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Furniture Design for Beginners

Furniture Design for Beginners

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Rock Galpin


An intense and fast paced course combining conceptual and practical skills in furniture design and model making.  Packed with specialist knowledge, it will tap into your creativity, encouraging you to experiment with ideas for your designs. It will also give you a useful insight into some practical aspects of design such as batch production, technical restraint and ergonomics.

You will get a comprehensive overview of key areas of current professional furniture design practice. Plus, as well as working in a studio, you will be able to make extensive use of Central Saint Martins' workshops with the support of specialist skilled technicians.

Topics covered include:

  • researching and understanding the client's needs
  • originating new ideas and developing concepts in 2D and 3D
  • model making, drawing and sketching
  • experimenting with wood, wire, metal and plastics
  • testing your ideas in scale and 1:1
  • presenting your final design in a 3D presentation model

This course offers you the perfect balance between conceptual design processes and the practical tools to transform your ideas into three dimensional reality.

Who should take this course?

  • Beginners with an interest in furniture design.
  • Graduate and practicing designers wishing to explore this specific area in more depth.
  • Some previous students have used this course as a starting point for further studies in product and furniture design.

Level: Although it is better suited to beginners, all levels of previous experience are welcome.

Entry requirements: A good understanding of spoken English. 

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Online short courses

Did you know we offer a similar course online? UAL online short courses are designed to help creative people master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access the UAL learning experience without having to travel to a campus for class.

Furniture Design For Beginners (Online Short Course)

More online courses

Tutor Description

Trained with 7 years design education, finishing at Central Saint Martins with an MA Industrial Design, Rock Galpin has set up a number of design companies including his current practice, Rock Galpin Studio, specialising in product and furniture design, founded in 2005, originating from Studio Orange, which he founded in 1995.

Rock has won a number of awards for his designs including The Laurent Perrier Design Award in 2005 and has been featured throughout the world in the press and TV alike.

Rock's clients include; Aram, Authentics, Boss Design, Frem, Diageo, Bartle Bogle & Hergarty, Covo, Candy & Candy, Connection Seating, Designers Guild, Heals, Purves & Purves, Weber Shandwick, Hill & Knowlton and Channel 4, The British Council, Conran Shop, Geoffrey Drayton, Bacardi Global Brands, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi. In addition, Rock's own brand collection of design/supply furniture supplies to several architects and interior designers such as BDP, Swanke Hayden Connell, Featherstone Young and Waugh Thistleton.

Combined with his studio practice, Rock Galpin has also taught on the BA Product Design course for over 20 years and is a mentor on MA Industrial Design and is one of the original short course tutors now running seven short courses/online courses in furniture and product design at Central Saint Martins.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • range of pencils (minimum 2H,HB,2B,6/8B)
  • sketchbook (A4 or A5 size)
  • laptop (if you have one)
  • camera (could be a camera phone)

Material provided by us: The course fees include everything else that you will need for studio and workshop practice, apart from any specialist materials and fabrics that you may wish to buy.

Learning resources

You may want to look at current exhibitions at the Design Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, V&A , Science Museum, The Natural History Museum, and Somerset House.

International exhibitions include Salone del Mobile Milan, IMM Cologne, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair and Toyko Design Week.

Available dates