Information about Furniture Design Schools
Furniture design schools offer professional certificates or bachelor’s degrees in furniture design. Graduates of these schools can expect to become experts in interior and exterior furniture, customer preferences, and general ergonomics, among other key areas.
What These Schools Offer
Furniture design comes as either a certificate program that takes one to two years to complete or a bachelor’s degree that takes an average of four years to complete. The certificate programs cover basic fundamentals of design and construction and the overall building techniques involved in different pieces of furniture. A bachelor’s program, by contrast, goes more in depth, covering interior design, lighting, architectural drafting, and professional practices within the industry. In general, you should strongly consider seeking out a bachelor’s degree instead of a certificate program unless you are only looking for an entry level position within this field.
Entering the Furniture Design Field
You can begin preparation for college in high school by taking courses that emphasize design, communications, and architecture. A drafting class is an excellent place to begin, and taking both English and psychology courses will help you improve your communication skills. Math classes should include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, as all three of these disciplines can come in handy during the design process. Drama classes or clubs can also be helpful, particularly if they involve set design. Finally, some visual arts or fashion design classes can help give you insight as to the visual aspects of furniture design.
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Top Schools in America
The furniture design schools listed below provide either studies focused specifically on furniture design or on interior design as a whole. They each offer at least a bachelor’s degree, with some schools also having master programs. The top furniture design programs in the United States can be found at:
• Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan
• University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Massachusetts
• Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana
• Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia
• Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island
• Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California
• University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio
• Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio
• Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California
• Pratt Institute in New York, New York
Cost of a Furniture Design Education
Pursuing a professional certificate in furniture design might cost only $5,000 to $10,000 total plus another $250 in books and supplies. Bachelor’s degrees are more expensive, but pay for themselves in the long run by qualifying you for higher wages. A bachelor’s degree will likely cost between $25,000 and $30,000 annually plus another $300 to $400 every year in books and supplies. You can mitigate these costs somewhat by seeking out scholarships from the International Furnishings and Design Association Education Foundation (IDFAEF), which gives yearly awards to future furniture designers.
Furniture design schools can give you many skills and an appreciation for not only furniture, but the entire interior design scene. These schools will help you pull an entire room together and make any space seem livable.