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Art of the matter

education Updated: Apr 23, 2013 16:33 IST
National Institute of Design


The lowdown

Furniture designers create objects to furnish homes and businesses. Both utilitarian and creative, their creations range from a simple stool to a complex objet d’art. They seek employment either as independent designers or as commercial designers, working within or for a company or manufacturing firm. An independent furniture designer can work simultaneously across networks — with architects, interior designers, entrepreneurs, industries, design studios, retail, etc. Working within a larger corporate community, these designers create designs based on company specifications or necessities for mass production and very seldom will do something for their own creative satisfaction. This career has phenomenal scope as it is still a very nascent industry in India. At the same time, it is constantly evolving and one has to continue learning

10am: Start work which involves sketching and work on prototypes and installations. Continue working till 3pm, client meetings, or vendor meetings in the office take place within this period
4pm: Visit different workshops or manufacturing locations
8pm: Return home

The payoff
Trainee apprentice: Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12,000 a month
Junior designer: Rs. 20,000 a month
Designer in a firm: Rs. 25,000 a month
Design director: Rs. 75,000 a month
Independent designer: Rs. 80,000 a month (but can vary tremendously, plus, neither income, or expenses are fixed)

* An eye for detail and a mind for ideas
* Knowledge of industrial production systems and/or of craft systems, including thorough knowledge of materials and finishes
* An understanding of architectural/interior spaces

Getting there
One needs to complete one’s graduation in architecture and then go on to specialise in furniture design from a reputed institute

Institutes and URLs
* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
* Industrial Design Centre at IIT Bombay
* Rhode Island School of Design

Pros and cons
* Flexible scale of production
* Quick turnaround of projects
* Allows for individual expression
* Recognition is not so easy to come by
* Not many people to pay for this service
* India’s furniture industry is in the process of maturing. It will be a while before it draws upon indigenous design. Retail entrepreneurs prefer importing furniture, rather than nurturing indigenous systems of design and production

Furniture designers get an enormous canvas to work with, the limits of which are determined by how much they allow themselves to explore --- Ayush Kasliwal who runs his outfit called Ayush Kasliwal Design Pvt Ltd, Jaipur