Last week we lost a valuable friend and an industrial designer of great significance, whose professional life runs like a biography of the British furniture industry. Frederick Scott was an apprentice at the G-plan factory before he went to the Royal College of Art and a career in furniture design, most significantly at Hille, with which he created the famous Supporto seating. Much of his skill, success and frustration is symbolised by this chair.
Frederick was truly an industrial designer and his understanding of office and work psychology and practice was extraordinary. He presented himself meekly but had a fire within him of immense intensity. His approach to design was to accomplish forms and structures of great charm from rigorously explored pragmatic principles. He knew and worked with the shop floor and engineers himself. His heart was in a workshop.
His home resembled one – a lathe in the hall, ergonomic studies, materials and components all around him. Frederick was a conceiver, creator, and a maker – a designer who long before now should have been trusted to make his own brief.