Industrial Design


Seth Stem

on sabbatical 2016/17

Seth Stem has been teaching furniture design in the Industrial Design department at RISD since 1980. In a professional context Stem is currently designing wood, bamboo lumber and RTA furniture for clients that is being produced in various Asian countries. He has designed furniture for Directions East of Bethel, CT; Lloyd Flanders Industries of Menominee, MI; Whitney Brothers Co. of Keene, NH and Mehitabel of Cebu, Philippines, among others. He holds several patents on his designs and in 2003 was a finalist for the American Society of Furniture Designers’ Pinnacle Award in the Occasional Furniture category for one of his patented products. Prior to designing furniture for the industry, Stem designed and made furniture that was extensively exhibited in museums and galleries in the US. He is the author of Designing Furniture (1989, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT), a book that describes and analyzes visual design elements and design methodology.

Stem has lectured about furniture design at numerous venues in the US as well as in Nova Scotia, Vietnam and Korea. He was a juror for the FLIP Furniture Design Competition, Singapore, 2007; the 2005 Pinnacle Award in association with the American Society of Furniture Designers; Design Emphasis at the International Woodworking Fair, Atlanta, GA, 1992, Portland, OR, 1990; and the International KD Furniture Exhibition, NYC, 1985. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Central America and parts of Africa. Stem has a home and design studio in Pawtucket, RI.