Faculty: John Dunnigan


John Dunnigan is a designer, maker and educator. His work has been shown in over 100 exhibitions, including 10 solo exhibitions, and is included in several private and public collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Dunnigan’s furniture has been included in dozens of publications such as the New York Times, Newsweek and The Boston Globe. His work has also been featured in books and catalogues such as New American Furniture. He is a partner in DEZCO furniture design llc, a company dedicated to sustainable practices in design for mass production. Dunnigan has been a member of the faculty at RISD in the Departments of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Furniture Design and previously served as interim dean of the Division of Architecture + Design. He is currently head of the Furniture Design department.

Academic Research/Areas of Interest

Practice Based Research: Designing and making furniture through Dunnigan Studio. See exhibitions.

Design Research: Designing furniture for mass-production that promotes environmentally friendly sustainable manufacturing and responsible business practices through partnership in Dezco furniture design llc. See Sage Collection.

Scholarship: Researching and teaching the history of furniture design through lectures and publication. See:

Entries on Lilly Reich and Charlotte Perriand, Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Phaidon Design Classics, Phaidon Press, 2007, Vols 1-3, entries 035,254,262,371,418,505,534,597,881.

“Undercover: On Upholstered Furniture”, Gallery NAGA, Boston, MA 2005.

“Understanding Furniture”, Studio Furniture, The Furniture Society 1999.

“A History of Bentwood”, RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI, 1984.

John Dunnigan

John Dunnigan


  • BA, University of Rhode Island
  • MFA, Rhode Island School of Design


  • FURN-2580
  • LAEL-LE26
  • FURN-2590
Furniture Foreground Image 2
Lui Kawasumi, BFA 11, Stretched Bowl