*This would not have been possible without the generous support of the ID Department – They allowed me to use their handbook as a template from which to steal from.

The  Goal

CCA’s Furniture Program aims to educate emerging design professionals and artists for culturally, socially and economically sustainable careers as furniture designers and makers. Our ultimate desire is for you to thrive as a student and as a successful practitioner and design leader after your time here at the college.  In order for that to happen, you’ll need to build a foundation of knowledge, work habits and professional practice that will continue to serve you throughout your life.

Here is a set of guidelines that will aid in that endeavour:

HOW TO Thrive

• Always search for what makes you passionate

• Incorporate that passion in every aspect of your work

• Always go the extra mile

If you are not ready to do your very best work you should think about your priorities right now in your life. This program is too expensive and life too short for you to not be fully engaged. Use your time and contact with instructors and peers to search for insights into your passions and projects. Many times it is challenging and frustrating to explain yourself to others but getting the idea across is really the whole point isn’t it? Building the confidence and skills of expression throughout the design process and embracing the unknown is the way all successful designers and artists survive. The lack of self-confidence is at the root of the vast majority of the ills of our society. You can conquer this by developing a thoughtful, diligent design process that works for you no matter what the challenge. It will invariably entail multiple reiterations, deep research, and a constant push into the unknown. Like science, design and art push the boundaries of what has been done previously. New solutions must be tested and studied. Finding a wide group of experts is vital. It’s a huge undertaking but one that will give you a reason to get up in the morning. Learn to enjoy it and drive it. Take advice and criticism willingly. Realize what a gift it is to have a group of people gathered around wanting to talk about your work. Give yourself over to the process and push your production into a steady consistent stream. You are ultimately responsible for the education you get while you are here so make the most your own work and help others make the most of theirs.

• Work hard again and again and again

• Talk

• Listen

• Help everyone around you

• Have fun


Our program has evolved over the years into a structure that aims to nurture and support the many aspects of furniture. It is a rigorous course load focused on providing you with a foundation to base your future career on. At the heart of it are the studio classes which provide not only the production skills you’ll require but also a design methodology and conceptual base to understand what you’re doing in the contemporary world. Each stage builds on the last and will support and expand your physical and mental abilities. The content and instructors of the courses will vary from semester to semester, but each will include a foundation of skills development and critical discourse and inquiry. We encourage faculty to continually develop and refine their curriculum as the landscape of the design world evolves.  With this, be prepared to delve into areas that have not been explored and know that your instructors do not have all the answers. Together we are on a path of discovery and together we make the program what it is.

Work hard, have fun; remember: you’re the future of culture.


Be considerate. Space is a big issue at the school and an ongoing struggle. Yes, you pay a fortune to be here but we need to share a limited space with many other departments for the immediate future.

Pay attention to your possessions avoid loss, theft, and accidents. As a courtesy to your studio mates, be tidy. Clean as you make and make as you clean. If you’re a complete slob or are mid-process with some sprawling project, confine your mess to your own personal space or politely ask for forbearance from your studio mates. Make sure to store your work safely – not just to protect the work itself but also those moving around it.


Success is not achieved in a vacuum. Making furniture is hard work and you’re going to need help in the process. At the very least, the client is part of the process. But in most cases, from one end of the design process to the other, from research to final marketing, designers collaborate with each other formally and informally. Within formal teams you are expected to strive for your personal best, advance the team as a whole, and contribute equal portions of commitment and time. Like good improv, always make those around you look good.

While at CCA your peers are your greatest network of support. Take time to get to know your classmates. Work with them to push your and their projects forward. Upper classmen can be a valuable resource – they have knowledge and experience in techniques and practicalities. Equally, lower classmen bring fresh perspectives and questions that can inspire new ideas. When in doubt, turn to your CCA community for guidance and reciprocate with your own support; rarely will you experience this level of density and diversity of designers under one roof.

These same principles extend into the professional design community. Cultivate an awareness of the local and global design scene, participate in design related events (lectures, gallery shows, trade shows, conferences, etc.). Proactively interface with the local professional community via CCA’s lecturers, guest critics, and affiliations. Internships are one key to this. Serving in an internship is an ideal way to develop perspective on what you have been learning at CCA. The goal of the internship is to develop the following: strong connections to the broader design community and the industry, increased abilities and experiences within the field, efficiency and time management skills, and a new professional vocabulary. Use your internship to guide your thinking on what type of design career you’d like to have on your exit from CCA. Where and how do you want to work?


You are responsible for acquiring and storing, all your own supplies. Follow all guidelines regarding where and how to store and work with materials. Store all you clearly labeled toxic items in the flammable cabinet of the spray booth. If you have any doubts or questions – ask Aimee.

BE SAFE. We deal with many things that pinch, cut, burn, sever, abrade, puncture and smash. Keep the business-end of those things away from your soft flesh. Do not endanger yourself or others. Always follow the safety guidelines for the tools and equipment and never be embarrassed to ask for help or advice. Taking people to the hospital is no fun.

We also deal a variety of other toxic materials so please obey all MSDS guidelines and CCA-Shop rules. If you have questions, please ask a shop monitor or your instructor.

The cost of materials and supplies can be significant. Your instructors are mindful of the financial burden, but some projects call for time AND money. It is important for you to manage this outlay of money. Do not let a trivial fee be a barrier to the proper completion of your work. Put it in perspective— expenses incurred for a project (although sizable) pale in comparison to the costs that you have already allocated toward your degree. But if you are truly having difficulty with the expense or the manipulation of your materials or supplies, maybe there’s an alternative approach. Reach out to your instructor, shop manager or classmates for guidance.


Homework is part of every class. Complete it on time and in full. Each element of assigned work acts as a stepping-stone to greater learning and has been carefully considered by your instructor. Instructors set the pace of homework to make projects both achievable AND challenging. The best means to success in any of your courses is steady, attentive, and dogged effort. Anyone known for their successful endeavors worked extremely hard. It is a fable that the world stumbles on the lone genius. Every act and object you deliver should be thoughtful, complete, and clearly communicated. Do not wait until the last minute or place undue emphasis on your final presentation—your current project and your long-term learning will suffer. There are lessons to learn from even the simplest of tasks and you should always be looking for them. For each assignment, strive to over-deliver. In doing so you will garner more attention for your efforts. You will also motivate your classmates to match your efforts.


A Desk Crit (‘crit’ is short for critique) is a moment to sit one-on-one with your instructor in the classroom and receive feedback on your work in progress. Though this contact should be casual in both format and discourse, you should be organized and prepared for every desk crit in order to make the most of your and your instructor’s time. State your intentions for your project. Explain how you intend to move forward with a detailed schedule. Have a list of questions ready. Always write and draw – ideas are fleeting and you need to grab them while they are there.


Pin-Ups are evaluations that involve presenting printed sheets, sketches, and models of your work for the entire class to evaluate and give comment. Pin-Ups are more formal than Desk Crits but less formal than Reviews and occur throughout the semester in studio classes. Order your work in a consistent and tidy manner to reduce distraction. Take a good look at it from a distance and pay attention to details. Framing your work for an audience is something you’ll do for the rest of your career and your success and failure depends on it. Show up early to have your presentation properly pinned up by the appointed time. When you present you are in charge, lead the audience through your design.  If the audience is missing the point, help them understand what it is you’re trying to express but also make a note of how they were led astray so you can adjust in future presentations.

A successful pin-up includes:

• a title

• your name, visible and legible

• the date

• appropriate media

• compatible, consistent paper sizes and types

• ordered lay up of the sheets—distinct     “breathing room” or neat abutting edges

• a clear gap between your work and the next person’s

• follow (or establish) a consistent top-row height for the entire class

• identical, inconspicuous pins (or invisible tape) – blue masking tape is a terrible choice

• neatness counts—one sloppy detail can devalue the entire project (like a pebble in a $200 running shoe) and sidetrack the audience


Presentation is the planned messaging about your project to an audience—usually your peers and critics. The most successful presentations are organized around a specific subject and follow a particular pattern. To present your ideas well, work to tell compelling stories. Integrate the following points into your presentation to bring your content in line with your storytelling:

• Frame the topic for your audience

• Articulate your work in its current state and refrain from talking about things that are not there

•Start with the positives not with everything that you feel is wrong

• Explain what you did to arrive at your current solution and why you did it

• Suggest where you might take it next

• Engage with critics to get the most feedback possible

• Don’t be afraid to be self critical and ask for insights from your audience into both your process and outcome

•Share samples, historical references and anything else you have to lead your audience towards understanding

•Leave time for your audience’s input and don’t get defensive. Examining people’s reactions to your work will allow you to improve it

•create a list of things you want to cover and make sure to follow it

Presentation is a skill in and of itself. It comes naturally to precious few of us. You need to PRACTICE. Present to your classmates, friends, and family. Present in front of a mirror. Your efforts will be well rewarded.

Speak up! CCA is a noisy environment. If your critics can’t hear you, you are wasting your time and theirs. If your voice is naturally quiet, take the initiative and learn to project. This is a real-world challenge you must learn to overcome; now is the time. All your fantastic ideas are for naught if the rest of us can’t hear them.

Tips for Success:

• Aim to present a cohesive and well-crafted statement (supported by images and models) about the project.

• Plan what you are going to show and say.

• Practice the presentation

• Have your work pinned up before the start of the review

• Never miss a review

• Never show up late or unprepared

• Keep the topics of discussion focused on elements pertaining to the project

• Never receive criticism in a hostile or dismissive manner

• Take notes or have a friend take notes for you while you present


Reviews are formal critiques wherein students deliver a full synopsis of their work as it stands. Reviews offer the chance to gather together research results, components of the project, and a coherent voice around your design philosophy. Reviews are also opportunities for the department to invite members of the design community to CCA to provide feedback to move the work forward. Outside critics are taking time off of a busy schedule to help you. Acknowledge the good will of your reviewers by your readiness before the appointed time, giving a clear, considered presentation, and receiving critique objectively.


Critique is the mechanism by which we evaluate the quality of our efforts and intentions. You have the ability to direct

your own critiques by crafting what and how you present.

Aim to: engage your reviewers (by giving them something worth seeing), provide a full account of your actions (in verbal and visual terms), receive feedback on your efforts so far, accept guidance on a specific set of questions about which you’re uncertain. Critique is sometimes painful, and that’s OK to a degree—it’s a signal you care about your efforts. Do not let your emotions overwhelm the discourse. Set aside any apprehension and focus on delivering clear content and RECEIVING the message being delivered back to you. Good critique is not about you, but about what you’ve done and why. Critique is aimed at improving your process and outcomes. Use it as an opportunity to receive feedback, validate decisions, and develop future directions for your designs. Become comfortable on both sides of the critique. It is vitally important for you to provide helpful feedback to your classmates. We are all in this together and it our combined efforts that make or break a project. Doing so will build rapport and sharpen your own thinking around the design problem at hand.

Ideally all critique:

• is an objective discussion of the work presented, not about the designer or the critic

• is well-considered and clearly articulated

• is devoid of fear or intimidation

• is geared towards the current stage of the project

• takes into account the designers current abilities and hurdles

• exhibits a level of import and formality appropriate to the project and setting


Guests are often invited to lecture or offer critique in class or at a review. Their visits are a special opportunity to connect with the larger design community and gain a wider perspective on your work. Occasionally, guests also present opportunities for internships or special projects. If presented with such an opportunity act on it in a timely, professional manner.

Junior Review


Junior level furniture majors, with at least 70 completed units and entering their senior year in Fall must participate in Junior Review in Spring.  Additionally, senior furniture majors who have not yet had Junior Review and

interdisciplinary majors with a strong interest in the Furniture Program are welcome to apply to participate in Junior Review. Space will be allocated according to seniority.

What ?

Each student will be allocated approximately 8’x’8’ to display work. All work from studio programs at CCA is welcome as part of your display. 2D and 3D work should both be shown. Wall hung works may have to moved immediately after your review – all other work should remain for the week. The work shown should clearly demonstrate your ability to: (read this carefully)

• make well crafted objects

• research and represent that research visually (pin-ups)

• develop ideas through sketch models

• prototype ideas in 3-D models and full size mockups

• complete full working drawings of your concepts – either hand or computer drafted

• present your ideas to an audience and discuss them confidently.

Please make sure that all of your work is clearly labeled. Each label should include:

•Your name

•Name of class where the work was created •semester it was created

•Title of work


The Junior Review is an important stage of your education at CCA. It is the first time that you will have gathered the body of work that you have created at CCA and put it all on display in one place at one time. The review committee will examine your work and you will get direct one to one feedback from the committee. It should help you get clear perspective on where you are at the moment, your strengths and weaknesses and where you are heading as you enter your Senior Year. The Furniture program’s selection for All College Honors will be determined during Junior Review.

The display will be seen by the whole college and should be as professional and engaging as possible. The program is proud of your achievements and wants the whole CCA community to know about it. CCA Trustees, outside professionals, and other faculty will be invited to view the work during the review week. During that week each student must be available for one hour during this review time. If you have class during this time you will need to get permission from your instructor to attend Junior Review.


• Show up

• To every class

• On time

Doing so accords respect not only to your instructor and the material, but to your fellow classmates as well. Your presence in the classroom is the first step to your success in the subject—and ultimately the profession. It ensures that you receive all of the information and attention for which you paid. Showing up also puts you in accordance with CCA’s school-wide attendance policy for all classes in all formats (studios and seminars). Regular attendance in all classes is mandatory. Students are expected to arrive on time and remain in class for the entire period scheduled.

The responsibility for work missed due to any type of absence rests with the student.

• 3 unexcused absences equals a failing grade for the class

• Tardiness in excess of 20 minutes is equivalent to one absence

• 3 tardies (20 minutes or less) equal 1 absence.

• Illnesses and extraordinary circumstances can be excused, but must be communicated and approved with your instructor

• Appreciate the value of keeping your instructor informed about the events affecting your performance.


There is never enough time to develop a project into fully realized form. Everything takes longer than you think it will making every design project is a balance of aspirations and triage. Managing this balance is a difficult process complete with trade-offs, compromises, and the dreaded all-nighter. Aim to master your own time management so that you can deliver your work in best condition and on time. For each project create a calendar for your own efforts. Note due dates and deliverables for all your commitments. Break the deliverables for the project down into smaller tasks to the point at which each succinct action is present and your next step is apparent. Slot all your tasks into your own, comprehensive, calendar. Leave yourself breathing room. Some things take longer than expected and disasters do strike.

There is a logical order to most tasks and most require special preparation ahead of the actual action (planning, acquiring materials, prototyping, sanding, finishing and documentation). Slot other tasks while you are prevented from working on the most pressing portions—work on your presentation between coats of paint. Be ruthless in your scheduling. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth putting into the calendar—that goes for grandma’s birthday party, sleep, and trips to the laundromat in addition to your studio work.

The deadlines your instructors impose may be seem onerous, but they are a gift. Learning to deliver your work on time is the best possible preparation for the realities of professional practice.


If you find yourself stuck, take a break.

Get up from your chair. Run around the block (fast). Sit in the sun. Get a cup of coffee. Do that pressing thing that you can’t get out of your head. Do these things for no more than 5-10 minutes. Then get back to work. Still stuck? Tackle the manageable parts of your project that you CAN complete. Format your research. Document your past efforts. Sketch the 5 most obvious solutions. Make a list of what your final presentation should include and begin assembling those components. The key is to be actively productive while your subconscious brain is working on the solution to the problem that you got stuck on in the beginning.


Grades do matter, but your portfolio is what will get you hired. If you’re considering graduate school, then grades are vital— keep them up. Mostly, grades serve as a metric by which your work is judged. Factors influencing that outcome are: your current abilities, dedication, growth, ambition and your delivery on the given assignments. Some classes may call out special grading criteria or penalties (such as class participation or late delivery of assignments). Read the syllabus for each class to be sure you are familiar with the grading criteria for that class. All CCA undergraduate courses are graded on the following system:

A            Outstanding achievement; Available for only the highest level of accomplishment.  One who pushes themselves beyond normal expectations and succeeds in all areas of evaluation.

B            Praiseworthy performance; above average.  One who goes beyond merely fulfilling all requirements and participates actively in class discussions and critiques.

C            Average; satisfactory performance.  One who fulfills all class requirements and completes work on time.

D            Minimally passing; less than typical achievement.  One who does not meet the course requirements but still makes some attempt.

F            Failing; unacceptable performance.  One who overall does not meet course requirements, misses 3 classes, and does not complete assignments regularly.

Remember you have to have at least C or better (not a C-) to pass all classes required within your major. For more information, please review the CCA grading policies in the student handbook available online at: http://www.cca.edu/students/handbook


We communicate and share information with the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts and San Diego State University whoalong with CCA are all strong West Coast furniture design programs.  We also have ties with furniture programs of The Rhode Island School of Design, University of Wisconsin at Madison among others. It is my hope that we can all work closely together to share resources and strategies to spread our common cause. Make it a point to pay a visit to these schools if you are in their area and see what they are up to.

Design and Craft Lecture Series

The Design and Craft Lecture Series is funded by the Wornick Endowment Fund. It brings artists, designers, craft practitioners and intellectuals from around the world to lecture about their work and sit with students from our department to talk about the direction of their work. We have been delighted to host such distinguished individuals as Martino Gamper, Studio Gorm, Tanya Aguiniga, Martino Zanotta, Michael Puryear, Michael Cooper and Paul Discoe to name a few. More information can be found at:


This semester the following individuals are scheduled:

Lecture by Namita Gupta Wiggers

Design and Craft Lecture Series
Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 7:30–9:30 pm

Lecture by Theaster Gates

Design and Craft Lecture Series
Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 7–9 pm

Lecture by Chiharu Shiota

Design and Craft Lecture Series
Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 7:30–9:30 pm

Lecture by Ifeanyi Oganwu, Expand Design Ltd.

Design and Craft Lecture Series
Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 7–9 pm

The Wornick Distinguished Professor

Through the Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor program we have been able to host a long list of professionals currently active in the field from across the world – UK, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.  This program provides students with close contact and an ongoing professional network with a wide variety of individuals successfully pursuing furniture design as a career. The program allows visiting professors to teach within our program in the Atelier course and also gives these visitors an opportunity to work on their own work within our studios. Past visiting professors include: Scott Constable, Michael Cooper, Walter Kintundu, Michael Hurwitz, David Trubridge, Richard LaTrobe Bateman, Gord Peteran and Michael Hosaluk.


The Ronald and Anita Wornick Award was established by the Wornick Company on the occasion of Ronald C. Wornick’s retirement as president and CEO. Reflecting the wishes of the Wornicks, the award is intended to recognize, nourish, and encourage talented students in the wood arts at CCA. A gifted amateur wood artist himself, Ronald Wornick has been a member of the CCA Board of Trustees since 1992.

This award and its gala reception are one of our department’s highlights of the year. This year’s winners are sculpture major Nicholas Morris and furniture major Peter L’Abbe. Their show in the SF Campus Nave will run from October 17th through 28th with the reception being held the evening of the 18th. We hope you will join us in celebrating their remarkable accomplishments.

Working Across the Campus

We continue our efforts to get students of other closely linked departments (Architecture, Industrial Design, Sculpture and the Interiors Department) to enroll in our Introduction courses. This spreads our visibility and will help to feed our upper division courses since this is a prerequisite for all of the advanced technical courses. We now offer an Introduction to Furniture course every summer introducing more students to the department. It is exciting to see individuals from other departments bringing their knowledge and experience to our program. You can help this effort by spreading the word of all the great classes and projects we are working on with your peers who are unfamiliar with us.

Recent Changes in Curriculum

In the last few years, we have increased our focus more on presentation and production oriented courses.  We saw the necessity to move in this direction in order to provide the  skills required for our grads to compete in the evolving world of the furniture design field.  We have not abandoned our roots in studio furniture but are now offering a more balanced approach within the curriculum. We are also in the midst of transforming the Sculptural Object class into a cross listed course with a rotating list of other departments.  Our first attempt at this with the Ergonomics of Space class taught by Barbara Holmes and Oblio Jenkins in the Spring of 2011. Our partnership with the Architecture Department provides advanced making skills for the architecture students and exposes our students to areas of architecture not covered in our other coursework.


To assist in the focus on presentation, the department funds a professional photographer to come in twice a year to document the student’s work for their own portfolio as well as our own promotional needs.


DRAW !  it is the best way to keep those ideas flowing and not slipping away.  Never leave the house without your favorite drawing device and something to write on. We also strongly encourage you to document your life, work and experience through photos. These two things are vital to project success, creating a visual record of your process and presentation.

Our Curriculum

Over the last five years, the skill set and quality of work has increased considerably when judged on craftsmanship, drawing skills, presentation, and production work.  This can be attributed to refinements in our technical curriculum department wide.

Introduction to Furniture             FURNT -100

Taught by Barbara Holmes and Russell Baldon. These courses provide the fundamentals of woodworking and its application to furniture. There is an emphasis on precision, the development of craft skills and the concept of “physical” as well as intellectual learning. This course provides the basic knowledge and experience necessary for intelligent use of the machine room facilities and is recommended for any students wishing to use this facility regularly. Students are also introduced to the concerns and concepts of sustainability.

Techniques: Cabinet             FURNT-212

Last taught by Donald Fortescue and Paul Discoe. This course expands on the techniques learned in the Intro course, particularly in the tuning and use of hand tools – marking gauges and knives, chisels, hand-planes and handsaws. This class helps students develop strong woodworking techniques and a deeper understanding of the history and technology of both the Western and Eastern traditions of woodworking.

Techniques: Chair             FURNT-208

Taught by Russell Baldon. The chair is a challenging furniture form and this course is devoted to examining, dissecting, designing and making one based on your own original concept. This semester we are fortunate to have the sponsorship of Wilsonart Laminate which will provide students with free materials from their vast product line. A team from Wilsonart will select from the projects completed at the end of the semester and take the winning design and its builder to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City in the Spring of 2012. A $1000 scholarship will also be awarded to the winner and several runner-up chairs will additionally be included in the show. Many advanced woodworking techniques will be covered as we address the unique methods of construction used in frame, volumetric, and planar seating. Students will be expected to develop conceptual ideas and the strategies to express them through one or more of these techniques with their final completed chair.

Techniques: Soft             FURNT-204

Taught by Mary Little and Peter Wheeler. This studio focuses on contemporary upholstery techniques applicable to creating prototypes for large-scale production, producing editions, or making one-of-a-kind pieces. Upholstery is not straightforward or simple, though the best pieces may look that way. The process is multi-skilled and multilayered. An understanding of the whole process is essential for a designer to accomplish his or her goals. In class, each student designs and constructs an ottoman for a particular interior and develops innovative design concepts appropriate to the context. During showroom visits, students learn about the technical construction of contemporary furniture and the selection of upholstery fabrics. Upon completion of the course, each student will have a well-made contemporary piece, a new skill set, knowledge of contemporary upholstery and exposure to a wealth of experience in European and North American furniture design. The class is open to designers who want to learn or practice hands-on design skills as a method of design development. Students from majors such as Architecture, Fashion Design, Furniture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Textiles are welcome.

Techniques: Metal             FURNT-216

Taught by Lawrence LaBianca. This course is a comprehensive introduction to metal fabrication techniques through the metal studio and welding facility on the San Francisco campus. Techniques covered include cutting, stamping, milling, bending, cold fastening, welding and soldering sheet metal and extrusions. It also investigates manufacturing processes readily available locally, such as casting, plasma cutting, CNC milling, spinning, plating and powder coating. Students design, develop and fabricate lighting systems or lamps using a variety of these techniques. A focus on cutting edge LED systems and an off campus show at Design Within Reach have been part of the recent course offerings.

Design Communication 1             INDUS-104

Taught through the Industrial Design Department. This course provides a rigorous foundation in precision hand drawing skills. It begins with the fundamentals of line weight, shading, lighting, composition and basic layout and continues with precision drawing, sketching, rendering and perspective. Instructors give weekly demonstrations of materials, techniques and visualization followed by assignments designed to develop these skills.  Feedback is provided on each student’s design process and progress through individual desk crits with the instructor as well as group presentations and critiques.

Drawing for Furniture             FURNT-206

Taught by Cory Robinson. Expanding on DC1 but tailored to more personal expression than continuing with DC2. We’ve come to understand that the range of interests and styles within our department’s student body is better served by a class more specifically tailored to their individual needs rather that the industry standards. That said, Drawing for Furniture will help students translate ideas into communicable visual designs and help them pose problems and solve them on paper. Students will be introduced to sketching and perspective techniques and a range of manual and computer drafting techniques. Topics to be covered include: 3D sketching, basic engineering drawing, problem solving on the drawing board, visual communication for clients and fabricators, and an introduction to computer drafting and modeling.

Drawing Technology             FURNT308

Taught by Jon Oxford. This course focuses on using computer-modeling tools in the context of the creative process. The course focuses on drawing for ‘real world’ applications and will be using the laser cutter and CNC mill to create components and objects developed with SolidWorks. All major SolidWorks tools and environments will be covered in this intensive skills-based class. By learning to incorporate powerful parametric 3D modeling techniques early in the design process, students will have the tools to develop complex, accurate, and flexible designs. Projects involve rapidly producing multiple iterations, photo realistic rendering and physical prototypes developed for and implemented on the laser cutter and CNC mill. Skills attained in the class are widely applicable in design, sculpture and engineering fields.

Production 1             FURNT-316

Currently taught by Russell Baldon. The course focuses on investigating manufacturing processes, managing competitive bids, and establishing relationships with outside vendors and clients.  This class is part of the Engage @ CCA program within the Center for Art and Public Life.  This means we choose a public partner as a client – former partners include Lighthouse Community Charter School of Oakland and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco – and design specific items to suit their needs.  This endeavor is also enhanced with the help of local design professionals who reveal their real world practices to the students and help to guide them throughout the process.  Past design professionals include the staff of Coalesse Furniture and Derek Chen of Council.

Production 2             FURNT-416

Taught by Philip Wood. This class continues to develop the concepts introduced in Production 1 but focuses more on the targeted branding and marketing of a product. Collaboration and sub-contracting to realize a complex project is emphasized. Considerations include design and production in a variety of media, visual and oral communication, pricing and budget estimation and timelines. Several specific objects (a ‘product line’) is designed and a selection realized using the studio as a ‘center of operations’. The outcomes of the class are expected to be commercially viable and to form the basis of an ongoing entrepreneurial activity. A product launch at a venue in San Francisco is an integral part of this course.

History and Theory of 20th Century Furniture FURNT-360

Taught by Donald Fortescue. The course provides a historical underpinning to the student’s understanding of the furniture field. The class studies the origins of modern design and the major schools and philosophies of 20th Century furniture design. This ranges from the 19th century roots of the Industrial Revolution, the Arts and Crafts movement, European design movements such as the Vienna Werkstatte and the Bauhaus, the development of the first international styles such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modernism, through to contemporary studio art furniture, the use of furniture forms by contemporary visual artists and contemporary conceptual design. Throughout the seminar, the social, economic and cultural context of furniture is emphasized and discussions focus on the evolution of the domestic realm and the role of furniture within it. Students complete a series of short writing exercises, develop a concept and catalog for an exhibition of furniture design and complete written exams as part of their assessment.

Professional Practice             FURNT-304

Taught by Philip Wood.

This course takes an in-depth look an individual’s work, its motivations, cultural context and conditions. While looking at the efficacy of existing methods and approaches within design and art, the course also develops practical strategies and critical thinking to broaden student understanding of the discipline and the topology of the culture it inhabits.

Ergonomics of Space            FURNT-204

Taught by Barbara Holmes and Oblio Jenkins This interdisciplinary studio will explore how various types of space (both real and imagined) and the tactile material qualities of furniture can inform and work together to provide an enjoyable and meaningful human experience. In groups, students will identify, design, and build temporary and permanent installations within the CCA school campus that addresses the studio’s theme – the ergonomics of space. Through this series of exercises, students will gain a greater understanding of ergonomics – the technology concerned with the design, manufacture, and arrangement of products and environments to be safe, healthy, and comfortable for human beings. The learning outcomes of this course will be especially valuable to students of the Architecture and Furniture Departments.

Studio: Atelier             FURNT-300-01

Taught by various leaders from around the world in the art and design fields. This is a unique opportunity to work hand in hand with leading practitioners in the field and get a detailed understanding of their thinking and methods. Past instructors have included: Scott Constable, Michael Cooper, Walter Kintundu, Michael Hurwitz, David Trubridge, Richard LaTrobe Bateman, Gord Peteran and Michael Hosaluk.

Senior Studio 1 & 2             FURNT -400

Taught by Donald Fortescue

This class seeks to facilitate group and individual critiques towards the development of an integrated body of work. Students delineate a program of advanced study and media exploration tailored to possible career pathways. This course covers all the necessary steps students must achieve to mount their senior exhibition held each spring.  This exhibition takes place off campus in a commercial gallery setting. The Senior Studio is the capstone experience for graduating BFA students and is intended to launch their professional careers.


Below are some important contacts for students looking for help and advice in a variety of areas:

Russell Baldon – Chair of the Furniture Department:

415-505-8990 or rbaldon@cca.edu

Financial aid office:

80 Carolina, first floor

Phone: 415.703.9528
Email: finaid@cca.edu


Student Affairs – Oakland at 510.594.3666 or San Francisco at 415.703.9570.

Academic Advising:

Furniture major specific – Barbara Holmes bholmes@cca.edu

General education – Nicole Simmons

Academic Coaching:

Coordinator of Learning Resources
Virginia C. Jardim,

Furniture Program Manager:

Pam Zahedani

415-551-9330 or pzahedani@cca.edu


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