The furniture design major engages students in the pursuit of their creative interests while providing a comprehensive technical background in contemporary woodworking. The major focuses on technical expertise, freeing students to investigate a full range of creative expression and professional interests. A carefully-sequenced curriculum begins with a firm foundation in the use and maintenance of hand tools, proceeding on to more advanced tools and topics in construction and design.
In addition to the intensive wood studio, students gain experience in drawing, fundamental design issues, concept development, art history, and business practices. The major also emphasizes self-promotion, professionalism, portfolio development, gallery interactions, and studio operations. During the senior year, students culminate their work in an exhibition at an off-campus gallery. Upon graduation, students are well-prepared to transition from student to professional craftsman in this fine art field.
Furniture design, BFA degree, typical course sequence
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|FDTN-111, 112||Drawing I, II||6|
|FDTN-121, 122||2D Design I, II||6|
|FDTN-131, 132||3D Design I, II||6|
|ENGL-150||First Year Writing||3|
|LAS Perspective 5, 6, or 7||3|
|ACSC-010||Year One: College Experience||0|
|ARTH-135||LAS Perspective 2: History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval||3|
|ARTH-136||LAS Perspective 3: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern||3|
|CWFD-201, 202||Furniture Design Sophomore I, II||12|
|CGEN-201||Crafts Drawing Practice||3|
|STAR-202||Crafts CADD Drawing||3|
|LAS Perspective 1, 4||6|
|CWFD-301, 302||Furniture Design Junior I, II||12|
|Art History Electives**||6|
|LAS Immersion 1 (WI)||3|
|CWFD-501, 502||Furniture Design Senior I, II||12|
|CGEN-501||Crafts Promotional Materials (WI)§||3|
|CGEN-502||Crafts Business Practice||3|
|LAS Immersion 2, 3||6|
|CIAS Studio Elective‡||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||120|
Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
‡ Studio electives are courses designated by lab or studio contact hours in the course description.
§ Crafts Business Practices (CGEN-501) satisfies the upper-level writing requirement in the major program.
** Art history electives are non-studio courses offered in CIAS or the College of Liberal Arts that examine the historical aspects of art, design, crafts, photo, or film.
Art history electives
|ARTH-135||Survey of Western Art and Architecture I*|
|ARTH-136||Survey of Western Art and Architecture II*|
|ARTH-221||Contemporary Design Issues|
|ARTH-311||Art of Italy: 1250-1400|
|ARTH-312||Art of Italy: 1600-1750|
|ARTH-317||Art Florence and Rome: 15th Century|
|ARTH-318||Art Florence and Rome: 16th Century|
|ARTH-345||History to Architecture Interior and Furniture I†|
|ARTH-346||History to Architecture Interior and Furniture II†|
|ARTH-364||Art of Paris|
|ARTH-366||18th, 19th Century Art|
|ARTH-368||20th Century Art: 1900-1950|
|ARTH-369||20th Century Art: Since 1950|
|ARTH-373||Art of the Last Decade|
|ARTH-378||Baroque Painting in Flanders|
|ARTH-379||Renaissance Painting in Flanders|
|ARTH-392||Theory and Criticism of 20th Century|
|ARTH-457||Art and Activism|
|ARTH-541||Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome|
|ARTH-550||Topics in Art History|
|ARTH-554||Late Medieval Art|
|ARTH-558||The Gothic Revival|
|ARTH-561||Latin American Art|
|ARTH-566||Early Medieval Art|
|ARTH-568||Art and Technology: Machine Aesthetic Cyborg|
|ARTH-572||Art of the Americas|
|ARTH-574||Dada and Surrealism|
|ARTH-576||Modernism and Realism|
|ARTH-581||Russian Realist Art|
|ARTH-586||Studies in Material Culture|
|ARTH-587||The Gothic Cathedral|
|ARTH-588||Symbols and Symbol-Making|
* This course is required for students in majors in the schools of American Crafts, Art, Design, and Photographic Arts & Sciences (BFA programs only).
† This course is required for students majoring in interior design and furniture design.
Studio Residency program
The School for American Crafts offers a Studio Residency program for students in ceramics, furniture design, glass, and metals and jewelry design. Residence positions are limited and are awarded after the review of all applicants’ portfolios, transcripts, and references. An interview is required. Accepted residents are required to register for one independent study credit during each semester of residence.
Accepted residents are expected to be present in their assigned studio during class hours and to contribute up to 10 hours of work per week in the main studio. These work hours are coordinated and overseen by the faculty in the resident's discipline. In exchange, the school will provide workspace, access to facilities, and supportive instruction. The resident is invited to participate in the full range of studio activities.
Participants may be those seeking additional studio experience prior to undergraduate or graduate study, early career professionals, or teachers on leave who wish to work again in an academic studio environment. The faculty in each discipline make decisions concerning appropriate candidates.
Inquiries should be made to the Studio Residency Program, School for American Crafts, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, 73 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603.
Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only
Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.
As an internationally recognized school that merges art with craft, the School for American Crafts is a leader in crafts education. Our programs provide an educational experience that balances technical expertise with aesthetic expression in the creative and practical understanding of wood, metal, clay, and glass.
Our educational objectives seek to stimulate creative imagination and technical invention, develop knowledge of process and command of skills, and foster appreciation not only of the crafts but also the related arts. The programs strive to inspire the student to seek continual improvement through analysis and self-evaluation.
After the satisfactory completion of two years of study, the associate in occupational studies (AOS) degree is awarded in woodworking and furniture design. After the successful completion of the four-year program, the bachelor of fine arts degree is awarded.
Woodworking and furniture design, BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)
|Course||Qtr. Cr. Hrs.|
|2013-211, 212, 213||Drawing I, II, III||9|
|2013-231, 232, 233||2D Design I, II, III||9|
|2013-241, 242, 243||3D Design I, II, III||9|
|1720-050, 052||First-Year Enrichment||2|
|2039-225, 226, 227||Survey of Western Art and Architecture I, II, III||9|
|2044-301, 302, 303||Materials and Processes Wood, Sophomore||18|
|2045-312||Craft Technical Drawing||3|
|2044-401, 402, 403||Materials and Processes Wood, Junior||18|
|2039-306, 307, 308||Architecture, Interior Furniture Design History||9|
|2044-501, 502, 503||Materials and Processes Wood, Senior||18|
|2045-511||Planning a Career in the Crafts||3|
|2045-512||Crafts Promotional Package||3|
|2045-513||Operating a Business in the Crafts||3|
|Total Quarter Credit Hours||182-185|
* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.
† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
‡ Upon completion of second year, the associate in applied science degree is awarded.
Art history electives
Students are required to select three art history electives to broaden their understanding of the historical development of the arts. Art history electives include:
2039-300 History of Design
2039-306 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design I †
2039-307 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design II †
2039-308 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design III †
2039-310 History of Crafts
2039-315 Pre-Columbian Art
2039-316 Florence and Rome 1400-1470
2039-317 Florence and Rome 1470-1520
2039-318 Florence and Rome 1520-1590
2039-320 History of Art Criticism
2039-330 Philosophy in Art
2039-340 Symbols and Symbol Making
2039-355 Latin American Art
2039-360 18th and 19th Century Art
2039-368 Scandinavian Modernism
2039-375 20th Century Art Since 1950
2039-376 Renaissance Painting in Flanders
2039-385 Installation Art
2039-390 Native American Art and Culture
2039-395 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
2039-410 The Art of Art History
2039-415 Thinking About Making
2039-425 Public Art/Public Spaces
2039-430 Dada and Surrealism
2039-433 What Is Post Modernism?
2039-435 Art of the Last Decade
2039-438 Body in Art
2039-440 Conceptual Art
2039-443 Art and Technology: From the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
2039-452 Art and Activism
2039-459 Art Central Italy 1250-1400
2039-469 Baroque Rome
† Required for interior design majors and School for American Crafts wood majors.
Crafts residency program
The School for American Crafts offers a crafts residence program for participants accepted in the ceramics and ceramic sculpture, glass, metalcrafts and jewelry, and woodworking and furniture design disciplines. Residence positions are limited and is awarded based on the review of an application, which consists of a portfolio, transcripts, and references. An interview also is required. Accepted studio residents are required to register for at least two credits of independent study during every quarter of residence. These two credits can be taken as an audit, thus reducing the tuition cost to the resident.
Accepted residents are expected to attend their major studio courses during class hours and to contribute up to 10 hours of work per week in the major studio. These work hours will be coordinated and overseen by the faculty in the program area. In exchange, the school will provide workspace, access to facilities, and supportive instruction. The residents are invited to participate in the full range of studio activities.
Residence program participants may be individuals seeking additional studio experience prior to undergraduate or graduate study, early career professionals, or teachers on leave who wish to work in an academic studio environment. The faculty in each program area will make decisions concerning appropriate candidates.