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Furniture Design Certificate

MassArt’s Furniture Design Certificate provides access to an education in fine furniture craft and design. Students work with successful designers and experienced faculty to develop skills in handcraft woodworking and machine techniques. They also have the opportunity to delve into design in metal  fabrication, as well as alternative materials and processes, using MassArt’s extensive facilities on our Boston campus. Furniture Design has a long history and this program draws on that history, while placing it in the context of contemporary design.

Students begin the program by developing a toolkit of essential skills through a series of required studio courses. As they progress in the program, they develop projects of increasing complexity, rooted in their personal vision. Electives and mentorship in the program allow students to direct their course of study based on their particular interests and goals as well as to pursue professional practice and business offerings.

MassArt’s Furniture Design Certificate was born out of a collaboration with North Bennet Street School, Boston’s preeminent vocational school in fine craftwork. Students in MassArt’s furniture design program are offered the flexibility of taking select courses at NBSS, where they can expand their professional network and benefit from the school’s deep understanding of technique, tools, and history.

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Learning Outcomes

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

  • Skills to support the furniture design process, including researching different styles and artists’ work, sketching, sourcing material and building models
  • Fluency in different methodologies of visualizing and communicating furniture designs
  • Good working habits that support experimentation, design, and production.
  • Knowledge of the historical development and social history of furniture in America, as well as an understanding of contemporary furniture design, as a context for creative work
  • Competencies in the fine craft of woodworking and/or other materials and techniques for the creation of studio furniture, sculptural furniture, and fine furniture. 
  • A personal aesthetic and conceptual framework for furniture design.
  • The ability to articulate one’s work and vision in relation to historical and contemporary practice
  • Safety practices relating to tools, machinery, and health in the production of studio furniture
  • Have a basic understanding of environmental and sustainability issues related to the production of furniture
  • Individualized understanding of the potential pathways for creating a professional practice in studio furniture making and/or alternative methods.
  • Skill in presenting one’s work in a professional setting.
  • 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
 

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The Fall application cycle begins on February 1st and ends on July 1st.
The Spring application cycle begins on September 1 and ends on November 1.