The onset of Covid-19 has significantly changed the way people live, interact and work. In the design world, creatives and makers have had to adapt their processes using new technologies to work together at a distance and often operating from new, improvised home offices. Connected is an experiment set out to explore how designers and craftsmen adapt their working practices during lockdown.
For this project, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Benchmark Furniture and the Design Museum have challenged nine international designers to create a table and seating, which will suit their new ways of working from and living at home. They will also record their creative journeys to allow us to witness how they approach the brief and develop their thoughts, sketches and ideas during these challenging times.
“We were faced with designers across Europe being, to a greater or lesser degree, in isolation, having to work alone. Connected will tap into their individual creativity, but will also bring them together to work towards a common goal. This material-driven project is all about three underused hardwoods – red oak, maple and cherry – which combined account for more than 40 percent of all standing hardwoods in the American forests,” said David Venables, AHEC European Director.
“All three are beautiful woods and we want the designers to discover their aesthetic and performance potential. But our emphasis is also on the environmental merits of making more use of what nature is growing. Over-reliance on a narrow selection wood types must ultimately result in supply stress. So, we have a responsibility to widen the choice,” added Venables.