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ID 492: Special Topics in Industrial Design – Furniture Design

Instructor: Matěj Chabera
Credits: 3
GEP: Elective

Course Description

This course is focused on the furniture theme in its broadest sense ranging from smaller accessories to full-scale furniture pieces. Matej leads the students through a rich design process composed of several phases, including initial research and ideation, simple, quick models that confirm first ideas, 3D printed scale models and material models in wood and so on. The furniture scale often allows 1:1 models to be explored very early on in the process, giving the work a much more real and solid foundation. The two meetings per week are used for lectures and for one-to-one exchanges with Matej, where he always keeps a good balance of criticism and constructive instructional input to show each student possible ways forward while giving them a good awareness of where their work is heading, what opportunity it might have outside on the market and how to develop it further. Wherever possible, Matej also works along with the students on paper, in 3D software, or in the workshops so they get a great direct example for every stage of the design process. The final outcome of the course is usually a 1:1 piece with ideation and process displayed in sketches and models during a final exhibition. This encourages students to present themselves well in front of an audience and communicate their work in the best way possible.

This class is recommended to College of Design students. Students coming from other colleges will be asked to submit a portfolio of their past work.

Previous experience in the field of art and design is required, this class may be too difficult and demanding for students with a limited skill set.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of all Matej’s courses are of two major types. On one side, he focuses on students individually to boost their development as people and as designers contributing as much as possible towards their individual goals and improving on their individual weaknesses. On the other side, he focuses on ensuring the students keep a good balance of explorative innovation and realistic thinking that fit the furniture industry. Matej has more than 20 years of experience and over 120 built projects in his portfolio and all this hands-on wealth of knowledge and judgment is applied to every student in their own specific scenario. The learning outcomes are also largely unique to each student and relate to their maturity when starting the course. The best way to put it is that it is not so important what your starting point is but how much distance you travel, and how much you grow within one semester.