Smart Office chairs earn festival showcase

Eight chairs designed ‘for working in’ by MA furniture design students at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College will go on display at the London Design Festival in September, as part of the Smart Office 3 project.

Now in its third year, the Smart Office initiative brings students into contact with design heavyweights to generate innovative furniture concepts.

This year, students were mentored by Robin and Lucienne Day, Barry Jenkins of Broome Jenkins, Attilio Cabianca of Pringle Brandon and Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway. Student Langton Stead designed the ‘Jostle’ stool, which can stow a bag (pictured left).

The Smart Office initiative was founded by MA course leader Lynn Jones.

‘Lynn is very proactive in liaising with the industry to make her courses commercially relevant’, says Jonathan Hindle, group managing director of office furniture designer KI Europe, which sponsors Smart Office. ‘The fact that the initiative now counts towards students’ final grades shows how seriously it is being taken.’

‘We are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of the work year on year, probably because more time is being invested in research and briefing for the project,’ adds Hindle.

The project is sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers as well as KI. KI will exhibit the chairs in its central London showroom. Last year, the furniture maker put the work of Smart Office 2 student Tomohiko Sato into production.

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