Wood Awards 2017 – Shortlist for furniture and product projects: Student designer

A drinks cabinet and an interactive seat that encourages children and adults to read together are among the record number of 14 furniture and product projects, which have been shortlisted for the Wood Awards 2017.


The awards, which were established in 1971, aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.


They are split into two main categories: buildings and furniture & product and within the furniture & product competition there are three subcategories: bespoke, production made and student designer.


Four bespoke designs, four production and six student designs have been shortlisted by the judges, led by Max Fraser, design curator and author.


There are two cash prizes for the student designer category of £1,000 for the winner and £500 for the People’s Choice Award, which will be voted for at the London Design Fair.


The shortlisted projects for the student designs category are as follows:


Hex drinks cabinet

Designer/maker: Damian Robinson (BlytheHart Made)

College/university: Williams and Cleal

Hexagonal Laser Cutting: Luffman Engineering Ltd

Wood Supplier: Adamson and Low, Mundy Veneers

Wood Species: British Bog Oak, Fumed Oak, English Cherry, Black Walnut, Tropical Olive, Teak, Olive Ash


The inspiration for the drinks cabinet comes from the colour and uniformity of bees’ nests found in the maker’s garden. Veneers in contrasting timbers and grain patterns were used for the honeycomb. He laid the veneer hexagons out in sequence, while referring to the actual nest. The edges of the   doors were designed to meet in a line that followed the interlinking hexagons. English bog oak, dating from 3,300BC, was selected to set off the complex honeycomb pattern without interference.



Designer/maker: Harriet Speed

College/university: Rycotewood Furniture Centre

Wood supplier: Tyler  Hardwoods

Wood  Species: English Ash


Hinny is an interactive seat that encourages children and adults to read together. The scalloped backrest demonstrates the beauty of natural wood grain through an ergonomic detail. It was designed  with a view for the backrest and upholstered seat to be customised.


Rustic stool 1.0

Designer/maker: Mark Laban

College/university: Central Saint Martins

Wood supplier: Whitten Timber/Surrey Timbers

Wood species: American Hard Maple


Rustic stool 1.0 was developed through a process-driven approach to design engaging directly with the manufacturing technique itself: a 3-axis CNC router. Through manipulating the machine’s software, unexpected and unconventional surfaces are created, artificially generating rough textures, which begin to evoke the raw state of the material in its natural form. The stool is part of Mark Laban’s Digital Daiku collection, which interprets traditional Japanese aesthetic principles and explores their possibilities using contemporary digital manufacturing  processes. American Maple was used for its fine grain and delicate colouring and tonality.



Designer/maker: Jack Green

College/university: Nottingham Trent University

Wood supplier: Timbmet

Wood species: European Ash


Split is a lounge chair with accompanying foot stool designed for the living room or office space. Its slung leather seat and back offers comfort and the wooden frame creates an organic form while providing strength. Ash was chosen due to its open grain and light colour, creating a contrast between the leather and the wood. Ash is also easy to machine on a CNC Router decreasing the likelihood of chips and splits.



Designer/maker: Rowena Edwards

College/university: Building Crafts College

Wood supplier: DHH Timber

Wood species: Latvian Birch, American Ash


Tri is a multifunctional table that uses three different objects that can be housed together or moved through the home to perform individual, useful tasks. Overlap, is the surface area of the design, which acts  as a useful side table or an overlap to a sofa arm. Step up is the core of this furniture family, allowing you to  access  out of reach places, and doubles up as a storage unit or  seat. Bocs, the smallest component, is a useful storage box, which when spun around, can be used as a small seat. An exposed ply edge runs throughout each piece like a geometric, timber river. The aesthetics ensure its translation to the user, indicating where to hold and how to move it. Birch ply was chosen for its strength, aesthetic and ease of use.



Designer/maker: Archie Will

College/university: Building Crafts College

Wood supplier: Blumsom Timber Centre

Wood species: European Ash


Why is a contemporary table and much time  was spent selecting the European ash because the grain and quality is used as a design feature. The straight and regular grain also responds well to steam bending, which  was an integral part of the design. The table top curves towards the left, while the foot splits into a Y, reminiscent of a tree branch.


All the shortlisted projects will be on display at the London Design Fair (Stand B05, Hall T2), 21st-24th September, at Old Truman Brewery.  Winners will be revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on 21 November, by ceremony host Johanna Agerman Ross, founder of Disegno magazine and curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the V&A.





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