Term: Summer 2023
Section: 1
Class Number: 73892
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes

/ ARCH 509

Furniture is Architecture

This course considers furniture as a moment within the scale of architecture and crucial in the education of an architect.  Wright, Eames, Saarinen, Knoll, Corbusier, van der Rohe, Aalto, Breuer, Gray, Mollino, Ponti, Magistretti, Aulenti, Albini, Panton, Jacobsen, Juhl, Wegner, Uriquiola, Stark, the list of famous architects, icons of the furniture world is countless. While many of them were not furniture “makers”, they all experienced fabrication directly during their education. This enabled them to have a much closer understanding of the furniture they designed. It also enabled them to gain material fluency when working with the craftspeople and manufacturers that produced their furniture.

In this summer course, students will have the time and space to fabricate three furniture pieces of increasing complexity. Students will be encouraged to “make” as a way of designing rather than designing to “make”.  This class will take place in the Taubman/Stamps woodshop. It will not have access to the digital fabrication facilities. This course will be wood-based covering fundamentals of furniture-making, such as hand tools, milling, joinery, turning, possibly steam bending, lamination, and finishing. While the course is architecture-centric it is open to all U-M students of varying experience levels. The pedagogy is designed to meet students where their design and fabrication skills are and build off of that.


Tue, Thu 10:00am-1:00pm  Woodshop (1251 A&AB)


Steven Mankouche