BFA Programme in Wood Oriented Furniture Design
No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.
The bachelor’s programme in Wood-Oriented Furniture Design offers you the chance to gain deep knowledge of material, techniques, and design methodology. As a student of the programme, you will build a foundation for developing your personal approach and process for your future work. Engaging in an exploratory approach to materials, innovation, and sustainable development, you will explore wood as a material and its part and interaction with furniture, spaces, and our senses.
Sweden has a rich tradition of furniture design and craft. The bachelor’s programme in Wood-Oriented Furniture Design is conducted at HDK-Valand Campus Steneby, an international meeting place for culture and education in Dals Långed, 170 km north of Gothenburg. Immersed in this unique and creative academic environment and surrounded by scenic Swedish landscape, you will work with an exploratory and investigative approach to materials, innovation, and sustainable development in local and global contexts. You will be trained to solve artistic and material-related problems with respect to the surrounding world and human needs. Because of our location, you can work with design in a very hands-on manner, making this a unique program with close dialogue between you, your work, and fellow students.
Engaging with the surrounding community
We emphasize the relationship between the designer and the surrounding world, working with historical, contemporary, and future contexts in thematic design projects. Field trips and visits to trade fairs, companies in the industry, and design studios take place continually throughout the programme. Workshops and guest lecturers offer additional inspiration and deeper perspectives. You will have opportunities to network within the furniture design industry and train to effectively communicate your work in public exhibition projects and furniture fairs, preparing you for a successful future in furniture design.
Collaborative and inclusive learning environment
Courses in visualization and communication, and theory and history are given together with students from the other bachelor programmes in Metal Art and Textile-Body-Space. Though projects are completed within your own programme, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students and be inspired by their work in shared workshops. You will have access to local timber (kiln-dried on location), well-equipped workshops with all of the necessary machinery for contemporary furniture production (including laser engraving and a five-axis CNC machine), and additional workshops for other materials.
Preparing you to respond to sustainability challenges
You will be trained to take a designerly approach to sustainability and contribute to discussions about this throughout the whole programme, becoming familiarized with concepts of social, environmental, and economic sustainability. We use a definition based on “Our Common Future”, where sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Bruntland, 1987). Through thematic design projects, you will get the chance to work together with industrial or societal stakeholders to meet challenges related to social and environmental sustainability. Past projects have dealt with issues related to an ageing population, accessibility in public spaces, and circular flows of materials in an industrial production context.
Get to know teachers and other staff at the Design and Crafts Steneby Unit.
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Programme structure and content
Basic knowledge about materials, techniques, and design methodology provide the foundation for developing an independent working method and critical approach towards furniture design. The course themes will guide you to more complex problems as the programme progresses. You will learn the process of product development, from sketching and scale models using mock-ups and CAD, to the finished prototype on a high technical level.
You will participate in ongoing discussions within the arts, crafts, and design scenes, and be trained in developing products or furniture for special contexts or users, sometimes together with an industrial partner. An internship period provides the potential for making contacts with manufacturers and design studios. The programme culminates with an in-depth thesis project where you carry through an exploratory design project in furniture design with specialization in wood as material.