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Furniture designers produce designs for items of furniture and related products. These designs may then be mass produced or made in small batches or as one-off individual pieces. Designers may be involved in the design aspect of the work alone or they may be designer/makers, producing items from their own designs.
Designers work alone or alongside colleagues creating concepts and designs that balance innovative design, functional requirements and aesthetic appeal.
The process of furniture design demands creativity, business awareness and skills in marketing, finance, sales and manufacturing. The role may involve a number of functions, particularly for the self-employed, including designer, production manager, buyer, salesperson, accountant, and maintenance engineer.
Work activities vary according to whether you are a self-employed furniture designer working alone, working with one or two other like-minded craftspeople, or whether you are employed by a manufacturing company with a group of experienced furniture designers. Tasks are likely to include the following:
In addition, self-employed designers need to allocate a portion of their time to marketing and business administration. They must engage in self-promotion by advertising their services or attending furnishing fairs and exhibitions.
Many designers have a natural interest in associated fields of design and may spend some time on collaborative projects working, for example, with theatre set designers or retail interior designers on certain projects.
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