- Design furniture in a range of materials for homes or commercial environments
- You'll learn design principles and processes, along with the ways in which people interact with objects
- You could work for a company or become self-employed and run your own furniture business or consultancy
As a furniture designer, you'll create designs either for mass-produced furniture, furniture made in small batches, or one-off pieces.
- Carry out research to develop ideas
- Work to a 'brief' agreed with a client
- Produce new designs or improving existing ones
- Take into account cost, practicality and availability of materials
- Prepare sketches of initial ideas by hand or using computer software
- Test ideas using models, prototypes and computer aided design (CAD)
- Prepare more detailed final designs
You may need to be flexible about your working hours, especially when you have deadlines to meet. If you're self-employed you may work longer hours to meet customers' needs. You'll spend a lot of your time in a studio, but may travel to visit clients and suppliers, and to attend meetings and trade shows.
If you're employed by a company, you may be part of a design team. As a self-employed designer, you'll have your own workshop or studio, or share premises with other designers.
To be a furniture designer, you'll need design skills and knowledge, knowledge of engineering science and technology, creativity, analytical thinking skills, persistence and determination, the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, and thinking and reasoning skills.
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree in furniture and product design, 3D design crafts, or interior design.
You could also start by doing a college course such as Furniture Design and Making, as this would teach you some of the skills you'll need and may help you get a job as a design assistant.
You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship in furniture design.
You'll need a portfolio to showcase your design skills to potential employers or customers.
With experience, you could progress to a more senior position, or into a specialised area, like ergonomics. You could also set up your own design consultancy.