It takes a lot of guts to set up in business straight out of college, and no small amount of talent to succeed. For four graduates from the Royal College of Art, the risk seemed worth taking – they were already armed with their first interiors job while still at college and had secured £5000 sponsorship from Deutsche Bank. Now one year on, At The Third Stroke’s boldness is starting to bear fruit, with retail and exhibition work for fashion designer Dexter Wong and a collection of furniture for Habitat in the pipeline.
The consultancy comprises Stuart Lawson, Mathias Bengtsson, Sam Buxton and Tim Derhaag, combining furniture, product and interiors work with a shared interest in manufacturing technology and the creative use of industrial materials. At The Third Stroke came up with a flat-pack exhibition stand for Dexter Wong’s last Paris, Cologne and London shows, using a steel screen decorated by laser-cutting to remove parts for chairs and coat-hangers used in the display.
The consultancy is now working on designs for a Covent Garden Dexter Wong shop and hopes to secure further interiors commissions following the success of the Below 54 bar in London’s Shoreditch, which the group completed last year.
Working from their Dickensian studio in east London, the quartet are also pursuing a one-off furniture project, a range of electro-luminescent clocks, plus their own research projects into industrial products. They’re looking forward to the Habitat furniture going into the shops next year, but remain open to new ideas and directions. As Lawson says: ‘We’re very keen to try almost everything.’