Design Guild Mark #150
Design Guild Mark #150
The Furniture Makers Company is a livery established as a guild in 1952 to provide support and direction to manufacturers and craftsmen. Introduced in 2008, the Design Guild Mark recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture for volume production by the finest designers working in Britain. The prestigious Design Guild Mark is awarded to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation. The judges are renowned experts in their respective fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the evaluation process. Uniquely the designers present their furniture in person on judging day, and the judges are able to examine each product closely. Every product is judged on 4 main areas - design, the use of materials, manufacture and function. The 2016 award formed part of the final day of Clerkenwell Design week with the ceremony being hosted in the Goldsmiths' Centre in Farringdon.
Conran Ashworth Desk
Whilst working for M&S one of my designs - the Conran Ashworth Desk - was deemed to have met the exacting criteria necessary for a Design Guild Mark. Marks & Spencer and Conran have a long history of developing products in partnership, and for Spring Summer 2016 the design focus was shifted in-house at M&S - allowing myself and the furniture team to design and develop products under the illustrious Conran brand. The Ashworth Desk was an attempt to showcase the best of the Conran brand whilst still ensuring the product could appeal to the M&S customer. The furniture team I was a part of at M&S are responsible for every element of the products development - from initial strategy, pricing and design, right through to packaging, production and logistics. Together with the buyers, merchandisers and technicians we travelled to the factory to approve the pre-production samples and to engineer the best product possible. This particular product is manufactured in an eco-factory in Turkey that specialises in premium furniture. Once the final sample has been signed off by the Directors at M&S the piece is put into production.
In April 2016 I had the privilege of presenting the Ashworth Desk to some true heavyweights of the industry, representing companies such as John Lewis, TwentyTwentyOne, Marks & Spencer, The Evening Standard and Conran. Gathered together in one space the quality of the products on show was clearly visible, with entrants from companies such as Ercol, Benchmark, Case Furniture, Knoll and Made.com, alongside individuals such as Matthew Hilton, Theo Williams, Bethan Gray, David Irwin and Ben Fowler.