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We were delighted to participate in this fascinating design workshop by Tashkeel, a contemporary art organisation based in Dubai committed to facilitating art and design practice, creative experimentation and cross-cultural dialogue. The Tanween programme is an intensive development workshop for innovative emerging designer working from the UAE. Each design lab is a fertile ground where participants develop skills with the guidance and collaboration with the guest lead mentors.
Photograph by Salim Ahmed
In April 2014, Gareth and five other renowned furniture designers, Chris Eckersley, William Warren, Sarah Kay, Carl Clerkin and Koji Katsuragi were reunited after their original Bodging Project from 2012 in the famous Tottenham Court Road shop window of Heal’s for a week of creative exploration. In a race against time, using a range of offcuts from Ercol and Sitting Firm, they set about crafting objects of beauty and desire. Press and customers were then invited to vote for their favourite design, and Gareth was delighted to have won ! The beautiful Heal’s Chair that came from this experiment is a true testament to our process of making. As a collective, we always believed that pressure, competition and intuitive making could result in great outcomes. This time we feel it worked, with every component in either compression or tension as this simple leather slung chair stylishly slips into the contemporary world.
The Heal’s Chair is made of oak and leather sling, and a fabricated and manufactured in Italy.
The Bodging Project was an exhibition of exploratory furniture design, from renowned designers who have participated in woodland workshops to challenge their established practices and reconnect head with hand. We designed and curated the exhibition shown at the Milan Salone in 2010 with award-winning furniture designer and Bodging Project founder Chris Eckersley. The outcome was this elegant greenwood love seat which is now part of the Shipley Art Gallery permanent furniture collection.
“Too many products today profess to be carbon neutral. The challenge I set myself is to expend less CO2 between the ‘felling to the selling’ of the furniture than would otherwise be absorbed during the tree’s lifecycle.”
In the Winter of 2012, two Ash trees were felled in a woodland in Herefordshire. Between the 19th and 29th of August, a group of students and Gareth cycled to the woodland from London, living a low-impact Carbon lifestyle by eating local produce, sleeping outdoors, and not using any electricity. The goal of Carbon Negativity may be an unobtainable dream but whatever carbon was used during this 10 day experiment was recorded and a lifecycle analysis on the products was performed. We attempted to demonstrate the potential for Carbon Negative furniture production in the 21st century by:
Manufacturing a product in the same location as the materials are grown, using only man power, horse power, and a drop or two of diesel
Questioning whether a product can remove more Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere than released in its construction; through assessing the Carbon emissions of equipment, lifestyle and transport
Promoting the notion of locality and sustainable production through exhibitions and distribution