Nine imaginative and original tables and seating designs, created by nine leading international designers and beautifully made in one of Europe’s top craft workshops, are now on show in an installation called Connected, which launched this month at the Design Museum in London.
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Benchmark Furniture and the Design Museum challenged these designers to create a table and seating for their personal use, to suit their new ways of living and working from home.
The designers had a choice of three sustainable American hardwoods to work with – red oak, maple or cherry. They were also invited to record their creative journeys to demonstrate how they approached the brief and developed their designs at a time of limited physical contact.
The installation showcases the results of a unique experiment that sets out to push the boundaries of what is possible with these timbers and to explore how designers and craftspeople adapted their working practices during lockdown.
The project demanded that both the designers and craftspeople at Benchmark work innovatively, by relying solely on digital communication and video conferencing, to bring the designers’ visions to life.
This approach required a new level of trust in the makers, since the designers had no physical contact with their pieces whilst they were being made at Benchmark’s Berkshire workshop during the summer.
Connected will be at the Design Museum from 11th September to 11th October as part of London Design Festival 2020.