Of all the original pieces launched at the recent London Design Festival, some of the most captivating were nurtured right on your doorstep. We look at what happened when British design collective Joined + Jointed collaborated with Kingston School of Art to create J+J Generations.
As a young student beginning his design training in London, Joined + Jointed founder Samuel Chan would count his blessings. “It was a huge privilege to be trained to do exactly what I wanted to do,” he remembers. “Design education in the UK was among the best in the world. It’s come under pressure in recent years. I want to do what I can to support it.”
Last autumn, in an initiative called ‘J+J Generations’, he teamed up with one of the country’s current leading lights, Kingston School of Art, setting its product and furniture design students a brief to design a coat stand. The undergraduates set to work with sketches and models, motivated by the promise that the winning design would be put into production by Joined + Jointed.
“A number of the designs showed original thinking,” says Samuel. “But for me there was a clear winner. It was visually striking, functional, and required meticulous wood craft in its making – which is exactly what Joined + Jointed is about.”
The stand-out design came from Tristan Hibberd, then a final year student at Kingston. His concept featured a series of poles with solid wood orbs, which acted as coat hooks and could turn on their base. After months of developing the design with Samuel and the Joined + Jointed team, Tristan’s design – ‘Pivot’ – was launched in September at 100% Design, the UK’s longest-running design event.
“Seeing Samuel’s passion for what he loves inspired the hard work I put into the project,” says Tristan. “Becoming part of the Joined + Jointed collective gives me the support to believe in myself and to carry on working.”
Working with young designers through ‘J+J Generations’ is something Samuel intends to do year after year. “Design is about being open to what is new, and I’m always excited by the fresh thinking coming out of our design schools. Sometimes it takes just a bit of input from someone with experience to turn a concept into a viable product. As established designers, when we encourage new talent we’re sustaining not just that individual, but through them the industry as a whole.”
‘Pivot’ is a Joined + Jointed Special Edition
Joined + Jointed, 1 New King’s Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4SB
Read more about Joined + Jointed design here.