Toby Hawkins

Furniture for a Small Space

Toby Hawkins is a final year Art and Design student. His project aims to solve a problem in his every day life by creating unique but affordable furniture. 

Art and Design - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

I am designing furniture objects that by undergoing a process of ‘weirding’, in which the item challenges aesthetic expectation, provide the owner with a sense of individuality. By exploring the capabilities of weird furniture and modularity, I aim to combat the stem issue of small home living, where items can be rearranged, serve multiple functions, and escape the traditional aesthetic constraints of mass-produced furniture.

Why did you choose this concept?

I have transitioned into furniture design since beginning working for MJM Bespoke in Digbeth, a small furniture/fabrication and design studio. I wanted to design a set of furniture that extended from my dissertation research, where an individual can gain a sense of individuality from owning furniture that can be modified and save them space in shrinking homes.

What processes have you been using?

I'm designing from paper, to CAD drawings, and from there to small scale models to full-sized fabrication of plywood furniture.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

I want to design something that solves an issue in my own life, since I am in a position similar to a lot of my own generation in which we need homes, homes that are ever more expensive and smaller for the price. I want something that can be manufactured and sold at a low cost, furniture that gives the owner a chance at furnishing their home beautifully- affordably.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

I have worked extensively with Cathy Wade and David Osbaldestin who have been massively influential in the decision making through design processes. They are infinitely knowledgeable and through conversation we have shaped my project into something I am proud of.