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Furniture Design Certificate

MassArt and North Bennet Street School, preeminent institutions respectively in fine art and design and fine craftsmanship, are excited to offer a unique program that capitalizes on the extraordinary and complementary strengths of the two institutions. The program emphasizes design as an iterative process in the creation of studio furniture, focusing on the development of each student as an artist, designer and craftsperson.

Students take two prerequisites at North Bennet Street School: Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking and Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking to ensure competency and safe practices in the facilities of both institutions. The certificate program begins with foundation courses in design process and the history of furniture. The program then progresses to a sequence of studio courses that allow students to develop projects of increasing complexity, rooted in their personal vision and artistic identity. The Furniture Certificate culminates in a major project coupled with a Professional Practice seminar to aid students in understanding design industry standards and practices for a facile transition into the workplace.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Furniture Design Certificate are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes, which are necessary for successful entry into professional design practice.

  • Develop skills to support the furniture design process, such as researching different styles and artists’ work, sketching, sourcing material and building models
  • Gain fluency in different methodologies of visualizing and communicating furniture designs
  • Develop good working habits & self-discipline in the process from design to studio practice
  • Have a general awareness of the historical development and social history of furniture in America as a context for creative work
  • Develop competencies in woodworking for the creation of studio furniture
  • Develop familiarity with related techniques and how they can be incorporated into unique studio pieces
  • Build a personal aesthetic in the design of furniture
  • Develop strong safety practices relating to tools and machines and health in the production of studio furniture
  • Have a basic understanding of professional practices of studio furniture makers
  • Have a basic understanding of environmental and sustainability issues related to the production of furniture
  • Present final work in a gallery setting. Collaboratively develop and coordinate all aspects of that exhibit
Curriculum | Course sequence | faqs | app requirements | tuition | financial aid | refunds and withdrawals


The Fall application cycle begins on February 1st and ends on April 1st.

Please note that we will not be accepting Furniture Design Certificate applications for 2021. Our priority is the health and safety of the MassArt community, and as soon as we have a post-pandemic plan in regard to facilities access for our FDC students, we will post an update.