The Furniture Makers’ Company announces Design Guild Mark 2018 holders

    Twelve designs representing both the domestic and contract furniture market have been awarded the prestigious Design Guild Mark in 2018.

    The Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, a City of London livery company and the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation.

    Now in its tenth year, the Mark recognises the highest standards in the design of furnishings in volume production by the finest designers working in Britain, or British designers working abroad.

    Rodney McMahon, Chairman of the Design Guild Mark, commented:

    “It is very interesting to meet the very passionate designers and to have their product, ranging from domestic seating through to complex desking systems, presented to the judging panel. It is a challenge for the judges to reach a balanced judgement, but they have again set and demanded a very high standard. We look forward to the award ceremony and new products in 2019.”

    Design Guild Mark 2018 award recipients are as follows:

    • The Hugo Settee - Designed by Ian Archer and manufactured by SITS - DGM 197
    • Aphelion Console - Designed by Byron and Gómez for Benchmark - DGM 198
    • Mozaik - Designed by Mark Gabbertas for Allermuir - DGM 199
    • AXYL - Designed by Benjamin Hubert of Layer for Allermuir - DGM 200
    • Thinking Quietly - Designed by Jones & Partners for Thinking Works - DGM 201
    • Magnetic Copper Cube - Designed by Paul Kelley for Paul Kelley Ltd - DGM 202
    • T1 Chair - Designed by Rodney Kinsman RDI for OMK 1965 - DGM 203
    • Manta - Designed by Lyndon by Boss Design - DGM 204
    • Group - Designed by Philippe Malouin for SCP - DGM 205
    • Famiglia - Designed by PearsonLloyd for Allermuir - DGM 206
    • Edge Executive Desk - Designed by PearsonLloyd for Modus Furniture - DGM 207
    • Race Antelope Chair - Designed by Ernest Race for Race Furniture Limited - DGM 208

    The Design Guild Mark is judged by a panel of leading industry professionals. Each member of the panel is from the furniture, hospitality, commercial, retail, or media industry. Judges must ensure that each piece of furniture meets the criteria of: excellence in design, materials, manufacture, and function.

    Chaired by Rodney McMahon, this year’s eminent judging panel were:

    • Simon Alderson – twentytwentyone
    • Joanna Biggs – GA Design
    • Rosa Bertoli – Wallpaper* Magazine
    • Barbara Chandler – The Evening Standard
    • Rodney Kinsman – OMK Design
    • Tom Pearce – Sebastian Conran Associates
    • Philippa Prinsloo – John Lewis
    • Pernille Stafford – Resonate Interiors
    • Campbell Thompson – The Conran Shop
    • Terence Woodgate – Terence Woodgate

    All judges with an interest in an entry stood aside when that entry was being considered.

    Comments from the judging panel:

    Simon Alderson, Co-founder of twentytwentyone:

    “The quality and diversity of the 2018 applicants for a Design Guild Mark provided for a wholly stimulating range of presentations. It was interesting to consider the longevity of historic designs alongside the contemporary. The enduring quality of good design demands careful consideration of materials, process and form. While the panel doesn’t agree on all submissions, the debate and final consensus ensures the pedigree for the Design Guild Mark is one of respected quality.”

    Rosa Bertoli, Design Editor, Wallpaper*:

    “Every year, the Design Guild Mark celebrates the excellent craft, creativity and ingeniousness which lies at the heart of the British furniture industry. The judging process offers a constant discovery (and rediscovery) of new and established designers, craftsmen and brands.”

    Joanna Biggs, Director at GA Design:

    “It’s always a pleasure to be asked to join the judging panel for Design Guild Mark Award. The 2018 entries were all of an exceptionally high standard, showing quality craftsmanship as expected, but also originality and some elegant problem solving design solutions.”

    Barbara Chandler, Design Writer, Evening Standard:

    “We did our judging on a deep snow day, but that did not deter a succession of talented designers coming to pitch their work. A stand-out trend was the ‘softening’ of office furniture. Several designers explained that there was now a demand for ‘homely’ workspaces (often shared), with softer sculptural flexible seating and ‘kind’ materials for tables/desks. At the same time, ergonomics, lighting and use of new technologies for working were carefully considered. We even saw an optional terrarium...”

    Rodney Kinsman, Design Director and Chairman of OMK Design:

    "As a first time judge of the Design Guild Mark I was impressed by the quantity and quality of the submissions. I was also impressed by the diversity of the judging panel.”

    Tom Pearce, Creative Director at Sebastian Conran Associates:

    “The standard in design, thinking and making of this year’s Design Guild Mark was not only hugely inspiring, but left me feeling proud of our British furniture industry. The critique of the submissions by the panel was tough, so the awards are well deserved and highlight that the level of ‘design excellence’ is getting higher each year.”

    Philippa Prinsloo, Design Manager, John Lewis:

    “A strong shortlist, robust discussion and an opportunity to hear the incredible passion for the product from the designer.”

    Pernille Stafford, Principal of Resonate Interiors:

    “A wide spectrum of furniture items submitted this year which ranged from commercial to crafty but all of an exceptionally high standard and meeting our expectations. Innovation in commercial workplace was evident this year which was a pleasure to see.”

    Campbell Thompson, Head of Furniture and Lighting, The Conran Shop:

    “The Design Guild Mark is a fantastic way to recognise design talent from the UK. It was great to see the diversity and quality of submissions and to hear the stories behind the designs and journey to final product. The judging process allows applicants to present and talk about submissions with the objects right in front of them, this allows all the production processes and details to be fully explained and demonstrated which makes judging a lot easier. I was impressed with the quality and passion displayed from all the entrants and it was a real pleasure to be involved.”

    Terence Woodgate, Founder of Terence Woodgate:

    “The designs were a pleasure to judge with the work presented being diverse in form and function. There were some exceptional designs, well considered and executed. Design for me is a mix of art & technology and we certainly experienced designs at both ends of the spectrum.”

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