UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ARCT5589 Architecture of Furniture

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content This unit establishes a context wherein the design and making of furniture is directly linked to the making of architectural space. Three principal modes of work are pursued: (1) a number of prominent furniture designers, specific pieces of furniture, and schools/styles/movements in furniture are researched and discussed, part of this research being based locally (in Western Australia) and part internationally, with emphasis on the twentieth century and contemporary practitioners; (2) the establishment of programmatic parameters and specifics necessary for the design of a piece or pieces of furniture; and (3) the design and documentation (including shop drawings) as well as fabrication of prototypes. Each student participates in the three principal modes of work. Students construct 1:5 scale precision models of extant pieces and of their own designed items. Substantial consideration is given to the context of furniture design, to consideration of issues of functionality and fashion, and relationship of the architectural program to the furniture program for given spaces under study. The unit is linked to the Furniture Enterprise Workshop project, a collaborative endeavour with the timber and the furnishing industries in Western Australia. Issues of sustainable design and the application of sustainable practices to the large-scale production of furniture in Western Australia are key themes in the unit. The unit is primarily structured around weekly group meetings in seminars and discussions, site visits and workshop sessions.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) acquire experience in the design of pieces of furniture for pre-existing architectural spaces, to a particular brief negotiated between the unit staff and the student; (2) apply the principles of design documentation to the item they have designed, and in the process, acquire the skills, knowledge and insight necessary for the documentation of furniture, cabinet work and potentially fine architectural joinery; (3) gain an applied knowledge of the ergonomics of furniture making and acquire a knowledge of the qualities and behaviour of a wide range of materials, adhesives and fastenings; and (4) enhance their basic workshop skills in the prototyping process and experience the value of constructing a working full-size prototype piece of furniture.
Assessment This varies with options according to the projects set. Normally there are four submissions: drawings and workshop documentation (25 per cent); prototype and design (40 per cent); a didactic diary record of design process (15 per cent); and maquette/models (20 per cent).

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Kate Hislop
Unit rules
Approved quota: 44—students in their final 24 points will be given priority enrolment, and then selection will be based on academic merit.
Contact hours lectures: 24 hours; seminars/workshops: 12 hours
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.alva.uwa.edu.au/Units/ARCT5589/SEM-2/2017
Note Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.