Furniture Design & Production
George Gold + Co produce a growing range of batch-made and made to order furniture of exceptional value and utility. Expect more than a lifetime of service from pieces which are designed to accommodate themselves to the changing spaces throughout your life. The things which are most useful to you are the things which you will want to keep with you.
Utility, long-life, and good value defines everything George Gold + Co. produce. What I make looks and functions the way it does in order to be more useful for longer. Moving across a room, to another room or to a new home our furniture is made to accommodate change. In use or in transit, being taken apart or put back together, it functions beautifully. Furniture which lends itself to change serves its purpose better.
The pieces I first chose to produce in multiples each began life as a ‘one-off’ item which I was then asked to re-make by those who had seen the original. Gratifying as it is to be asked to make copies of my own work, I was aware that potential economies of scale were being enjoyed by neither maker nor client. Producing in multiples, though by no means mass production, but production geared towards making to order and low-volume batches, is a way of keeping the making entirely within my control yet providing clients with hand made quality at a realistic cost. I first exhibited my batch-produced furniture in 2006 at 100% Design.
Campaign Furniture: Making less do more
Where do my designs come from? A habit that has stayed with me from childhood is moving furniture around my room to see if it will go better somewhere else. As children, my brother and I were only able to move my Great Grandfather’s old chest of drawers because it divided in two. Little did I know then that being moved was exactly what it had been designed for. Military or ‘Campaign’ furniture of this kind was purpose built to be taken apart, transported, and set up again.
Having familiar objects around them made soldiers feel at home wherever they happened to be posted. Having a mahogany chest of drawers built in such a way that it could happily accompany its owner on active service far from home is incongruous by today’s standards, but this is exactly what gives these objects their appeal: they are utilitarian and indulgent all at once. Build quality, personality and utility have made the chest useful for over 100 years and to four generations of owners so far.
For me, the chest shows that good design is all about making less do more.
I am a qualified Design and Technology teacher and I have seen that designing and making has a proven role to play in developing students’ problem solving skills, promoting their creativity and improving their happiness. As well as these being the most important aspects of childhood, they are also education’s biggest responsibilities.
I have an ongoing role as a voluntary Design and Technology mentor to students at my local secondary school. I have seen how austerity measures in the UK have led some schools to reduce or even cease design education altogether. There is no subject on the curriculum which cannot be taught through design, yet it is often DT hours which are the first to be cut from school timetables. Even if this were not such a bleak time for design in secondary education, designers and consumers of design have a responsibility to serve a better purpose and support young designers.
Design and Technology classrooms have an altogether different atmosphere to other classrooms and DT is one of a very few subjects taught in secondary schools which looks largely the same in the classroom as it does in the design studios of the professional world. Acting as either client or manufacturer, I can help students see that their ideas can be as valid (or more valid), as those of professional designers.
"George has acted as a client and advisor for a number of our GCSE and A-level students. He has provided excellent feedback and suggestions to help individuals improve their projects and work from a more professional standpoint. George's experience in the field of product design has allowed him to provide creative and practical advice that has contributed positively to the final outcome of controlled assessment projects."
– M.W. Head of DT, Malton School
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