Ok, one more question about the Furniture Design business.

You have all been so helpful after my last post, that I decided to ask for your help again. :slight_smile: As I am gaining more knowledge about this business, I still have a few lingering concerns that I just can’t seem to figure out as this is still all new to me. I have posted before about wanting to get into Industrial Design so that someday I can design furniture, housewares, kitchen/bath stuff, etc… ok, well, my question is this and I hope it does not sound dumb, but where do most industrial designers who design furniture work?? I have talked to a few designers whom I have emailed over the last few weeks and most were gracious enough to tell me about their experiences and these designers I happened to pull up on the internet, from ICFF’s website (they are all exhibiting their work at the fair) and mostly all of them have an industrial design background, but they all work in different areas, it seems. Some work for actual furniture manufacturers (for ex. BlueDot in Minneapolis or Dune in New York City) and some have their own “studios” or some work for Industrial design agencies and some have their own agencies, where they design for furniture manufacturers, etc, so I guess they sell their services. Now what are the differences between all of those? I have heard the word come up from one design student I chatted with about a “consultancy”… what exactly is that? It seems there are many areas in which a ID with an interest in furniture can work. I even noticed that Karim Rashid has designers working for him too? So what does that fall under. Sorry if this all sounds dumb, but I know nothing about this industry. It just seems way too complex! LOL

I almost got into advertising (did a year at a portfolio school for art direction) and the ad world seems a lot simpler. One either works for an agency or works freelance. That’s it, as far as I know. LOL But I decided furniture and housewares was were my heart was, so I left ad school. Any clarifications from you all would be appreciated. If there is anyone on here who actually designs furniture in one of those areas that I can email privately? That would extra great.


i work for an international manufacturer. our design offices are here, out testing and manufacturing is in china. i have also worked for small design firms (or consultantcies) to large contract furniture companies. i have done residential and contract (office furniture), lighting, environments, and point-of-purchase fixtures and displays. i have worked in michigan, virginia, north carolina, and california.

a consutantcy is a designer(s) for hire, like a freelancer or it could be a small company specializing in design. freelancers are individuals, firms, agencies, etc are companies that provide design services. it is also possible to work for a corporation as an in-house staff designer.