An Interview With The UK’s Most Promising Designer
Dan’s design philosophy is - no detail should exist without reason. He has won many awards and Sir Terrence Conran named him “one to watch”. We deeply admire his fresh, clean and honest approach so are delighted that he’s kindly agreed to answer some questions.
Q, As the designer, typically what involvement do you have in the manufacturing process?
A, Depending on the project, there can be a lot. It's about balance; working with the manufacturer to achieve my vision whilst they input their craft expertise. I think finding this fine balance is what makes the better quality, longer lasting products.
Q, What are your biggest inspirations?
A, Usually it's the material itself or trying to solve a problem. I look to a lot of architecture and sculpture, also small everyday details that might be overlooked often spark an idea.
Q, What is your favourite colour today?
A, Erm…dark green and grey
Q, How are you sustainability-conscious?
A, I work with lots of renewable materials such as cork and will only use FSC certified wood. I also try and solve problems that will endeavour to help sustainability, like shipping, and creating long lasting products that people will want to keep for longer.
Q, What feels like your greatest success so far?
A, Sir Terence Conran wrote some kind words about me in a magazine recently, that was a really nice moment. Also winning an Elle Decoration award.
Q, What is your favourite city?
A, Copenhagen, Lisbon or London.
Q, What is your favourite international furniture show to visit and why?
A, I recently went to Stockholm, that was really nice, good quality, and not too big that you feel you can’t see enough of it. Lovely city too.
Q, Where do you work from and what is that space like?
A, I have a studio in Woolwich on an old industrial estate by the river. Its your typical white walls with windows at one end, one half desk and one half work bench. It can get pretty messy, there is plenty of mocking up and testing at full scale going on.
Q, What is your favourite material to work with?
A, It has to be wood. Its strong, renewable, stores carbon, it has a natural warmth and can be made into almost any shape. Maybe it’s also because I was a carpenter before I got into design.
Q, Do you have any exciting projects coming up, that you can share with us?
A, I have a chair launching with a brand called Hayche. I wanted to make a chair that had the sturdiness of a solid timber chair along with the comfort and ergonomics you can get from a plywood shell, so its a cross between the two.
Q, What do you have planned this weekend?
A, I’m off to Manchester to see friends!