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Courier Life Design

Talking discarded furniture and Afropop with Yinka Ilori

Courier talks Afropop and hunting for discarded furniture with the artist-designer. Yinka Ilori spends a lot of his spare time wandering around London, looking for abandoned chairs. Two or three finds provide the raw materials for one new creation, which is painted in vivid colours and re-upholstered. The fabrics, sourced from London or Lagos, are inspired by the bold patterns …

Tom Dixon portrait by Timba Smits for Courier Aug/Sep 2016

Design Retail

Tom Dixon’s commercial blueprint

How did a bass player in a funk band become the poster boy for British furniture designers? Tom Dixon’s £600 Melt pendant lights were the best-selling branded items at John Lewis in the run-up to Christmas last year. Middle England followed boutique hotels and upmarket restaurants in falling for Dixon’s products, which have become a shortcut for people looking for …

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Can the UK build a world-beating furniture industry?

The British furniture industry lags behind Europeans despite a wealth of design talent. Why?  It’s perhaps an interesting time to reflect on the fact that Europeans simply do some things better than Britain and in a way that we would do well to learn from. This includes the making and selling of furniture. It’s a sore point for individuals in the …

Retail Workshop

Following Fab and flatpack

Between 2010 and 2013 Jason Goldberg transformed Fab.com from a social network for gay men into a flash sale website with 10 million members, selling seven million products in three years. In September last year, Goldberg launched a new business, Hem. Another e-commerce business; this time selling upmarket but affordable, customisable furniture. 1. At Christmas 2012, the top selling products …