Uncertain times often call for reflection, which in turn begs for a flurry of questions. How did we get here? What happens next? Will the UK ever be the same? To navigate this process, we thought it fitting to go back to the root of the matter and explore what “British” truly means. And since this is a design publication, we focused, of course, on what makes us tick.
What is British design and can it be encapsulated in three words? That is the question we asked Sir Terence Conran, Barber & Osgerby and Bethan Gray. The answers take us on a multi-faceted journey along the Best of British, as seen through the eyes of some of the industry’s top names. More on page 34.
Alongside this exploratory voyage, we close in on the contract market with a timeline of British contract furniture design since 1926. From Eileen Gray and Robin Day, all the way to Benjamin Hubert and Jasper Morrison, find out our highlights on page 79.
Still deep in All Things British, we visit the MoreySmith-designed menswear brand Dunhill’s Mayfair HQ, where offices and showroom come together under one roof (p44); and we take you to Old Street, where AHMM’s The Bower promises to add to the area’s regeneration (p52).
In our OnTop section, we leave London for rural Surrey, where architecture firm IF_DO’s design helps St Theresa’s school reconnect with nature, while our Behind The Scenes section tells the story of Bradford-based furniture manufacturer Knightsbridge.
In other news and despite the apparent irony of going out on a British-themed edition, it is with mixed feelings that I’m announcing that these are my last days in the UK and this is my last issue as editor of OnOffice. After one brilliant year, it’s time for me to pack up and fly across the pond to pursue the American Dream (again, oh, the irony).
An enormous thank you to everyone I have met and all the friends I have made. See you all again soon, in New York or elsewhere in this wonderful big wide world!
Take a look inside this month’s issue with its focus on all things British