And Then Design is led by Samuel Wright, created following his studies in furniture design. Originally based in Nottingham, he relocated his successful company to buzzing East London. It made sense for the company to move to the capital in order to take part in major design fairs such as the London Design Festival and Clerkenwell Design Week. And Then Design’s work is characterised by its simplicity and honesty. Influenced by architecture, Samuel looks at simple forms and shapes and how they can be combined together to complement each other: “My designs are not over complicated; the way they are made is understandable when you look at them. Furniture that is well designed and well made is furniture that will be cherished.” Samuel admires the work of Jean Prouvé and Hans Wegner for their shapes and colours, and admits he would have loved to design PP 501 The Chair from Wegner.
Growing up in a very creative family certainly helped. Samuel’s mother is a fine artist whose beautiful paintings can be seen on her son’s walls, while his father is a furniture designer. His initial plan was never to follow his father’s steps, but he soon realised that he was more gifted in expressing himself creatively through objects than through the visual arts or photography.
And Then Design is surrounded by a strong network of British manufacturers with whom they continuously collaborate: “When I started, I was lucky to meet lots of lovely manufacturers that had faith in me, gave their time and tuition and helped me grow.” Keen on promoting collaborations with both manufacturers and other designers, Samuel regularly works with other people he admires. The Lean Man Console has been developed together with Frank Flavell, a long time friend from university.
When developing a new design piece, Samuel imagines it in great detail in his head before committing anything to paper. The sketching phase is then quite brief: “Admittedly, sometimes the thing that I had in my head looks less good in a sketch, but it is important to be self-critical and not too confident.” His biggest wish for his work is to have some impact, like the pieces he is influenced by; to still be desired in the future and deemed contemporary.
“Architecture is important in my work, simple forms and shapes influence me a lot.”
Lean Man Console
The design of the Lean Man Console features the simplicity, honesty and playfulness that characterises the contemporary style of And Then Design.