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Essentials of Good Design Part 2: Furniture Design Process

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As we explored furniture design process in part one of this series, we learned about some of the basics of wood furniture design. Now as we continue on into part two, we get into more of the detail of the furniture design process as Willie Willette of Willie Willette Works shares some of the expertise that he has developed over his many years in the design field. Some of the key areas that Willie covers:

Function – then form – then joinery

Don’t let your woodworking tools and skills determine your furniture design process. Figure out what you want the piece to look like, then determine what additional skills and tools you might need to incorporate into your arsenal to pull it off.

Software is the “power tool” of designers

When designing it is helpful to be able to quickly look at a number of different options of how an idea might be implemented in the final project. Learning to use a CAD program such as Sketchup can be useful in helping to visualize these options in three dimensions, and can be a useful tool to help you review your ideas with a client.

Start with an existing design that you like, and revise from there

Great design doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so a healthy approach involves using all of your available resources, such as web sites, furniture stores, museums, etc., and using these ideas as a starting point, upon which you can add your own “secret sauce” to make the design personalized for you and your “client”.

Look beyond furniture for inspiration

Great furniture design process did not start with nor is it limited to the world of furniture and wooden accessories. Look at everything that you find beautiful for inspiration; cars, people, electronic gadgets. The possibilities are endless.