ARCT5593 Furniture: from prototype to production

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit asks students to engage with the idea that the objects they design have a ‘life-cycle' and are therefore always implicated in networks. As they develop and prototype a complex piece of furniture, designed to be suitable for commercial production, students are asked to engage critically and pragmatically with concepts of sustainable design and life-cycle-analysis. As well as traditional workshop production skills, participants are given instruction in rapid-prototyping, CAD/CAM machining, and other computer-mediated production processes. The unit is built on a basis of ‘research through making' as it investigates the way furniture design draws materials, technologies, designers, the media, consumers, regulatory agencies, and users into complex networks of production, distribution, and consumption.
Students are able to (1) critically analyse the relationships (social, environmental, and economic) between the inputs and outputs of furniture design practices; (2) demonstrate an understanding of life-cycle analysis and apply it to contemporary furniture and product design; (3) acquire skills in the production and manufacture of complex prototypes; (4) develop and apply skills in the use of rapid-prototyping, CAD/CAM machining, and other computer-mediated production processes; and (5) represent design research and practice in innovative ways.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research poster and drawing set and (2) physical prototype(s), digital prototype, and full documentation drawing set. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Peter Kitely
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.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Materials Supplied specific to unit (estimated cost - $50 -$200).
Contact hours
lectures: 12 hours; seminars/workshops: 24 hours
  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.