British Furniture Designers: A Few of our Favourites


Britain is brimming with talent when it comes to design. Many of the UK’s eminent creative figures are polymaths who knit together various practices – from furniture making, to product design, to fashion – producing pieces which meld aesthetic intrigue and functionality. Tom tends to work in metal, with his own unique style informed by over 25 years of making. He’s carved out his own distinctive visual vernacular, though often stops to wonder at the work of others who harness different materials and work in their own unique ways. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life! In that spirit, we’ve drawn together a few of our favourite contemporary British furniture designers contributing to our nation’s vibrant creative landscape…


Barber Osgerby

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby in their London studio


Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are leading lights on the London design scene. The duo is known for crisp and contemporary forms which solve uniquely modern problems. Their creations evolve in response to shifts in how we live and work, giving way to designs like ‘Soft Work’, their sofa-swivel desk hybrid for Vitra. They merge outside-the-box thinking with innovative technologies and materials to introduce designs that feel truly of the moment. And, of course, we couldn’t forget the Olympic Torch they created for the 2012 games, a sleek and subtly symbolic totem which still carries a contemporary edge over a decade down the line.


Faye Toogood

‘Roly-Poly Chair’ by Faye Toogood


Faye Toogood is a multi-disciplinary designer who brings furniture, fashion, and fine art into symbiosis. Eight years as Interiors Editor at The World of Interiors inform her eagle eye and reflect a wholistic approach to creativity, whereby distinctive elements add up to a cohesive whole. Working alongside architects, sculptors, and illustrators in her studio, she combines the best of all worlds into products like the ‘Roly-Poly Chair’. It’s a design which sits at the intersection of many practices, captivating the eye while simultaneously serving a purpose. Toogood is a truly avant-garde British designer who manages to strike that sweet spot between the thought-provoking and the useful.


Paul Cocksedge

Paul Cocksedge demonstrating the balance of his ‘Poised Table’


Paul Cocksedge is a London designer who plays with form and material to inspire conversations around human perception. He often combines contrasting materials or casts them in unexpected roles. His 2013 ‘Poised Table’, made from a single piece of steel plate, was inspired by the pliancy of paper, which can flex back on itself before floating flat again. The table is a work of investigative engineering, which harnesses the forces of mass, gravity, and equilibrium only to distort the viewer’s perception of them. As with much of Cocksedge’s work, we’re left with a design which not only serves a purpose but incites intrigue and even awe.


Wilkinson & Rivera

Chairs by Wilkinson & Rivera


Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are a husband-and-wife team based in East London. Rivera may not be a strictly British furniture maker, having grown up in New York, but kicked off her career here in the UK following her time studying at Camberwell College of Arts. It’s there that she met Tunbridge Wells native, Wilkinson. Together they work with wood to reveal captivating forms with a functional bent. Their wooden chairs and tables are often wobbly, with a sense whimsicality tempered by a Brutalist flavour. The woodworking skill required to create these handmade, limited edition furniture pieces is truly entrancing. The process of bringing these beautifully warped creations to life by saw and lathe is markedly different from our own. Tom’s designs are made in metal and inherently divergent in aesthetic; although, Wilkinson & Rivera’s close consideration of the relationship between form and function as well as their unrelenting attention to detail are two factors which resonate deeply with us.


Kris Lamba

‘RV2 Chair’ by Kris Lamba


Kris Lamba is a sculptor, painter, and designer from London. His work combines elements of fine and functional art to create pieces with a strong sense of movement and materiality. In his current practice he tends to mix materials, using polymers to reanimate a piece of bog wood that’s been frozen in time, for example. His approach to furniture making gives way to collectible editions with an otherworldly, sometimes stellar spirit. We’re particularly drawn to his metallic creations, which demonstrate a masterful ability to morph and meld what would appear to be an inflexible material. The challenges and joys of making in metal are manifold, and Tom’s own insight into the work behind the wonder certainly lends Lamba’s creations an extra glimmer of intrigue.




Text by Annabel Colterjohn