Step by Step Conceptual Furniture Design!
In the world of conceptual furniture design, some pieces have their origin tied to an elegant abstraction of some cultural aspect of the social backdrop in which they exist. Others pieces can be created with a specific function in mind, such as chairs, tables, and lamps. My works aim to be both. Here’s a quick overview of my creative process:
In everything that I design, I bring my African roots, focusing on bridging the gap between technology and tradition. My work subtly tells a story of my heritage and culture, in a modern and contemporary way that appeals to many and does so in very individual ways. This is how I see the furniture design process.
I drew much inspiration from several aspects of my culture. A strong, long-suffering, hard-working people that has adapted to the circumstances that were presented to them by those in power. A people that, in its majority, was not awarded opportunities or an education, a people subjugated to the daydreams of those who feel superior. This is the Angolan people. This is the background from which much of my furniture design sketches materialized. I normally use pen and paper and try to keep it as simple as possible. The idea here is to let your creativity flow in an unrestrained mindset.
Once you decide what you will create, you have to decide what its purpose will be. Will it be functional in activities of daily living? Will its sole function be to inspire gallery goers or museum visitors artistically? Will it be both? You are the creator! You decide, which is what makes this step in furniture design so much fun!
I make this the following step because it is so intrinsically dependent on the purpose the piece will serve. Certain textures favor certain spaces over others. More resilient finishes tend to be used more frequently in the commercial and hospitality industries, whereas residential spaces don’t demand such resiliency. One must take these into account when designing furniture.
We start with the original sketches and digitize them in to CAD drawings, taking into account the human scale and proportions in order to visualize in a real world situation. We further refine this by turn it into a virtual physical object through 3D modeling, using the latest software in the business. Since texture was already decided earlier in the process, now we can digitally apply those textures to the 3D model in order to generate a photorealistic 3D rendering of the piece. This helps us better refine the choices of materials used and see how the final product may look. This can change our decision in terms or materials to use, so it’s a very important part of the entire furniture design process.
With the help of 3D modeling, we can plot out the steps in creating the first physical representation of the piece designed. Here we can implement technologies such as 3D printing from the 3D models generated earlier in the furniture design process, which can represent a significant economy in this undertaking. The final build will then be tested and retested and whatever final changes may be needed will then be realized.
Once the final prototype is approved, your piece can be sent to mass production.