BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design is a cutting edge design course that focuses on making and innovation to address the future of production.
BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design is a new and exciting course for students motivated by making, who want a career in design. Develop your individual design vision through purposeful briefs, materials and scales, taught by industry professionals. Build a foundation of technical and manufacture processes for furniture and product design in digital making, CAD and traditional materials. Innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the curriculum, providing you with new opportunities as a designer in a sustainable, digital and global economy. You will become a flexible problem solver and good collaborator who can respond to issues across disciplines.
Why choose this course?
You’ll be taught by design and industry experts to become a digitally literate, creative critical designer.
Explore materials through new technologies and traditional processes in our excellent workshops
With strong industry experience you will develop the employability skills to flourish in the global workplace
The course develops each student’s personal design process with an emphasis on the act of making as a means to realise ideas.
Design projects cover a range of materials and scales – work may be made by hand in the studio, constructed in the workshops with the help of skilled technical staff or rendered on a computer and produced on a 3D printer.
About the course
As a student on the Furniture and Product Design course you will become a creative and versatile designer able to develop your ideas into resolved high quality outcomes. You will learn to think critically about use and construction and to innovate through material experimentation.
Working across digital making and CAD as well as more traditional processes in wood, metal, plastic and ceramics, you will develop a strong foundation of making knowledge with excellent technical support. We strive to equip students with the necessary production knowledge, contextual understanding, research, communication and problem solving skills for their emerging careers.
Furniture and Product Design addresses the future of design and manufacturing, and embeds an approach that incorporates maker culture, additive manufacture, localised lower volume production, and new platforms for selling products in global markets such as crowd funding.
Course Structure and Content
You will develop a foundation of core making processes (digital and analogue), material knowledge and experimentation. You will acquire skills in design communication, visualisation, research and prototyping, and develop your understanding of production volume (i.e. batch to industrial production). You will also acquire the key skills needed to underpin decisions for future employment in the design industry and learn about critical issues in contemporary design.
In year 2 you will focus on external engagement with industry, deepen your understanding of the forms of design practice and opportunities available, and start to identify your personal direction in design. External briefs and study visits provide direct engagement with the design industry, and ensure you explore design innovation with a global outlook. Entrepreneurial approaches to design will be supported, and you will gain valuable experience of collaboration and project management.
In year 3 you will practice, develop, challenge and explore design in preparation for establishing your career. You will deepen your understanding of your field of practice and position in it. Your final contextual study will underpin your practice and critical thinking. You will start developing professional networks, and produce products, portfolios and promotional material. Part way through the year you will present your work through a public platform. The final personal project challenges you to create a professional level of design work to present to an external audience.
Assessment is 100% Coursework, presented at the end of the module. You’ll receive formal feedback so you’ll know how to improve or develop your work. Throughout the module you receive feedback from tutors and peers.
We have a thriving ‘studio culture’, which means you work from the course studios and school workshops, reflecting professional practice.
You’ll have plenty of one-to-one interaction with tutors, which supports your creative individuality. You’re taught by experienced experts, including module tutors who yousee regularly, and visiting lecturers from the design industry. You’ll also be supported by experienced technical staff.
While the majority of teaching is one-to-one or group tutorials, talks and crits (constructive critical discussions of student work), you’ll also have lectures and seminars, particularly in contextual studies. You’re also expected to study independently outside of taught sessions.
Field trips are an essential part of developing industrial awareness and seeking inspiration. We regularly go to major international design industry events such as Milan Design Fair and Dutch Design Week, and make study visits to cultural and industry sites in the region, and studios and exhibitions in London.
Work placements, industry links and internships
The 2nd year of the course includes a work experience module and industry live projects, and overseas exchange opportunities. We run industrial and community projects such as HAKtion Factory interactive installation. Live projects and clients have included Hakwood, The Furniture Makers’ Company, Dyson, ASOS, The Holburne Museum, Bath Abbey, MoreySmith, Bisque Radiators and Forest of Imagination.
List of current alumni careers
Our graduates work for international design and manufacturing companies, contemporary designers and design marketing agencies. Others are self employed and put their designs into production, exhibiting internationally. Graduates may also go on to masters level study, and into teaching.