John Dunnigan

John Dunnigan is a designer, maker and educator. His studio work has been shown in more than 100 exhibitions, including 10 solo exhibitions, and is included in such private and public collections 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 featured in dozens of publications, such as The New York Times, Newsweek and The Boston Globe and in books and catalogues, including New American Furniture. He was 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 a former Mellon Fellow in the RISD Museum and currently holds the Schiller Family Endowed Chair in Furniture Design.

He is on sabbatical for the fall semester and will not be teaching the Advanced Furniture Studio, but he will return in the spring to teach History of Furniture.

Academic research/areas of interest

  • Practice-Based Research: Designing and making furniture through Dunnigan Studio. Pursuing practical solutions to oblique problems.
  • Scholarship: Researching, writing and teaching about furniture as an expression of the interdependent relationships among culture, technology and identity. See “Thingking,” The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice (Wiley, 2013).
  • Design Research: Designing furniture for large-scale production that promotes sustainable manufacturing and responsible business practices through partnerships in DEZCO Furniture Design LLC and Dunnsome. See Sage Collection and Haystack Collection.
  • 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.

    Spring 2018 Courses

  • LAEL-1026-01 History Of Furniture
  • BA, University of Rhode Island
  • MFA, Rhode Island School of Design

Departments

Apparel Design Architecture Ceramics Digital + Media Experimental and Foundation Studies Film / Animation / Video Furniture Design Glass Graduate Studies Graphic Design History of Art + Visual Culture History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences Illustration Industrial Design Interior Architecture Jewelry + Metalsmithing Landscape Architecture Literary Arts + Studies Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture Teaching + Learning in Art + Design Textiles