9 designers – 3 hardwoods – 1 workshop
The onset of Covid-19 has significantly changed the way people live, interact and work. In the design industry, creatives and makers have had to adapt their processes using new technologies to work together at a distance and often operating from new, improvised home offices.
Connected is an experiment set out to explore how designers and craftspeople adapt their working practices during lockdown. For this project the American Hardwood Export Council, Benchmark Furniture and the Design Museum have challenged nine international designers to create a table and seating, that is personal to them, for home living and working. The designers have also been invited to record their creative journeys allowing us to share how they approach the brief and develop their designs during these challenging times.
The resulting pieces will be shown at the Design Museum, in an installation called Connected, when the museum re-opens to the public, celebrating the act of physically coming back together – reconnecting – after lockdown.
'Commissioning nine designers to make furniture from wood doesn't sound like a particularly original brief. But these are not ordinary times. We are all being over-exposed to our homes, and having to adapt to new patterns of working. The pandemic has forced each designer to approach their home-working set-up with a completely fresh perspective – what do they really need? The Connected project is a rare opportunity for them to design for themselves, but the key challenge is that they will have to rely entirely on digital communication. It couldn’t be more relevant and we look forward to hosting the results at the Design Museum.'
Justin McGuirk, Chief Curator at the Design Museum
For over 30 years the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of wood promotion in Europe, successfully building a distinctive and creative brand for U.S. hardwoods.