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The future of furniture: Student designs to go on the market


Two product design students from Nottingham Trent University are celebrating after furniture makers agreed to put their designs on the market.

James Green, 34, and Daniel Lau, 23, who have just graduated from the university’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, are looking forward to seeing their designs go on sale to the general public.

James’ concrete coffee table – i4WR1 – is to be manufactured by polished concrete furniture makers Warrington & Rose, while Daniel’s wire chair – Kai – will be sold through And Then Design.

i4WR1 – a sleek, occasional coffee table for the modern consumer – is made from cast concrete and oak, but comes in a variety of concrete colours and timber options.

James, a qualified furniture maker with almost a decade of experience, said: “It’s a great feeling to know that something I designed will soon go on sale to the general public. I was over the moon when Warrington & Rose said they would take it on.

“Creating the moulds for the concrete shell was very technical and involved new methods which I had never tried before. But it was well worth it as, with Warrington & Rose, we now have a unique table which is very stylish.”

Kai is a new take on the wire chair and is intended for indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Made from powder-coated wire, it features arrow shaped supports across the seat and back.

The design came about after a brief was set by Sam Wright, owner of And Then Design, who also lectures part-time at Nottingham Trent University.

Daniel’s aim was to make it appear sculptural so that “it would stop people in their tracks”, but also affordable to buy and comfortable to use.

Daniel said: “I could never have foreseen this outcome from my degree. It was a real honour for And Then Design to take on my initial concept. It was an amazing feeling when I first saw it on their website – proof that my design was out there on the market.”

Mr Wright said: “I could see the commercial viability of Daniel’s chair and thought it was original, compared to what’s on the market. I think there’s real potential in it.”

Michael Thorp, proprietor of Warrington & Rose, said he’d already received “a couple of orders” for i4WR1. He said: “The table is a really nice fusion of materials and looks very elegant. Looking forward, it’s quite exciting. We’re going to get it out there.”

Chris Lamerton, Nottingham Trent University course leader of Furniture and Product Design, said: “Daniel and James were both great students and it’s fantastic to see them go on to do great things so quickly after finishing their degrees.”


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