Furniture Studio

The Furniture Studio is a classic studio offering at the College of Built Environments.

The Furniture Studio has been sponsored by the Scan Design Foundation since 2014, when two outstanding and long-standing Seattle furniture traditions were brought together when the Scan Design Foundation funded the Furniture Studio in the UW Department of Architecture, as part of the Scan Design Distinguished Guest Studio series.

Furniture Studio

Learn about the 2020 studio offering

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Overview

Each year, students have the opportunity to design and fabricate their own pieces of furniture using the fabrication lab at Gould Hall. Students, many of whom have no furniture-making experience, are able to learn how to craft and design their pieces using tools in our wood and metal labs. Keeping in mind scale, costs, deadlines, and materials, students are expected to complete their furniture pieces within the quarter. The pace is quick, with students spending most of their free time outside of the studio and on weekends in the shop making mock-ups, sanding, and sketching out ideas.

The approach to the studio is based on the “Studio Furniture” movement in the United States, where individuals with small shops design and build one-of-a-kind or limited production furniture pieces. 

Furniture studio fit perfectly into the MLA sequence. It complimented the work I was doing in Materials Craft and Construction and helped me understand both assemblies and materials more deeply. It’s so rare to have a full design-build experience in school, especially on a design that is all your own, and it was incredibly gratifying to experience the entire design process in a microcosm of a single piece of landscape furniture.

During the Autumn quarter of 2020, the Furniture Studio, a legacy of the Architecture department, was offered to Landscape Architecture students for the first time. While the focus on craft and material remained constant, the context of the work provided a different scale and scope not commonly found in the Landscape Architecture department, as well as opening up dialogue for interdisciplinary exploration at an object level.