Offbeat Education

Craft that classy piece

Want to be a furniture designer and don’t know where to start? Read on.

Furniture-making is a handicraft that can be traced back to ancient civilisations. However, it has evolved and changed with time. Furniture design is a specialised field where function and fashion collide.

Many interior designers believe that furniture is one of the most important aspects of an interior space. Not only does it merge function and practicality, but also signifies style and personality.

Sector overview

Furniture is designed keeping in mind factors such as sustainability, ergonomics, customer style preferences and practicality. Every new furniture design starts with a basic concept or idea. A furniture designer then creates a drawing of this idea using traditional and modern methods.

Before selecting it as a career, one should know what the field demands. Here are some skills one must possess:

Artistic ability combined with creative ideas about design and styles

Manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination

An understanding of computer-aided design (CAD) and other technological advances

Knowledge of industrial processes and techniques, safety issues and specialist fields or materials

Commercial focus

Self-motivation, self-discipline and persistence

Flexibility and adaptability

The ability to work to deadlines

A desire to keep up-to-date with market trends and new ideas

Business and marketing skills for those thinking of self-employment

Interest in 3D design

Problem-solving by seeking new ideas

Excellent communication and presentation skills

Understanding the scientific uses and properties of materials

Working conditions

Designers work alone or alongside colleagues, creating concepts and designs that balance innovative design, functional requirements and aesthetic appeal. Working hours for self-employed designers may be irregular and flexibility is essential. Late finishes and weekend work may be required when deadlines approach.

Job outlook

On rare occasions, graduates may be offered work as a result of their academic performance, but one needs to be proactive in job searching. Start by thinking of the contacts you have made during your degree, particularly through internships. It is important to showcase your work in a professional portfolio or website containing photographs, drawings and other design work. Many employers consider potential to be just as important as experience, so it is essential that you demonstrate a working interest in the design field.

Here are some tips that can help you get hired:

Have a relevant degree, B.Tech. or Higher National Diploma (HND), in a furniture-related subject such as Furniture design, Furniture studies, Product and furniture design and Furniture design and making.

A portfolio of work is required for entry into degree courses. This can be used when applying for jobs as well.

Make sure you regularly visit design exhibitions, read design journals and are up-to-date with new software and technology in the sector.

The salary varies depending on where you are working, the size of the company or organisation and the demand for the job. When you are starting out, you can expect to earn around Rs. 17,000 or more.

To get started, most individuals will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in furniture design.

In college, students usually need to take drawing and CAD classes, along with woodworking and model-making classes. Students will also need to learn about the history of furniture, furniture trends, interior decorating, and the different materials used for making furniture.

To earn their degrees, students are required to design and create some original pieces of furniture. Courses with a mix of practical skills and creative design may be particularly useful. Other relevant degree subjects include Art and design, 3D design or spatial design, Ceramics and glass, Furniture technology and Product design.

Career options

Professionals with furniture design degrees can often secure employment in furniture design firms. These types of careers usually involve creating traditional furniture designs for mass production.

Some interior designers or design firms also confer with furniture designers for developing custom pieces of furniture to enhance the function and aesthetic qualities of an interior space. Furniture designers might also prefer to work in a freelance capacity as they usually have more creative freedom.

The writer is HOD, Interior Design Department, IMS-Design and Innovation Academy.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 1:46:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/Craft-that-classy-piece/article15439969.ece

Next Story