Jul 30

Furniture shortlist 2018

Twelve furniture and product projects have been shortlisted for the Wood Awards 2018. This year’s judging panel is led by design critic, curator and journalist Corinne Julius. All the shortlisted projects will be on display at the London Design Fair (Stand: 13.3, Hall: H13), Old Truman Brewery, 20th-23rd September. Winners will be revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on 20th November, by ceremony host David Hopkins, Director of the Timber Trade Federation. 

Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The Awards are free to enter and aim to encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood. 

The Awards are split into two main categories: Furniture & Product and Buildings. Within the Furniture & Product competition there are three subcategories: Bespoke, Production and Student Designer.  



DesignerJohn Makepeace
MakerClive Baines
Client/Owner: Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Wood Species: English oak  

John Makepeace has produced a series of unique, handcrafted chairs especially for the Sarah Myerscough Gallery. Each piece has been reduced to five major components, three legs, a seat and back. The chairs are made from a single tree of ‘hedgerow’ oak, straight-grained for the legs, areas of burr for the plied seats, and solid for the back. The angle and profile of the seat draws the coccyx to the back so that the back leg provides vital lumbar support, the curve of the back-rest centres the body. 

 2. CLEFT 

Designer: Peter Marigold/Hinoki Kougei
Maker: Hinoki Kougei
Client/Owner: Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Wood Species: Smoked oak, oak, cherry, jindai sugi, ash, kenponashi, conker, kihada, sen (all Japanese)  

Peter Marigold, working closely with Tadanori Tozawa of woodworking manufacturer Hinoki Kogei, has produced a series of cabinets made from different Japanese tree species. The wood chosen for each cabinet is selected carefully according to how it will split and work in relation to the overall cabinet dimensions. The pieces are inspired by the notion of splitting one thing into two and creating bi-symmetrical objects. 

3. GYC#1 

Designer: David Gates
Client/Owner: Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Vitreous enamel on steel panels: Helen Carnac
Wood Supplier: WL West
Wood Species: British elm, ash and cedar of Lebanon, American birds eye maple  

GYC#1 is a collectors’ cabinet inspired by David Gates’ interest in industrial and agricultural architecture and infrastructure. GYC#1 is the first piece in the series to be finished completely in black and is closely related to the landscape of the Thames estuary. The final aesthetic of the piece is achieved with various

amounts of scorching and pigment. Using a variety of techniques, the wood’s surface is a mixture of smooth and rough textures, creating a range of subtly varying textures unified by the darkened surface. Despite seemingly chaotic, the piece is made using precise traditional techniques.  


Designer: Sebastian Cox Ltd
Client/Owner: Sebastian Cox Ltd and Ninela Ivanova
Wood Species: English goat willow, chestnut  

Green wood, grown with no commercial purpose, has been combined with mycelium to create a new and entirely biodegradable composite material. This material has been used to grow furniture and accessories in Sebastian Cox’s laboratory of biofacture. Mycelium grows and binds the green wood waste together around a purpose-made frame to form lightweight, strong and completely compostable pieces of design. 



Designer: Barber & Osgerby
Manufacturer: Isokon Plus
Wood Supplier: Timber Link International
Wood Species: European oak (Germany)  

The Ballot Chair is a handcrafted, solid oak design. The most significant challenge was to produce a chair that efficiently stacks whilst retaining an elegant form. The sections of oak that make up the chair are thin but extremely strong, enabling the back to be narrower at the top. The chair is a simple, tactile and versatile design that is a seamless edition to the collection.  


Designer: Emile Jones Ltd
Manufacturer: Qualita Ltd
Client: Another Brand
Wood Supplier: UAB Medienos Era
Wood Species: European oak  

The Lastra Collection is distinguished by bold characteristics and strong architectural forms, inspired by shapes found in contemporary architecture.  The products include Tall Shelving, Console Table, Round Table and Rectangular Table that all embody a solidity and boldness found in classic, well-loved furniture.  Lastra is finished with a clear lacquer on oak and a unique linoleum top available in a variety of colours.  Each piece is a statement with generous legs and top, combined with simple yet sculptural details. 


Designer: Foster + Partners
Manufacturer: Benchmark
Wood Supplier: PB Hardwoods
Wood Species: Oak or American black walnut  

The range celebrates the age-old tradition of craftsmanship in everyday objects. Durability and careful detailing have been combined with strong materiality to create a range that is tactile and generous. Fitting for both commercial and domestic spaces, the collection includes two variants of dining table, accompanying benches, sideboard, shelving unit, high table, stool and occasional tables. The collection relies on the tactility of wood. The boldness and simplicity of the forms demand perfection in execution of the craft. 


Designer/Manufacturer: Frank
Wood Supplier: English Woodland Timbers
Veneers: UV Group
Wood Species: European oak (Croatia) 

The Passage Table is designed to act as a backdrop to life’s activities without losing its own identity.  Timber was chosen for its tactile qualities, its warmth, comfort and timelessness. European oak was used for its quality, dependability and ability to age gracefully due to its robust nature. The table’s bold, pared down aesthetic suits any style of dining chair.  


Within the Student Designer category there are two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will take place at the London Design Fair.  


Alexander Worsfold
College: Building Crafts College
Wood Supplier: E Roberts Timber
Wood Species: English ash  

The Arne chair is inspired by Norwegian environmental philosopher Arne Naess. The light and useful study chair has a friendly form and an inviting, domestic aesthetic. The turned ash frame is both strong and flexible, allowing the chair to move gently, while the large woven seat creates a comfortable base.  The accompanying foot stool provides storage for books or a blanket.  


Designer: Tom Morgan
College: Rycotewood Furniture Centre
Wood Supplier: American Hardwood Export Council
Wood Species: American red oak  

Tom Morgan has created a colourful shoe cabinet influenced by his cordwainer background. Initially inspired by the work of Richard Deacon, Tom began by breaking down red oak veneer into smaller strips. The thin strips, dyed various colours and pressed into calico fabric, have been woven together to create a screen that wraps around a solid wood frame with five slatted shelves within.  


Designer: Ellen Rose Svenningsen
College: Building Crafts College
Wood Supplier: Slecuk
Wood Species: British birch ply  

The Objekt Bord is an assembly of two components – an upright curve and a circle. The piece questions the distinction between an object and a piece of furniture and reflects a constant demand for finding balance. Svenningsen’s project was driven by a curiosity to learn and understand the process of laminating and bending plywood, the birch ply offers strong structural integrities yet is flexible enough to smoothly bend. 


Designer: Ben Smith
College: Building Crafts College
Wood Supplier: Tyler Hardwoods
Wood Species: British olive ash  

The Super Desk, inspired by Gio Ponti’s SuperLeggera chair, is designed to create a sense of space and openness in small domestic settings. Employing visual simplicity and impressive craftsmanship, the chair’s stability comes from the rake and splay of the legs and tensile strength of the solid timber rails.  Smith chose solid British olive ash for its strength and flexibility.    


The furniture and product panel is led by design critic, curator and journalist Corinne Julius. The panel includes Oliver Stratford, editor of Disegno magazine; Russell Pinch of Pinch Design; Eleanor Lakelin, maker and winner of the 2017 Bespoke category; Katie Walker of Katie Walker Furniture; and Rod Wales of Wales & Wales. 


As a not-for-profit competition, the Wood Awards can only happen with industry sponsorship. Mears Group sponsors the Mears Group Gold Award which is the project that the judges deem to be the best of all the winners. Major Sponsors are American Hardwood Export Council, Carpenters’ Company and TRADA. Other Sponsors include American Softwoods, Arnold Laver, Forestry Commission, Timber Trade Federation, Wood for Good, Furniture Makers’ Company and the London Design Fair.