Sorry, this program is not available for local students.
Please contact Info Corner to discuss other study options.
Sorry, this program is not available for international students intending to study on a student visa.
If you hold a different visa type, you may be eligible. Please contact us for more information.
Combine real-life industry projects and design theory with a hands-on focus on production to create sustainable contemporary modern furniture products.
In RMIT’s award-winning furniture design program you’ll learn to develop creative and original furniture designs with a strong grounding in design methods, manufacturing technologies and processes informed by cultural and social factors.
This program allows you to use a combination of manual skills and machine technologies in the product development and construction of contemporary furniture products. You’ll gain a higher level of critical and conceptual thinking skills and develop ideas that will address issues within today’s society, including sustainable approaches to design and manufacturing.
With hands-on design-focused learning and an emphasis on production and craft knowledge, this program offers a blend of topics that will enable you to design modern furniture.
You will gain the skills to explore design through real-world industry projects with companies such as Moran Furniture and Schiavello. The program teaches you to investigate contemporary, cultural and environmental aspects of professional furniture design practice.
You’ll connect with Australian and international industry mentors such as Marc Pascal and Adam Cornish. These mentors will work with you to provide feedback on the commercial viability of your design work. You’ll also have the opportunity to compete in local and international design competitions such as London Design Week, Fringe Furniture, The Edge (Sydney) and the Australian International Furniture Fair.
This is a hands-on program where you will explore design solutions, taking into consideration aesthetics, technology, ergonomics, usability, stress analysis, sustainability and materials engineering, marketing and lean manufacturing.
You will develop freehand and computer-aided drawings and illustrations and develop your skills in everything from 3D ideas generation to prototypes that demonstrate and test furniture.
Award winners in furniture design
- Rachael Siklic
Winner, Future Leaders Award, Craft Victoria’s 2017 Fresh! Graduate Showcase
- Daniel Triebert
Winner, Design Institute of Australia Graduate of the Year Award Victoria/Tasmania
- Alexsandra Pontonio
Winner, The Furniture Concept Award VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design)
- Richard Greenacre
Winner, VIVID and two awards at Fringe Furniture
International student visa holders can only study full-time.
The learning and teaching approach of this program emulates how you would work in a commercial design studio. Through practical hands-on studios, lectures, workshops, presentation and group discussions, teachers will treat you as though you are an assistant designer.
Over the course of the program you will interact and undertake work experience with key people from small and large Australian and international furniture, textiles and graphic design companies on live design projects. This models the practice of furniture designers in industry.
You will work in state-of-the-art studios and teaching facilities including the:
- furniture and product design studios
- Advanced Manufacturing Precinct
You will use industry standard equipment including 3D printers, CNC machining, modern manufacturing equipment and traditional hand and power tools. You will also use computer programs such as the BIESSE works (CNC programming), the Adobe suite of programs (including Photoshop and Illustrator), and AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
Class sizes are approximately 15 to 20 students per workshop.
22 hours of classes over four days per week with more than 15 hours extra study and research weekly. There will be concentrated periods of out-of-class work when assessments are due.
You will be assessed throughout each semester via reports, verbal and visual design presentations, group projects, research and practical assignments.
All programs are delivered in English. You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal.
Rather than undertaking block work experience, you will work with external companies on live projects and competitions throughout the program. This approach mirrors the consultancy practice of furniture designers with clients and stakeholders.
Companies that have worked with the program include:
- Moran Furniture
- Kendall Furniture
- Blend Design
- Image Interiors
Industry networking is very beneficial and can lead to invitations to become part of industry-based committees and boards, such as the AgIdeas Student Representative Board.
You will also connect with current designers and past students who have established design practices and manufacturing hubs.
RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.
Furniture designers generally work on a freelance basis as independent designer/makers. You may also find work with furniture manufacturers, interior design consultancies or large retail chains.
Your work activities may include:
- liaising with clients and managing design projects
- drawing designs by hand or using computer aided design (CAD) software
- building full-size samples
- exploring and experimenting with different materials and unusual furniture-making methods
- researching new trends and classic styles to inspire and influence your designs
You may also contribute your expertise to other related professions, such as set design for theatre companies or displays for galleries and museums.
Upon graduation you will be able to design your career future, working for major production companies or as an independent designer in the global furniture industry in roles such as:
- production manager
- retail specialist
- account managers
Professional recognition and accreditation
You will be eligible to join the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) as a student member while studying. Graduates can apply for associate membership and full membership once you have obtained your professional experience.
Please note: eligibility for full membership is based on a points system.
You will participate in global research and develop links with international publications that publish students' final-year projects. You’ll also work and establish connections with international manufacturing partners.
Graduates of this program work all over the world in organisations including:
- Ikea, Sweden
- Polyform, Italy
- Patricia Urquiola, Italy and Spain
Students and graduates participate in global design and industry trade exhibitions including
- London Design Festival
- Melbourne Movement
Students exhibiting: Dusko Lapcevic, Tate Anson and Adam Cornish
- International Furniture Fair Tokyo
Students exhibiting: Dusko Lapcevic and Tate Anson
Many graduates have established their own successful design practices in Australia, Singapore, Europe, America, Canada and the Middle East.
RMIT’s Global Mobility supports students to undertake an exchange or short-term mobility activity with over 165 partner universities worldwide.
Program and course information
Design and create modern furniture in this hands-on studio program.
Investigate contemporary, cultural and environmental aspects to establish your own professional furniture design practice.