Best design school for alternative material furniture makng?

Hello all,
I just found core77, so this is pretty exciting!
I’m in the process of looking at ID/ furniture making schools to apply to and would love any feedback from people that have attended certain programs, taught, etc.
in short, i’m interested in creating furniture from alternative materials (metal, plastics, etc) that being said, i have nothing against woodworking, it’s just not what i’m most interested in, but it seems that this is the material that most furniture making departments focus on (at least the few schools that I have looked at).
hope you guys can help!

also, i’m going to have to figure out how to pay for whatever schools i may get into, so any advice on that would also be much appreciated.

what do you want to be doing as a result of schooling?
Work independantly creating one of a kind peices, or designing for a manufacturer?

I am most definitely interested in designing affordable, semi-mass production pieces and, as someone with a pretty keen business sense, would ultimately like to be doing so for my own company (after possibly working for a large manufacturer for a period).


there are lots of great ID programs to choose from, Kendall seems like a good place to start.
Although it’s an art school they have connections to a biz school so you could use electives to study up on business basics.

RISD is expensive and not as tied to industry but an excellent furniture program too. again, an art school with biz school connections.

Most universities will teach you enough to get started in the industry, and lots of designers didn’t get a furn. bachelors…

ned steinberger has a business in your neck of the woods. see if he’s looking for an apprentice. a friend of mine graduated from kendall with an ID degree and went to work for him for a while. he enjoyed it alot. i don’t know if musical instruments are your forte or if you can play one, but it helps and he does some amazing stuff while unique materials.

Art Center ( I know I know… blah blah blah) has an increased emphasis on furniture design with the new department chair (Environmental Design). I went there myself and was thoroughly satisfied with my education.

I know RISD has, in the past, been very consumed with the handcrafted nature of things in their furniture program, but I see that changing with Maeda being the new Honcho.

I think whatever you look for, you’re going to want to find a school that blends a hands on approach to building (so you understand how things go together, fit and finish) and the realities of contemporary manufacturing and learn solid 3D/CAD skills. I worked in a one-off type studio for a while before I went back to school. Long enough to realize a few things like mass production on a royalty earning business model might not be so bad…

As for how to pay for it:
I can only tell you from my experience and its this. WORK ON YOUR PORTFOLIO. Many schools have portfolio reviews that are a basis for scholarship. My goal, besides getting a good skill set and a job afterward, was to not pay for my own school. I wasn’t about to come out of school at 32 yrs old (2nd time through) with 150K in debt and then go into a historically mediocre paying career (design). I set a goal that I wanted a full ride by the 1/2 way point. So my first few ‘terms’ I at times spent more time working on my portfolio than I did on my actual class work. I also tried to take as much advantage of relationships I built with the administration as I could. They pimped my work to prospective students, I pimped their scholarships in return… it became a symbiotic relationship of sorts.

Lastly, it’s a small industry I think, and finding a school that not only carries a name, but also supplies you with the skill set to follow your goals is really key.

Hope that helped.

look up SCAD in GA.

just posted under another topic but asking again here (you can see how anxious I am).

Trying to find a good European/international master’s program (in English) that won’t suck me dry of my mulas. Preferably in or relating to furniture or soft product design but open to any suggestions.

Thanks ya’ll~