Furniture Design Schools

I am looking to go back to school for a degree in Furniture Design. My career aspirations are leaning more towards handmade craft furniture than furniture for mass production. I am looking mainly in the USA. Any advice from students already in the major? Where do you go? What do you think of the facilities? Does your school set you up with good networking for when after you graduate? Any advice at all is welcome and much appreciated!

This is right up RISD’s ally. Very craft focused. For a less expensive program, and on the West Coast, you might check out Oregon College of Art and Craft. Small school just outside of Portland. It is a bit granola, but I’ve seen some good stuff there.

I second the vote for RISD.
But Pratt also has a nice furniture department.

You mentioned that you are going “back” to school?
Maybe you could consider a Masters? In that case Cranbrook has pretty sketchy facilities but manages to churn out great work each year.
Otherwise, you have tons of high quality options in Europe, especially on grad level where lots of courses are taught in English.

Kendall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It may be worth a look.

Cranbrook is lovely. The work shoppes are smaller but so is the number of students. Cranbrook, RISD, and Pratt all have more clout then Kendall, but all are good schools that will get the job done.

As bepster said, depends if you are looking for undergrad or grad programs.

Also look into:
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)
Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craft
San Diego State
Savannah College of Art and Design


I attended MCAD’s graduate program. The facilities are very well equipped and staffed. About 60 students in the undergrad program. I was impressed with the work coming from the undergrad kids. The grad degree program is multidisciplinary and dominated by painters, print makers and photographers. Furniture makers and sculptors are a minority. BTW, my mentor/advisor whose work I admire, went to Crankbrook.

OCAC has also started an MFA program in Applied Craft. Granola?

I have to agree with Kendall…

Thank you for the insight. Has anyone heard anything about the design program and Northern Michigan University or Herron School of Design at Indiana University?

Madelyn,
thank you for your question, It was exactly what I had wanted to ask…
Bepster, you mentioned programs in Europe, I’ve been looking around for some that have a more ‘RISD’ like focus ie… more craft and artistic verses product and ID. You wouldn’t have any suggestions? Love to get some European schools to look at.

I know there is a program at the Danish Design School/Danmarks Designskole in Copenhagen. I’m sure there are other schools in the Scandinavian countries that would be good also.

Bepster,
Is it hard for an American to get into European schools? Do you have any advice as to how affordable it is? This is a totally new idea for me so any info will be helpful
Madelyn

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design in Oregon is run jointly with Oregon College of Art and Craft (http://www.ocac.edu) and Pacific Northwest College of Art (http://www.pnca.edu.) It’s pretty fantastic, with a great visiting artist line-up and a design/build curriculum. The micro-site for the program is http://acd.pnca.edu/.

As far as I can tell, I would guess that the language issue is the biggest hurdle to climb.
British schools are rather expensive and tedious to deal with in the application process.

However, when it comes to Master studies, it’s a very different story and there are tons of option. Among Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Italy all have excellent furniture specific school.
For Sweden, I can hands down recommend both HDK in Gothenburg and Konstfack in Stockholm hands down. Then there is KISD in Cologne which I have heard good things about. But there are so many more.

You can consider Rhode Island School of Design. They offer degree in Furniture Design and you can inquire to them online. Also, if you are open to online schooling there are some you can find in the internet. Online school can offer you the same quality education at the comfort of your own time. Chrysalis School Montana

I would like to know if theres a good online school for furniture design MA?

I’m not sure, but furniture is a pretty hands on thing to learn.