Furniture Design

Furniture Design

Department Head and Professor: John Dunnigan

Furniture Design at RISD offers an intensive immersion in materials research and exploration in the process of making furniture and objects. Students investigate some of the most important questions facing designers today—from how to take advantage of changing technologies and new materials, to how to respond to variable economic conditions and evolving lifestyles.

Furniture Design majors are encouraged to experiment with a wide range of materials and approaches while focusing on human factors and sustainable, responsible design. Graduates go on to become thinker/makers who follow a variety of paths, from launching their own businesses making furniture and/or other objects to working as commercial product designers, teaching, running galleries and more.

“In Furniture Design we think about things, and think around and through things. In recent conversations with students about what happens as they develop their projects, we came up with the term ‘thingking’ to describe this process. Thingking expresses the symbiotic relationship between making and thinking in art and design—between object and idea, or giving form to ideas that can be observed and critiqued. This approach to education—the development of embodied knowledge via practice and haptic experience—provides unique opportunities for innovation.” - John Dunnigan, Department Chair


Browse the Furniture Design Collections:

Exhibition Posters

Furniture Design Masters Theses

Material Lessons: Expanding Practice