum in Furniture Design 2013-14   pdf iconMFA Curriculum in Furniture Design 2013-14

 

Courses

Fall Semester 2013
  • FURN-2580

    ADVANCED FURNITURE STUDIO

    Credits: 6.00

    This a required studio for seniors that continues advanced theory and practice of furniture design. Upholstery techniques are introduced.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2527

    CABINETS, DOORS AND DRAWERS

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will provide an opportunity for students to design and make cabinets of various types with doors and drawers. Students will learn the subtleties of casework and fitting doors, drawers and hardware. While a wide range of design approaches from very simple to complex will be encouraged, this course will be an especially good opportunity for those students who wish to explore advanced woodworking.
    Elective; Furniture majors only
  • FURN-2503

    CAD MODELING FOR FURNITURE DESIGNERS

    Credits:

    This course will provide students with a high level of competency and an increased sensitivity to the creative potential that CAD modeling presents to designers. Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts and technologies of CAD using Rhinoceros. There will be expenses associated with outputting services (printing, rapid prototyping and/or CNC machining).
    Elective
  • FURN-2510

    DRAWING FURNITURE 2-D

    Credits: 3.00

    Drawing for Furniture 2D will focus on the ways in which drawing can help generate, evaluate and communicate design concepts. Students will be introduced to the conventions and techniques of technical drawing for Furniture Design while pursuing experiments that supplement and challenge established practices. Focus will be on two drawing systems, orthographic and paraline projection, working by hand and with computers.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2403

    FURNISHING THE RISD ENTRY IN THE SOLAR DECATHLON-EUROPE

    Credits: 3.00

    The objective of these two courses is to design, execute and deliver the furnishings for the RISD/Brown/Erfurt entry in the European Solar Decathlon: 2014. The competition will take place in Versailles, France during June of 2014.
    The furniture course will begin in the fall with a 3-credit research elective interfacing with the students from the three partner institutions on the current design of the structure, development of the floor plan and the design of the furnishings conducive to the structure's effective deployment as a display at the competition itself and its future life as housing at the campus of the founder of VITRA following the end of the actual Solar Decathlon Competition.

    The fall class, FURN 2403, will be charged with the research, development and finalization of all furnishing designs. This will include lighting, seating, sleeping, dining and storage units. The research will focus on the design and materials, but also to include adhesives, fastenings and construction methods. There will be numerous progress critiques during the semester when members of the furniture faculty, the architecture faculty involved with the Solar Decathlon and others will offer criticism. The deliverables for the final critique will be drawings, models, prototypes and computer renderings of each piece as it will ultimately sit in the actual space. There will be emphasis placed on innovation in the furnishings to match the innovation of the structure itself.

    The spring course, FURN 2404, will be the execution and delivery of the objects selected by a jury for inclusion in the Solar Decathlon Competition. A booklet will be designed, written and printed that tells the "innovation story" of each piece in the collection. The delivery will need to happen before the end of the spring semester to guarantee timely delivery to Versailles. A shipping container will be loaded in Providence and shipped to France. The deadlines for this are still to be determined. There are many details still to be worked out including possible attendance at the event in France.
  • FURN-248G

    FURNITURE THESIS SEMINAR

    Credits: 3.00

    This graduate seminar is organized in parallel with the Graduate Furniture Design Thesis studio for the purpose of guiding the written thesis document. The goal is to provide students with a focused opportunity to map their thesis projects and to create the document that supports their studio practice and body of work known as the thesis.
    CoRequisite: FURN-246G
  • FURN-244G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN I

    Credits: 9.00

    This course concentrates on the exploration of personal design aesthetics and the development of furniture projects that exhibit a high degree of technical proficiency.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-246G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN III

    Credits: 9.00

    This course concentrates on projects that begin the thesis body of work. Advanced design and technical processes are continued as part of this process.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2521

    JUNIOR STUDIO I

    Credits: 6.00

    This studio will consist of advanced furniture design and practice. There will be two sections, one will concentrate on furniture design using advanced wood techniques and materials while the other will relate to metal fabrication and cast materials.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2522

    JUNIOR STUDIO II

    Credits: 6.00

    This studio will mirror the fall studio with students reversing the section of advanced wood and metal and cast materials.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2582

    PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AND PORTFOLIO

    Credits: 3.00

    This class will focus on professional presentation with regards to all aspects of your work including visual portfolio, artist statement, resume and clear articulate correspondence. With a basic understanding of what you are trying to achieve combined with a philosophy of how you will achieve it, this course will help equip you with the foundation to deal with the business of making a living from your art.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2523

    RESEARCH ELECTIVE

    Credits: 3.00

    Students will research specific furniture themes and materials in a variety of contexts including external partnerships.
    Major required elective with adequate wood studio experience
    Permission of department head required
  • FURN-2501

    SOPHOMORE STUDIO METHODS

    Credits: 6.00

    This studio course introduces materials commonly used in furniture making and the foundation skills necessary to integrate them into furniture. Emphasis is on techniques, structures and materials properties. These are integrated with theoretical exercises that focus on design.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
    Tool Rental: $150.00
Wintersession 2014
  • FURN-W502

    INTRODUCTION TO FURNITURE

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will be an introduction to the skills and techniques for furniture design. The primary focus will be on developing innovative concepts through drawing and model-making. Simple hand tool techniques and basic woodworking machinery will be introduced. Exercises in sketching, model-making and various design strategies will aid in developing an understanding of materials and processes, culminating in two substantial products. Through a series of informative presentations, hands-on lectures, technical demonstrations, and short project assignments, students will explore the relationships between concepts, techniques and built objects.
  • FURN-2512

    METALS FOR FURNITURE DESIGN

    Credits: 3.00

    This course is an appropriate introduction to furniture design in metal. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic techniques of metal fabrication as they apply to furniture design. Design issues will be resolved through a series of drawings and models and welding skills will be honed through several preliminary projects. Students will be expected to complete a piece of furniture.

    Estimated cost of materials: $75.00
  • FURN-2400

    RAPID PROTOTYPE PRINTING: FROM ANIME FIGURES TO GILLETTE RAZORS

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will explore detailing and finish of rapid prototype models. We?ll look at existing products in the market place from Anime figures to Gillette razors. Starting at the ground level, this course will be an introduction to the rapid prototype printing process with an exploration of form, fit and detailing of the ABS material. This will be followed with hands on exploration of sanding, coloring, decorating and the finishing of the ABS models for presentation. Multiple parts and connections and combinations of colors and materials are encouraged, as the goal is a strong display of graphic quality. Gluing, drilling and other manipulations of the ABS material will be explored.
    Prerequisite: 3D digital drawing capability
    Estimated materials cost $30-$100 for RPM use
  • FURN-2406

    RETHINKING SEATING: A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH TO OBJECTS FOR SITTING

    Credits: 3.00

    This studio will ask students to take what they know about seating and set it aside, to explore the topic with a fresh set of eyes. Over the course of the semester we will redefine the use of modes of seating in different, societal and conceptual realms. The studio will consist of two related components. The first will be a research driven inquiry into how seating exists in the private and public realms, students will be asked to consider how to contextualize different types of seating drawing on real world examples of group and individual seating in two short projects. The second half of the course will be devoted to students creating physical work that explores the subtopic of their choice under the umbrella of seating in greater depth. Contemporary and historical designers to be referenced include Maarten Baas, the Campana Brothers, Ron Arad, Peter Opsvik and Verner Panton.
    Over the course of the semester students will learn to think about interaction, concepts, process of thinking and using basic materials to create furniture objects for sitting. Students will develop individual and collaborative means of designing. Additionally they will be asked to develop an idea sketchbook to track and reflect on their personal design process.
    Open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • FURN-2405

    WHERE IT LIVES: DESIGNING SITE SPECIFIC FURNITURE

    Credits: 3.00

    Pulling in elements of Furniture, Product and Interior design, this course will ask students to develop and create furniture objects that service a larger environmental context. Environmental cues and challenges can make for inspired and intuitive design processes. This class asks students to look at existing public, commercial or residential locations and design objects that specifically compliment sites or resolve challenges inherent to the architecture. By approaching design in a systematic way with given parameters, objects can both address specific spaces and also be applied to a wider range of applications.
    Students will learn to work in specific scales in an attempt to understand the spatial relationship between their object and the space for which it was designed. In addition to addressing issues of basic furniture construction, the course will teach students advanced model making techniques for various scales.
    Open to Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Spring Semester 2014
  • FURN-2532

    DESIGN FOR PRODUCTION

    Credits: 3.00

    Long known as the "Beehive" of industry, Providence RI is one of the most diverse manufacturing hubs in the US. Although today's global market continues to absorb these resources, Providence has retained a highly skilled manufacturing center that is eager to work with the creative arts. This rare resource provides designers the unique ability to work locally with manufacturing re-sources from traditional lost wax casting to emerging manufacturing technologies such as laser cutting, multi-axis cnc, and rapid prototyping. Throughout the course we will visit manufacturing, marketing, and retail facilities to develop a working understanding of production processes and methods available to you and how best to effectively implement these resources into your work as a designer/artist. The studio course will conclude with each student presenting a finished production ready object in multiples along with supporting marketing materials. By approaching this class from a design, manufacturing, and marketing perspective students will acquire a practical knowledge of production strategies essential to the success of a designer today.
    Elective
  • FURN-2511

    DRAWING FURNITURE 3-D

    Credits: 3.00

    This course continues drawing and concept development techniques, sketching with three-dimensional models, mock-ups and prototypes. Working in several scales and levels of articulation, students will expand pre-visualization and detailing skills. Basics of 3-D computer simulation will also be introduced.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2407

    EXPLORING UPHOLSTERY FROM THE BASICS TO THE EXTREME

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will focus on the art of upholstery design. It will teach the basics of traditional techniques and materials; cover historic influences; and explore methods used in mass production. The course will also examine extreme upholstery and the use of nontraditional materials and unconventional methods. There will be an emphasis on ergonomics including shaping, angles, and scale and how upholstery transforms the frame and affects the user. This is a hands-on class and will include multiple upholstery projects culminating in a full-scale final project.

    Estimated Cost of Material: $100.00
    Elective for Majors; Open to Nonmajors.
    Permission of instructor required
  • FURN-2404

    FURNISHING THE RISD ENTRY IN THE SOLAR DECATHLON-EUROPE

    Credits: 3.00

    The objective of these two courses is to design, execute and deliver the furnishings for the RISD/Brown/Erfurt entry in the European Solar Decathlon: 2014. The competition will take place in Versailles, France during June of 2014.

    The furniture course will begin in the fall with a 3-credit research elective interfacing with the students from the three partner institutions on the current design of the structure, development of the floor plan and the design of the furnishings conducive to the structure's effective deployment as a display at the competition itself and its future life as housing at the campus of the founder of VITRA following the end of the actual Solar Decathlon Competition.

    The fall class, FURN 2403, will be charged with the research, development and finalization of all furnishing designs. This will include lighting, seating, sleeping, dining and storage units. The research will focus on the design and materials, but also to include adhesives, fastenings and construction methods. There will be numerous progress critiques during the semester when members of the furniture faculty, the architecture faculty involved with the Solar Decathlon and others will offer criticism. The deliverables for the final critique will be drawings, models, prototypes and computer renderings of each piece as it will ultimately sit in the actual space. There will be emphasis placed on innovation in the furnishings to match the innovation of the structure itself.

    The spring course, FURN 2404, will be the execution and delivery of the objects selected by a jury for inclusion in the Solar Decathlon Competition. A booklet will be designed, written and printed that tells the "innovation story" of each piece in the collection. The delivery will need to happen before the end of the spring semester to guarantee timely delivery to Versailles. A shipping container will be loaded in Providence and shipped to France. The deadlines for this are still to be determined. There are many details still to be worked out including possible attendance at the event in France.
  • FURN-245G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN II

    Credits: 9.00

    This course explores advanced design processes and methods of construction. The evolution of a project through a complete design process is required including conceptual and design development phases.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-247G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN SEMINAR

    Credits: 3.00

    The graduate seminar is a forum for discussion and research outside of the studio setting. Through a series of topical investigations, lectures, presentations, and field trips, students will explore current design issues, professional practices, directions, and developments within the field, and other topics that will help to formulate the basis of the graduate thesis work.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
    Elective for senior, fifth-year; Nonmajors with permission of instructor
  • FURN-249G

    GRADUATE FURNITURE DESIGN THESIS

    Credits: 12.00

    This course culminates the completion of the thesis body of works and accompanying written document.
    Graduate major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • LAEL-LE26

    HISTORY OF FURNITURE

    Credits: 3.00

    A survey of the development of furniture and a critical assessment of styles of each period. Considerable time will be spent studying the collection of the RISD museum. The course will include lecture, papers, field trips, and exams.
    Major requirement
    Art History credit for Furniture majors
    Liberal Arts elective credit for nonmajors on a space available basis.
    Non majors permission of instructor required
    Spring restricted to students in Furniture Design
  • FURN-2522

    JUNIOR STUDIO II

    Credits: 6.00

    This studio will mirror the fall studio with students reversing the section of advanced wood and metal and cast materials.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2534

    LIGHTING DESIGN 101

    Credits: 3.00

    Lighting design is an ever-growing category of furniture and product design, constantly evolving alongside technological advances in available lamp hardware. This hands-on course is an opportunity for students to explore the various types of lamp options, including incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED. Students are first provided with the technical skills and safety factors involved in creating and wiring a lamp, to adding more complicated items such as switches, dimmers, and hardware, and finally moving on to designing and creating a body of functional lighting pieces. We will cover various lamp typologies (sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers, pendants, etc), as well as light as art through installation and sculpture. Students are encouraged to work in a variety of materials and scales, developing their designs from sketches, models, and renderings, to a fully realized object. Designs will evolve through in-class discussions, pin-ups, and critiques. This class will focus on the design and fabrication of lighting as an object in a space, rather than the lighting of a space.
    Estimated Cost of Materials: $50-$100.00
    Elective for Majors and Non-Majors
  • FURN-2590

    SENIOR DEGREE PROJECT

    Credits: 6.00

    Seniors will complete their final portfolio works in this studio. Seniors will design and execute a final degree project. The degree project will be individualized according to student interest.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2502

    SOPHOMORE DESIGN/PRACTICE

    Credits: 6.00

    This sophomore studio expands basic principles of furniture design and material skills, exploring how the made objects interact with the human body. Intermediate skills will be demonstrated and practiced as students further explore materials and their applications in design.
    Major requirement; Furniture majors only
    Registration by Furniture department, course not available via web registration
  • FURN-2451

    WITNESS TREE PROJECT

    Credits: 3.00

    Witness trees, as designated by the National Park Service, are long-standing trees that have "witnessed" key events, trends, and people in history. In this joint studio/liberal arts course, students have the unique opportunity to study and work with a fallen witness tree, shipped to RISD from a national historic site. The course will involve three components: 1) a field trip to the tree's site at the beginning of the semester; 2) classroom-based exploration of American history, memory, landscape, and material culture; and 3) studio-based building of a series of objects from the tree's wood, in response to both the site and students' classroom study. Overall, the course will explore both how material artifacts shape historical understanding and how historical knowledge can create meaningful design.
    Students must also register for HPSS S732
    Students will receive 3 credits in Furniture and 3 credits in HPSS, for a total of 6 credits
    A single fee of $100.00 will be charged for your concurrent registration in HPSS S732/FURN 2451 courses.
Furniture Foreground Image 1
 Tyler Inman, BFA 06, Bench