This exhibition highlights eight seating design built by students of RIT’s industrial and School for American Crafts programs who studied abroad during the summer 2012.
The Furniture Design in Scandinavia program, conducted in collaboration with the Royal Danish Academy School of Fine Arts Schools of Art, Design and Conservation, trains you in the full design process of a piece of furniture, normally a chair, from initial concept through design development and model construction to the building of an actual prototype, and exposes you to the history, theories, works and current expressions of Scandinavian furniture design.
The intent is for students to return home with an understanding of why we design like we do in Scandinavia. Understanding the reasons behind the design decision will allow students to use a Scandinavian design method in another location and create contextually sensitive designs.
Students are exposed to Scandinavian furniture design and history in the classroom, on the study tour through Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and in their everyday life in Copenhagen, introducing them to the fundamental elements of chair design. Current and historical conditions of furniture design are presented and the underlying design theories and methodologies introduced. Aspects of Scandinavian industrial design, interior design and architecture are included. The course comprises lectures, field studies, and study tours. As an important part of the course students will develop a Visual Journal to record and analyze the topics presented.
The course comprises training in the process of furniture-making through the design and building of a full-scale prototype. This process includes training communication through the exhibition of their work. Through this program, the students craft great works and invaluable experiences and gained an insight into furniture making, which will guide them as professional designers in the years to come. The final prototype that the student will build represents the synthesis of seven weeks of immersive study conducted via lectures and study tours, and are the individual expression of the student as a designer.
Most students arrive in Copenhagen without much shop experience, yet each is challenged to develop an initial design concept, and then build it in only two weeks – cutting, planning, welding and lamination. In addition to the short timeframe, the students are also given material constraints (18 feet of steel pipe, steel rod, 70 square feet of veneer, or 2 by 8 by 64 inches of maple wood).
Photography: Elizabeth Lamark