Course Title: Design Studies 3 (Furniture Design)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design Studies 3 (Furniture Design)

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.  

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.  

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:  

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:  


Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320T Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019


City Campus


375T Vocational Design and Social Context


Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021


City Campus


515T Creative Industries


Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Julian Pratt

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4820

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 71.02.01

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

GRAP 2382 and GRAP 2376

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you acceptresponsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisites before enrolling in a course.
For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at:;ID=twx09y07zi1c

Course Description

Design Studies 3 (Furniture Design) opens up the political, social and philosophical underpinnings of the Furniture Design discipline in a sustainable and global context.

Sustainability is a relatively new discourse that is of critical importance to furniture design.

Sustainability is concerned with the ways in which we re-vision our futures. It is about addressing injustices (environmental, economic and cultural).

  • It is about making possible new ways of living working in the face of rapid environmental and technological change.
  • It is about understanding the ways in which we consume resources, and the impacts of such consumption.
  • It is about the localities in which we live and the effect of how we choose to live.
  • It is about how we give representation to our ideas of the future (and the past).

Tutorial projects in this area will introduce you to specific problems of design in the face of sustainability and the opportunities for design inquiry made possible by the many problems now visible as a consequence of the sustainability movement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

• Explore materials and modern manufacturing methods to develop concepts to proposal or prototype for both local and international corporate or individual clients
• Design and realise innovative and novel furniture products as part of collaborative team and as an independent designer.
• Apply and creatively adapt theoretical and technical knowledge and skills to your practice of furniture design.
• Identify and combine principles and concepts in art and design, the craft of making, the technology of creation and manufacture together with ergonomic factors to develop furniture solutions to complex and varied problems.
• Evaluate your own work, ideas and concepts, including self, peer and industry critique.
• Articulate and transmit design ideas and details through a variety of methods and technologies to be able to present design outcomes for others to understand and engage with.
• Present and communicate furniture prototypes for sustainable futures which consider the professional and ethical practice of furniture design in a global societal cultural context.
• Apply initiative and judgement in exploration in, planning of, problem solving and decision making in your work.


Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Critically investigate and analyse theories and assumptions about sustainability in the furniture industry.
• Construct sustainable, responsible and/or ethical arguments relating to materials, processes and productions of furniture items.
• Present their findings and proposals in written, digital, verbal and visual forms.
• Critically evaluate own findings and those of peers.
• Develop new propositions for contemporary, sustainable furniture.
• Use judgement in the production of components and construction of prototypes in ways that creatively challenge and champion sustainable design.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities both face to face and online such as lecture, workshop sessions, tutorials, group and class discussion, group activities and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
You will be expected to have your own personal protective equipment.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for Furniture Design students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian Tristan Badham (

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment may include reports, projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures: