9 Tips for Better Design
How to find new ideas and do justice to them
Synopsis: Furniture designer Michael Fortune finds inspiration in unexpected places: a leaf, a tree limb, the shape of a classic vase — even tire tracks in the snow. Sharing his broader approach to furniture design, Fortune tells aspiring designers how to look for and find inspiration, and how to incorporate that inspiration into your work.
Several times a year I have the opportunity to teach a two-week class in furniture design and construction. I enjoy the challenge of working with people who think they are incapable of designing their own furniture. Most of my students are mystified about where design ideas come from and how they are developed.
Most articles about furniture design begin with the classical orders—golden mean, Fibonacci series, etc.—and end with well-known period pieces. My broader approach to design was distilled from my training at a commercial furniture-design school in the early 1970s, and refined over my 30-year…