It’s often said that you can’t run before you learn to walk, and that’s absolutely true for fine furniture design.

The first basic skill that our students need to acquire is the delicate art of being able to accurately visualise their ideas and express them in 3D drawings.

As in previous years, we’re therefore delighted to welcome the hugely talented Isa Dorster from France as our first international tutor.

Even in the modern age of CAD, having a good working knowledge of perspective and the drafting skills to translate design inspiration onto paper is an invaluable skill.

Isa, who has taught at the lycée des métiers d’art georges guynemer near Montpellier for 19 years, also teaches students aspects of the history of design – because good design is always a process of evolution.

“The first thing I teach is a core skill – how to create geometric perspectives using two vanishing points.  That allows students to create real pictures of the furniture they want to make to which, if they then want, they can apply CAD techniques,” says Isa.

“I also teach the history of furniture design from the start of the 20th century, to give them a rounded appreciation of how design changes over the years and how, sometimes, it is shaped by conflict and war.

“It gives the students an appreciation of the ways in which furniture design, and the materials used, is an evolutionary process.

“Together with teaching them the fundamentals of 3D visualisation, it gives students a basic understanding of how they should approach their own designs, and the tools they need to express those designs onto paper,” she says.