Milan Design Week 2009 internationally launches a collection of sofas and seats from Tom Dixon by George Smith, uniting quality traditional manufacturing techniques and contemporary design. The collection illustrates that British manufacturing and innovation are still alive as two iconic brands develop an exciting partnership.
The collaboration challenges the method of manufacturing contemporary shapes, pushing the boundaries, to develop an innovative product of the finest quality. Resolutely British; with all products made in the George Smith factory in Newcastle and designed by Tom Dixon, the partnership underlines the capabilities of British manufacturing and design.
The collection celebrates the traditions of British upholstered furniture with each piece hand made by George Smith using long established techniques practiced for over 250 years. Skilled craftsmen, including generations of the same family, employ the use of traditional skills such as joinery, hand sewing and upholstery. These skills are kept alive through an apprenticeship scheme which ensures the knowledge and techniques are passed down from generation to generation supporting the British industry.
The construction of each piece uses many materials from renewable sources; with frames made of wood from sustainable forests, and the main body fillings upholstered with natural ingredients including natural cotton, feather, and boar bristle.
The collection consists of five ranges, Plump, Club, Wingback, Justice Chair and Bean Sofa.
Below you will find all the images of the 2009 "TOM DIXON by George Smith" catalogue (credits: Styling: Faye Toogood / Photography: Henry Bourne / Design: Mind Design, London)
The Wingback collection of high back chair, sofa and footstool is typified by its instantly recognisable silhouette, inspired by the classic British 18th century gentleman’s chair. Expressive and elegant lines lull the user into a satisfying sense of security.
The making of the Wingback follows a centuries old method of production that relies on the skills and expertise of craftsmen at each step:
- A strong frame created from solid kiln dried sustainable beech.
- Steel coil springs are hand tied into wide bands of interwoven jute webbing.
- Natural cotton is tightly packed around the springs for weight absorption.
- Layers of natural cotton and boar bristle are added to provide extra comfort.
- Cotton muslin is hand sewn to provide a seamless base for upholstery.
- Fabric is hand cut to the correct pattern and sewn into place on the frame.
Like a modernist sculpture on a pedestal, the Bean Sofa has a chunky solid ash base. Designed to seat four it has a slightly curved footprint which encourages social interaction. Also available with straight legs.
Club is the archetypical British way of sitting, long, low and deep. Designed with generous proportions the footstool can be combined with the chair and sofa allowing for total relaxation.
Plump, taking its start point from the ubiquitous Chesterfield, is an oversized and majestic piece of furniture. Whether commanding respect in a lobby environment or acting as a platform for domestic living, its voluptuous arms are designed to be wide enough to lean against and sit on. A versatile seating system, the collection consists of standard pieces, an arm chair, 2 seater and 3 seater sofa as well as custom options to create a variety of seating configurations.
A dignified chair, the Justice Chair is deep and extra wide with a large feather cushion. The compound curves of the back and the extra width of the arms give utmost generosity to this chair of substance.