sir john sorrell, chairman of london design festival, invited leaders of london’s cultural institutions to collaborate with some of the world’s most prolific designers to create a ‘legacy’ piece of design – an object of personal or professional relevance to them.
each of the pieces – 10 in total – are beautifully crafted in american red oak, an exciting and sustainable hardwood species that grows abundantly in american forests, and will be fabricated at benchmark furniture in berkshire. nine of the pieces will be presented as a group exhibition at the v&a, after which they will relocate to the homes or institutions of each of the commissioners. the 10th piece, the nest, will be installed at the natural history museum.
“we called upon cultural leaders in london and asked if they would like to contribute to this thought-provoking project,” says sorrell. “we then invited some of the world’s top designers and were delighted when everybody immediately said yes.”
“ahec (american hardwood export council) is always pushing the boundaries for american hardwoods and we wanted to create a project that celebrates the use of red oak to demonstrate not just how beautiful it is for furniture making, but also to test the performance and quality of this abundant wood,” says david venables, european director of ahec. “it’s a fabulous project with incredible designers. we can’t wait to see what emerges from these unique collaborations.”
the 10 commissioners and designers are;
alex beard cbe chief executive, royal opera house, with terence woodgate
amanda nevill cbe ceo, british film institute, with sebastian cox
hans ulrich obrist artistic director, serpentine galleries, with nina tolstrup and jack mama, studiomama
sir ian blatchford director and chief executive, science museum group, with marlène huissoud
iwona blazwick obe director, whitechapel gallery, with yael mer and shay alkalay, raw edges
sir john sorrell cbe chairman, london design festival, with juliet quintero, dallas-pierce-quintero
kwame kwei-armah obe artistic director, young vic, with tomoko azumi
dr maria balshaw cbe director, tate, with max lamb
tamara rojo cbe artistic director, english national ballet, with martino gamper
dr tristram hunt director, v&a, with jasper morrison
supported by american hardwood export council.
tube > south kensington