Course Title: Contemporary Furniture Design&Const(Frame&Pan H/C)

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: BUIL5380

Course Title: Contemporary Furniture Design&Const(Frame&Pan H/C)

School: 320T Design (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5111 - Diploma of Arts (Furniture Design)

Course Contact : Julian Pratt

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4820

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Leo Sadlek

Office: Building 71.02.03

Phone: 9925 4150

Nominal Hours: 110

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites: All First Year Courses and BUIL 5377

Course Description

In this course students develop an individual and innovative approach to:

(1) Designing for frame and panel construction; and/or
(2) Designing hand crafted cabinets.
On completion of the design stage, students make the designed item as a piece of contemporary furniture for sale or exhibition.
This course is specifically designed to cater for the needs of designer-makers in developing prototypes.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBA641 Contemporary Furniture Design&Const(Frame&Pan H/C)

Learning Outcomes

1. Design an item of contemporary furniture using frame and pane construction or using handcrafted assembly principles.
2. Conduct design development, of an item of contemporary furniture from the concept stage as selected above, to the beginning of construction stage
3. Construction of the piece using frame and panel construction or hand made furniture construction techniques
4. Upon completion of construction of the item of contemporary furniture, evaluate the process

Details of Learning Activities

  • Research a culture which you have a special interest in with the intention of applying what you learn to the context, design, materials choice or other influence to the design of an item of storage.
  • Examine a series of examples of historical and contemporary furniture that have used a cultural influence as a point of inspiration.
  • Examine the elements of desing and consider how they might be used in the process of designing an item of furniture.
  • Sketch ideas to help resolve an idea to satisfy the design brief.
  • Examine strategies to present ideas professionally on 2-D presentation board.
  • Produce a series of presentation drawings that illustrate your design proposals.
  • Review standard drawing practice for scale orthoganal drawings.
  • Plan production of storage item complete with materials list, production schedule, source materials and full-size drawings.
  • Fabricate to exhibition standard the item of storage. 

Teaching Schedule


  1. 12/02/2009:  Intro to Year: Calendar 2009, FD2 Folio, Zen of Working, Exhibition: Committee and Expectations, Sign-In/Out, Intro to Storage Brief, DIA competition details. 
  2. 19/02/2009:  Drawing Review: standard practice and examples.  Presentation Drawing Overview, Eco-Design Strategies
  3. 26/02/2009:  Design Elements & Design exercise. Storage – Research results presented to class. Storage Assignment #1 due.
  4. 5/03/2009:  Design Elements & Design exercise.  Storage – Design Development: individual tutorial with sketches and 6 short list. Storage Assignment #2 due.
  5. 12/03/2009:  Design Elements & Design exercise.  Storage - Design Development: individual presentation to class of 3 design proposals. Storage Assignment #3 due
  6. 19/03/2009:  Storage - Design Development: Final prep for presentations tomorrow.                      20/03/2009:  Storage - Product Development: Presentation of final proposal to class, staff and other shareholders.  Storage Assignment #4 due
  7. 26/03/2009:  Review: standard practice and examples.  Storage - Product Development: Revisit chosen designs and report on this weeks findings with FT2.                                                                              27/03/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2 Through to June 5.  Full-size layouts
  8. 2-3/04/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  9. 8-9/04/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2                                                                                                             Easter Break 9.04.09 thru 17.04.09
  10. 23-24/04/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  11. 30/04/-1/05/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  12. 7-8/05/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  13. 14-15/05/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  14. 18-22/05/2009:  Staff Workshop week, no classes
  15. 28-29/05/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  16. 4-5/06/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2  
  17. 11-12/06/2009:  Storage Workshop with FT2
  18. 18-19/05/2009: Storage Assignment #6 (completed Storage prototype) due

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Students to finance all materials for their storage prototypes.

Overview of Assessment

• Brief: Describing market for piece
• Design folio of: Sketches and development work
• Production of item: completed furniture item
• Craftsmanship: assessed for structure, accuracy, finish, materials choices and quality control
• Self-Assessment: A written assessment of the finished piece

Assessment Tasks

Assignment 1:  Research a cultural reference point and present this in the form of a 10-minute (max) presentation to the class.                                                                                                                                                            Due Date: February 26, 2009.                                                                                                                                                        10% of final Storage assessment

Assignment 2:  Sketching. Present in your A3 sketchbook at least 40 sketches of ideas for your storage project. These sketches should be relaxed drawings covering both a range of ideas as well as refinements on a theme. You should be generating about 6 basic ideas and explore them with several views, details or variations. Include notes on aspects that may be easier to notate than sketch. From these 40 sketches develop a “short-list” of 6 ideas. Your development work of 40 sketches will be reviewed separately and discussion of your favoured ideas will take place during the afternoon session.                                                                                                                           Due Date: March 5, 2009
10% of final Storage assessment

 Assignment 3:  3 Runner-up renderings. Refine and condense your short list down to 3 ideas. Present these ideas as rendered sketches in A3 format. One concept illustration per page, please. Other information on the page should include notation on special features, some indication of materials, dimensions, scale and budget. These renderings should be presented in a professional manner employing neat and creative drawing techniques as well as a confident and well informed delivery.
Due Date: March 12, 2009
10% of final Storage assessment

Assignment 4:  Final presentation. This is your big chance to have your design chosen. One A2 sheet should include: a large rendering of your final design, orthographic drawing of the important elevations including pertinent dimensions, detailed sketches/drawings of special features or critical construction aspects, list of major materials including quantity, examples of materials and materials budget and overall presentation standard.
Due Date: March 19, 2009
20% of final Storage assessment

Assignment 6:  Storage piece completed and ready for assessment. Included in the assessment will be materials suitability, structure, accuracy, attention to detail, overall finish and quality control if you have had some components outsourced. This final fabrication may be the result of a group effort and your participation in the group will be an important aspect of your assessment.
Due Date: June 19, 2009.
50% of final Storage assessment

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview