A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Furniture Design: Chair Studio

UN Security Council, New York 2008: Copyright Luca Zanier from Vitra Design Museum Exhibition, 'Seats of Power'

AIADO 4118 001

Faculty: Pete Oyler

This semester-long intensive furniture studio will critically engage the chair as an archetype. Chairs have long been a fascination of designers as they require a developed understanding of structure, material, and form. Importantly, chairs represent the cultural mores of the time in which they are produced and are inextricably linked to larger systems of power, technology, and economy. This course will explore the chair as a fluid, dynamic furniture category. Based in the Sullivan Woodshop, this course will emphasize a hands-on approach to design and production and will prioritize thinking and learning through making. Readings from art and design historians and critics including Galen Cranz, David Getsy, Richard Sennett, Glenn Adamson, and Alice Rawsthorn will be integral to an expansive conversation about the chair?s evolving influence in various cultures and at various stages in history. Moreover, class readings and discussions will also help contextualize different approaches to construction and fabrication at different scales of production. A wide range of both contemporary and historical design precedents will be explored ranging from traditional Shaker Furniture to Wendell Castle, Faye Toogood, Max Lamb, Egg Collective, Jasper Morrison, and Scott Burton. By the end of this course, students should expect to have completed technical drawings, a series of scaled models, and a full scale, functional chair prototype to be presented in a course critique.

Prerequisite: DES OB 2145