The Young Furniture Makers exhibition, our special one-day event showcasing furniture, lighting and textile designs from emerging designer-makers to employers and key players in the furnishing industry, returns to the City of London this October.

The event, which is principally sponsored by Tizo and co-sponsored by Axminster Tools, Celtheath and NaughtOne, will take place on Wednesday 11 October at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London.  

In the run-up to the exhibition, we’ll be meeting some of this year’s exhibitors who are looking forward to meeting our members and people from industry.

Emily Cross

Name: Emily Cross

Piece: Sculpt and Sway

Tell us about the product you’re exhibiting. What’s the story behind it?

Both Sculpt and Sway are experimental responses to findings from research into the formation of good habits. Collated research into habits in the hallway suggests individuals don’t typically put personal belongings away properly at the end of the day due to a lack of motivation. The psychological research behind this collection allowed for an innovative response to supporting this common hallway habit.

Sway combats issues surrounding the habit of putting our coat away properly, through a multisensory approach with auditory and visuals which encourage user interaction by making the task enjoyable. The satisfying and playful nature of Sway adds a joy to the beginning and end of the day.

Sculpt adds a tactile experience to putting away pocket items, using felt as an alternative to typical shelves and bowls used as storage in the hallway. Inspired by gallery exhibitions, it uses the adaptable nature of the material to create an attractive and easy-to-use piece of furniture.


What was the most challenging part of bringing the designs to life?

While designing based on user interaction offered innumerable benefits, resulting in a set of products which connected with the user, it offered its challenges in the development stages of the design process. Each feature would subconsciously affect the ability to influence the daily habits of putting away pocket items and coats, which meant each iteration was to be tested at full size with its end users. With a small budget and tight time constraints quick material testing and carboard full scale mock ups allowed for continual 3D development and testing allowed me to bring the products to life at a high standard.

What do you hope to get out of being part of the Young Furniture Makers exhibition?

As a recent graduate, new to the world of furniture design this event offers me the opportunity to network with fellow graduates and build relationships with likeminded individuals which have already immersed themselves in the furniture industry.


Who is your design hero and why?

Throughout my current journey of design, the extraordinary works of Oki Sato in Nendo has heavily inspired how I approach design. The commitment to ‘Giving people a small ‘!’ moment’ encourages users to rethink the function of an everyday product.

What are your career aspirations? 

The aspiration for me has always been to have my design put into production and sold. The satisfaction from knowing an individual appreciates and has chosen to use my work is an honour I have been lucky to experience briefly at a small scale through a small batch production of ceramics. Moving forward with my career this is something I intend to experience at a larger scale.

Which company would you love to work for one day?

It would be an honour to work amongst one of the many talented designers in this industry. To learn and build surrounded by likeminded people is an experience that would add a joy to the working week, regardless of the company.

How do you think you’d react if you won a Young Furniture Makers Award?

Through existing connections with previous peers and other graduates I have met along my current journey, I have been blown away by the quality of work which has been produced. For this reason, I am eternally grateful to have been considered by the Young Furniture Makers and shortlisted for an award. For whoever receives the award this would be not only be a personal achievement, but a celebration of all graduates bringing new ideas and opinions into the furniture industry.

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