Learn how to design furniture in your own unique style that can be used in a compact space such as the typical London flat. During this 5-day introduction, you will design a chair or a table – your choice. Your design will incorporate ways of saving space while still being an attractive and functional item of furniture.
Through a series of practical exercises, you will develop an understanding of balance, proportion, and scale.
To add context, we look at the most influential design movements of the last 150 years, from arts and crafts via modernism to the present day.
By the end of the week, you will be able to add ‘design’ to your portfolio of furniture-making skills.
Who is this course for?
This class is aimed at any of you who feel you aren’t very creative but would like to be more adventurous with what you make. The course will introduce you to ways of seeing what’s around you and how being in the right environment can inspire your ideas.
Design isn’t something reserved for trained professionals. If you have an idea, no matter how simple, it is worth exploring.
You can take inspiration from architecture, fashion, history, literature, art, film, or the natural world. Any one of these can be a springboard for your vision. If you consider the example of the music stand, the image of a tree blowing in the wind might develop into a curved vertical element that gives the impression of movement.
There is no one way or magic formula that ensures your projects turn out looking great. The ideals of stability, balance, and visual harmony are rarely achieved by chance. You will explore tried and tested methods such as the golden ratio, and the Fibonacci sequence to see where they support your design.
Rough sketching allows you to play around with different ideas without wasting time on one narrow view. They aren’t meant to be fine art, just quick lines to try out as many different variations as possible.
Take this example of a coffee table.
The first set of sketches has thrown up a number of options. If nothing interesting comes up repeat the exercise until something grabs your attention.
Anything that looks interesting can be explored further to see if it can be given more form and detail.
Once you have a firm idea of what you want to make, you can start working on the 3d models to help you to see it from all angles. Treat the models like your sketches, make them quick, and be ready to break them apart if a better solution comes to the fore. There’s no need to be precious about them.
These can be made from paper, card, balsa, modelling clay, and wire.
When you have taken your design to a satisfying conclusion, you can make a working drawing.
Working drawings are accurate scale representations that show how the piece is put together and what it looks like from a variety of key viewing positions.
But I can’t draw!!!!
The idea of drawing can be intimidating, but we want to assure you that you don’t have to be “good” at drawing to benefit from this class.
Messy rough scribbles are perfect for getting ideas out of your head and onto the page; a lot of them will be useless, and that’s okay, they don’t all have to be brilliant. So don’t worry if you draw like a five-year-old, the idea is more important than the finished sketch.
We will be using analogue design methods in this course – pen, paper, card, and balsawood. If you want to learn about designing using computing packages there are many good ones including Fusion 360 and Sketch-up with free or inexpensive online lessons to match.
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