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Furniture Design for Beginners (Online Short Course)

Furniture Design For Beginners (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Rock Galpin


On this intensive online course you will learn the skills of the modern furniture designer. You will learn how to understand your consumer, produce scale drawings and test your designs by creating 2D and 3D models. This course will help you practice the leap between ideas and 3D reality.

During the course, you will develop your practical skills and work on an exciting and realistic furniture design project. You will improve your knowledge of product design through lively discussion in weekly online classes and personal feedback from your tutor.

Each week you will be set practical homework to develop your very own idea, resulting in a finished scale prototype model of your design, which you could add to a portfolio, or continue to develop.


  • History of modern furniture design
  • Learning the furniture design process
  • Understanding a design brief
  • Understanding different markets and consumers
  • Storyboarding and research techniques
  • Generating ideas
  • Developing concepts
  • Sketching ideas
  • Learning about manufacturing
  • Learning material qualities and limitations
  • Creating scale drawings
  • Introduction to ergonomics
  • Introduction to orthographic drawing
  • Technical production drawing
  • Creating a general arrangement drawing
  • Creating a 3D sketch model

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will;

  • Be able to interpret a design brief
  • Be able to analyse markets and consumers
  • Understand materials and techniques
  • Create a technical production drawing
  • Be able to communicate your designs in 2D and 3D
  • Produce a finished scale model of your design

Who is Furniture Design for Beginners (Online Short Course) for?

This course is for new designers, students looking to improve their portfolio, or professionals wanting to revisit the basics. The next step could be a successful degree application or the start of your career as an independent furniture designer. Level: Beginner.

Why choose a CSM Online Short Course

Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include;

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here

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.


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

Please bring to your first session:

  • Black ink pen
  • A4 Sketchbook
  • Scissors, scape knife, cutting mat, and metal safety ruler
  • Glue stick and PVA glue
  • A3 tracing paper and A3 white cartridge paper
  • A camera (any sort, a camera phone is fine)
  • Modelling board, A4 size x 2 sheets
  • Cartridge paper, A4 size x 4 sheets

To complete your projects further materials are usually required, which will depend on your ideas for your projects.

Available dates