The Ideology of the Department of Furniture Design
1. Who are we preparing?
The Department of Furniture Design prepares professional designers in the field of furniture design.
2. Who is a designer?
A designer is primarily a person who creates a new reality according to the laws of beauty and practicability. A distinctive feature of a designer is the ability to look outside the box on a standard problem. A designer creates something new, because he does not know that “everything has already been invented”. A designer is a creator by nature; he strives to optimize the surrounding space. A designer cannot be a vandal, for even when destroying what has been created before him, he is sure to offer something closer to perfection. A designer has a sense of humour (as a basic form of lateral thinking).
3. Who is a professional designer?
Our idea of a professional designer is a specialist who has an advanced project-based mindset, basing his work on a clear system of knowledge (laws of composition, principles and laws of formation, decorative and structural properties of materials, design theory, considerations of economic and environmental feasibility, etc.). A professional designer is good at thinking in a variety of ways. Unlike an artist, a professional designer always uses certain expressive means, and he is always able to explain the logic of his made decisions. A professional designer can create an object based on different conditions and prerequisites, as set by the customer or a specific situation.
4. What is project-based thinking?
Project-based thinking is fundamentally different from artistic one, and the difference lies in the fact that a cross-cutting idea or concept lies in any project, which decisions of minor elements and details of the project depend on. The basic idea can have a literary (metaphorical), figurative, tectonic, technological, economic, stylistic or any other character. The existence and a clear verbal designation of the idea is a matter of principle. A professional designer with project-based thinking will never claim priority of one stylistic design approach or trend over another other.
5. The specificity of a furniture designer’s work
Furniture deals with of everyday objects of any person, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity and environment.
Thus, everyone is able to evaluate more or less objectively the results of a designer’s work – furniture. This imposes a greater responsibility, but makes a furniture designer’s work a demanding and gratifying labour.
Furniture is in direct contact with a human body, providing a necessary level of comfort, so a furniture designer should know and must be able to use basic laws of ergonomics and anthropometry. Any person can evaluate whether something is comfortable or not.
Furniture is not just for providing physical comfort, it is largely involved in organization of human living space, defines the functional areas of the interior and sets the style and scale of the spatial environment. In this way a furniture designer must be able to think not only as a designer, but also as an architect – he must have certain skills for creating an ensemble, as well as space organization techniques.
Pieces of furniture are mostly made of different materials (wood, metal, glass, fabric, stone, plastic, etc.), so a furniture designer must understand and be familiar with the features and possibilities of the processing of furniture materials.
In order to sit or lie down, people need furniture, not ideas, so a furniture designer needs to know how to realise the projects that he has created. To do this, he must speak the same language not only with the customer (using sketches, models and 3D models) but also with a potential manufacturer (through design drawings and prototyping).
6. The structure of the training curriculum
The training curriculum is based on sequential complication of project tasks (from a single object to an ensemble in interior). While working on the project, students are given a large number of specially designed exercises that allow the designing subject to be considered from many different aspects of design practice (different construction plans, materials, manufacturing technology, stylistic characteristics, etc.). A question of interaction between a design object and its spatial environment is touched upon in every task, regardless of its complexity.
One project per semester is created by a student in material at a level of an existing model or a prototype.
Each project is accompanied by the creation of a scale model as well as design drawings.
In parallel with the main design course, each student has a number of supporting special courses which are aimed at mastering project and sketch graphics, computer simulation, prototyping, design, technology and material study. The final stage of education is the thesis, in which the student uses in practice the knowledge and skills he acquired during the education.