Wood Design is an introduction to woodworking techniques and a furniture design studio. It is a hands-on, material-driven design class. For the final project, each student builds a custom piece of furniture. The first six weeks, students sharpen chisels and mill lumber from rough to flat. We practice solid wood joinery using hand tools and power tools. Our discussions are grounded in wood’s cellular structure. We analyze joints for strength. We study several species of wood and their characteristics. We look at examples of furniture design history. We define craft, according to David Pye’s logic, as the use of judgment, dexterity, and care in the practice of making.
The final project is one piece of furniture of the student’s choice of program. It must be mostly solid wood, no digital fabrication, and no larger than 20 cubic feet. Final project design assignments include sketches, scaled drawings, models at 3”=1’-0”, and full-scale mock-ups. The class holds two design reviews before construction begins, allowing seven weeks for completion. The class participates in school-wide final reviews with other design studios.