Meet Your Creative #6 - Furniture Designer
In this weekly installment we talk about roles of the creative industry. Not to single out any particular professional creative, but to shed some light on the many different types of creative roles out there. Some of the roles we review will be very familiar while others, that may seem obscure, still play a vital role in our communication needs every day. From time to time, we will get first hand information from various people from their respective creative roles.
Today's spotlight creative role will cover some of the in's and out's of the furniture designer.
We all know what furniture is and use it in one way or another in our daily lives, but in case you were unclear, furniture is considered a movable object that is intended to support various human activities ranging from sleeping to storing necessities. That's all well-to-know, but why did we start using and having a need for furniture? As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and humans from the Neolithic period simply filled a need by putting flat sided rocks around a campfire. Nearly 100 years later, Egyptians began to fashion beds out of wood by carving notches in the legs where the frame would rest. It was also the Egyptians that went going beyond function and started showing elements of design. Headrests that were used for sleeping, cradled the neck and were adorned with symbols.
Furniture designers weren't always the cream of the crop as we know of today. During the middle ages, these craftsmen were often slaves or servants. Guilds of craftsmen started forming and they eventually became craftsmen. It wasn't until 1754 that a style of furniture was to be identified by the designer. When Thomas Chippendale published the pattern book, "The Gentleman and a Cabinet-Maker's Director," the designer as a brand name came to fruition.
Furniture can be broken up into several categories including seating, storage, surfaces, sets, sleeping or lying and entertainment. Seating and storage function in the same manner as to how they are named. Surfaces can range from coffee tables and desks to end tables and drawing boards. Sets are a groups of furniture. Bedroom, dining, and vanity sets are examples of this category. Sleeping or lying references beds and headboards, while entertainment can include televisions and pianos. Some furniture is specific to serve a purpose for a location. Park benches and stadium seating provide suitable means for living in their respective environments. Furniture can also be classified by material. Some of these materials include wood, metal, plastic, glass, and bamboo.
So You Think You Can Make Furniture
So, what does it take to be a current furniture designer? First there are the basics, which include understanding how to work with different materials, historical aspects of furniture, aesthetics, ergonomics and much more. In academic courses you can expect to learn traditional techniques along using rendering programs such as CAD. Current furniture designers will need to have an extensive knowledge of mathematics, geometry and computer programs to compete in the current field. After graduating from a program, or even during, it's recommended to find local wood or cabinet shop to work or have an internship with. After developing hands-on techniques, you can be self-employed or work for a manufacturing company.
So there you have it, a brief intro into the life of a furniture designer. Meet Your creative is an on going showcase of the various avenues of design and creative thinking, let us know if there's a creative role that you would like to learn more about.