What is British design?
When it comes to British design it’s not just about the aesthetics, it’s also about the heritage, the story behind it. British designers pride themselves on the rich history and the roots in their designs, whether it’s a family business with numerous generations who combine traditional skills with innovation and style, or an individual who pushes the boundaries to create their own look and identity. The results of this approach are eclectic, and difficult to define under a single aesthetic. Still, they undoubtedly share an underlying commitment to high quality materials and manufacturing, delivering carefully-crafted, quality products that withstand time.
One of Britain's most highly respected industrial furniture designers
Hilton believes in creating furniture that people live with. After graduating with a degree in Furniture Design from Kingston Polytechnic in 1979, he worked as an industrial designer and model maker until 1984 when he set up his own studio and workshop. In 1991 he designed the Balzac Armchair, which was first received with circumspect curiosity but then quickly embraced as a modern classic.
Designing with the end user in mind, and whether that means a household of ten or one, he takes pleasure in finding the fluid, easily adaptable solution to fit today's domestic spaces.
Creator of unobtrusive yet atmospheric pieces
Using modern manufacturing techniques to refine classic contemporary furniture, Morrison’s designs have the trademark of being aesthetically elegant and minimal. This can be seen in his All Plastics chair designed for Vitra that are reminiscent of classic wooden chairs but made from a sturdy and hardwearing plastic that is in keeping with this functional style.
Together with his colleague Naoto Fukasawa, he defined the term 'super normal', which answers the question of what 'good design' should really be. In his work, he strives to create great examples of understated, useful and responsible design.
A home grown, global force in interior design
After dropping out of Chelsea School of Art, Dixon’s self-taught approach to design came from his love of fixing and welding motorbikes. In 1983 he began experimenting further with a range of materials and within two years, Italian furniture manufacturer Cappellini had put two of his pieces, the S Chair and Bird Lounger, into production. Since then, Dixon has continued to push the boundaries of design reaching iconic status in 2000 when he was awarded the OBE for services to British Design.
Today, he uses innovative techniques to produce an annual collection of forward-thinking designs – from lighting through to furniture and accessories - inspired by Britain’s rich heritage.
A studio producing a range of blankets and cushions influenced by mid-century design
With her work paying homage to the bold, graphic patterns of mid-century design, Eleanor Pritchard is a weaver whose contemporary designs are also inspired by traditional British fabrics.
Eleanor’s exquisitely woven textiles are known for their striking geometric lines and a beautifully considered colour palette. With her patterns woven in traditional mills in rural Wales and the Scottish Isles, Eleanor’s blankets and cushions are a true example of Great British design.
Creators of the elegantly designed 2012 Olympic torch
Royal College of Arts architect graduates Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have applied their talents to everything from furniture, lighting, and product design, art, and architectural projects.
The Barber Osgerby studio is known for its use of colour, and the research-led practice serves clients such as Vitra, Established & Sons, B&B Italia, Cappellini, Swarovski, Sony, and Flos, as well as private and public commissions. Today, Barber Osgerby is regarded as one of the UK’s leading industrial design studios
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