Furniture design company - is architecture a good start?


Architecture has been my goal since forever and I'm working successfully on relevant subjects and extracurricular activities hoping to get a place at a good university in the UK.

I have realised though that designing furniture could be just as rewarding to me - if not more. Especially having seen countless opinions on how little design there actually is. Plus it's easier to automate furniture than buildings and would like financial abundance. I draw furniture for pleasure for hours. Especially chairs.

Now, trying to create a company designing furniture probably would involve even less artistic creativity until I become successful. But I'm happy to persevere. I see many potentially positive things to my background, such as coming from a country where I could import quality wood from for cheap. Brexit might complicate that but whatever.

My plan is to:

1. Go to a great Architecture school.

2. Work, work, work, in the meantime read loads about furniture.

3. After 5-10 years use saved money to start off the company.

4. Get the company going hopefully before I'm 30-something because I'm female and I want kids before my eggs deteriorate.

Any advice?

Jul 27, 17 8:24 pm
Non Sequitur

freeze some eggs.

Besides that, I've know a few people to start furniture companies while in arch school.  But, since it's much easier to design funky chairs than a full building, plenty of folks are out there trying.  You'll need more than perseverance to make it. Arch school can certainly give you an edge if you tailor your studios.

Jul 27, 17 8:56 pm  · 

Disagree. A good chair is very hard to design


You could get a degree in furniture design?  Might be a Time saver.... Also I'm not sure you really need a degree of any kind to design furniture.  Might as well get a degree in accounting and do that for 10 years

Jul 27, 17 9:49 pm  · 

by the way,
Don't forget your focus when you Graduate.

Jul 27, 17 10:00 pm  · 

Agree with shellarchitect.  Getting an architecture degree if you goal is to make furniture seems extremely inefficient, in terms of time, effort and money.  Take a more direct route.

Jul 28, 17 12:12 pm  · 

why not an industrial design degree?  

Jul 28, 17 12:58 pm  · 

My main advice though is to keep that drive you seem to have!  School is not really mandatory, but will certainly make you a better designer.  I would also start learning the ins and outs of the business.  Design is the easy part.  

Jul 28, 17 1:03 pm  · 

1. Why not study industrial design instead? If this is your plan, you'll be better prepared by studying industrial design I guess.

2. You don't learn that much about furniture by reading but by sitting ;-)

3. You'll probably save more money working 5-10 years as an industrial designer than as an architect.

4. You also don't learn how to run a company at architecture school, I think it's more common for industrial designers to run their own shop, at least here in the Netherlands it is. The Design Academy in Eindhoven for example prepares their students quite well for life after school and many designers use their graduation projects to launch their company, how many architecture students can do that?

Also, try to take some woodworking classes, wherever you study, if you can, to get to know your material intimately and experiment with techniques, not only the obvious architectural 3D printing/milling or laser cutting but also some oldschool steam bending or laminating wood.

Jul 28, 17 1:44 pm  · 

two words, industrial design.

Jul 28, 17 1:47 pm  · 

Lot of schools in the U/K offering ID degrees. You would be in a better position to weed them out. You might consider Scandinavian schools as well as Italian ones to give you a fresh perspective. The Dutch school sounds good also.

Jul 28, 17 8:52 pm  · 

I completed an industrial design degree before architecture school. Neither will prepare you for running your own company, but I can confidently say that going to architecture school would be a huge waste of time.

And no, you won't make any money. There's like 20 furniture companies on earth that actually turn a reasonable profit. There's more money in architecture if that's your thing (don't discount it, it is important)

Jul 29, 17 1:53 am  · 

I would like to offer any fellow designer (doesn't matter you are going to be an architect or an industrial designer) to study this book:

How designers think by Bryan Lawson

This will provide an huge proved vision of the act of design itself, proving any act of design requires huge pool of precedents.

So just studying in this field is not enough, you have to enrich your pool of precedent! 

The rest is your business plan and selling the product which should be planned carefully but thanks to websites such as, everything is made easy!

Jul 29, 17 5:32 pm  · 

Thank you everyone for your advice! I've read every comment very carefully and more than once. There's a lot to be taken away for me.

The reason I don't want to study Industrial Design at uni is that can hardly find a very reputable institution offering it whereas I'm fairly confident I can get into a top Architecture school in the UK. 2. Also, I'm still passionate about Architecture. 3. I'm obviously interested in Furniture but have no interest in designing electrical devices which ID most likely involves. 4. If anything goes wrong with my company idea, I'm still in a profession I like and which suits my strengths.

More than happy to hear any thoughts on this.

Jul 29, 17 8:07 pm  · 

I'd still say that's probably a dumb idea but you seem set in your decision. Good luck.


If your mind is set, what's the point of starting a thread asking for advice ;-) check out 'Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show' or 'Dutch Design Week' very little electrical appliances there...


...not much furniture there either


It sounds like a good plan but I have a simple solution if you really want to become a furniture designer.

Furniture designing has been part of humans for centuries back.

It is a lucrative business, as furniture makers were creating furniture of different sizes and shapes for nobility, aristocracy, and kings in the olden society. 

Here you can read how to become a furniture designer, and how much does it pay. Also, you can find a step by step guide on how to become a furniture designer, which licenses and certifications do you need and which personal skills are needed.

With the right tools and the right training, you will be happy doing the work. Moreover, the pay is high and it is satisfying.

Furniture designing is not a dead end profession. It is an old profession and the demand for professionals is always on the increase.

The job is enterprising and highly creative. I'm sure you will be happy with this choice.

Aug 14, 18 2:04 pm  · 

Man, in case you are sure that is the thing you want to do, then go on and chase it. You must consider not only the financial part, you must take into consideration everything related to it. In case you really like it or not, how much time would you have to spend for it. I really appreciate a good interior designer. These people actually are the ones responsible for how our homes look. I got a friend, that also dreamt about being an interior designer, so he now works at Kairos Collective and i can tell you, that he is a really great specialist in this domain. He decorated my house and my parents new house, we are really pleased by their services.

Sep 29, 20 11:15 am  · 

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