We take a look at the year in review. It has been a year of new products, novel ideas and some fruitful collaborations with designers, artists and makers.
With the sun beaming down on a frosty London and 2022 coming to an end, we take a look at SCP’s year in review.
It’s been a year where our designers have explored comfort and the human experience, while our factory has investigated different approaches to making furniture. Our Curtain Road showroom has been re-imagined with new room-sets and decorative objects, while our schedule of exhibitions has reflected an industry-wide acknowledgement of the greater need for a truly sustainable product ecosystem. It’s been revitalising, full of astute thinking, and it gives us encouragement for the year ahead
Champ stool by Visibility for Matter Made
The beginning of the year is always intense and while the Winter Sale was in full flow we were already busy behind the scenes finalising new products for the Milan Salone del Mobile. When February began, we focused on American brand Matter Made, newly introduced to SCP’s audience. Founded in 2003 in Brooklyn NYC by Jamie Gray as a platform for emerging American designers, the company manufactures a range of paired-down beautifully crafted pieces.
"I saw an opportunity to make and manufacture things that weren't being made and work with people who I thought were not being acknowledged, whose work was relevant and important at the time. Especially American designers."
With new Donna Wilson SCP textiles becoming available in spring, we talked to one of our key manufacturing partners in the South West of England, the Bristol Weaving Mill. Talking to Founder Juliet Bailey, we got an insight into how they work and the emerging textile scene in the city.
“I love it when Donna comes to me with a new idea, and we can just go and run with it. Our weaving partner for the project also embraces creating more extraordinary things."
As Milan got ever closer, we did a round of studio visits to the designers of SCP’s new 2022 collection. We sought to find out more about their approach to creating new products in a post-pandemic world. Read the full interviews with Matthew Hilton, Philippe Malouin, Ilse Crawford and Oscar Peña, and new designers in the SCP fold, Wilkinson and Rivera. All of them had, to one extent or another, explored new directions as a result of the pandemic, and we found them all to be as inspiring and thoughtful as ever.
Teresa Rivera and Grant Wilkinson
"I always felt so untethered when I was trying to make fine art. To skip forward to doing this, for some reason, if I could tether it to a chair, to a function, then I had complete freedom to express myself."
Matthew Hilton at his south London studio
Shelves at Matthew Hilton's studio
"SCP has a very particular way of doing upholstery, it's not the modern way to do it. I’ve said this before, and it might be a bit of a cliché, but it’s like making a tailor-made suit, and they have that feel. It’s not the kind of absolute perfection we have got used to with modern technology production, which can be a bit soulless. Some things are nice when you can see a bit of the human interaction in them."
Oscar Peña & Ilse Crawford at Studioilse
"It's not a chair to look at, it's a chair to sit on."
Philippe Malouin inspects the Camp chair prototype at his studio
Philippe Malouin at his Hackney studio
"As SCP is in the UK, it allows me to be there every step of the way. It makes a difference to be there personally."
Just prior to the Milan Salone, in May, we featured the first in a series of specially commissioned window exhibitions at our Curtain Road showroom, featuring work from Manchester-based sculptor Vic Wright.
"I find a lot of inspiration in architecture, in general design. Nature definitely plays a big part in my work. I love seeing behind the scenes of things, especially things being made."
The Milan Salone in June was in truth a total delight, with lovely warm weather and a renewed sense of excitement in the industry, SCP were happily situated in the sunshine in the beautiful cloisters of Padiglione Brera in Brera Design District, with our show entitled “Ways of Sitting”.
The exhibition was also part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle, an official LDF District, which is a community driven event that SCP organise. We were delighted to see a re-invigorated design sector in Shoreditch, with over fifty individual shows, but most importantly, shows of quality and powerful new ideas. There were also notable new residents in the area, such as Vitra at their new home on Rivington Street, the Tramshed, which was brilliant to see.
The One Tree project designers and makers
One Tree Perspectives
For a deeper understanding of the One Tree project, and how it reflected on material culture and the design sector’s approach to sustainability, it’s worth reading both of our In Conversation pieces with key players in the project, designer Sebastian Cox, and SCP’s founder Sheridan Coakley.
"There is that sense that product design can become holistic thinking, which can span any discipline. I sort of feel like there is an opportunity for us to be more open than ever about what it is that we intervene in."
Sheridan Coakley and Sebastian Cox on the One Tree Project felling day.
The One Tree project ash tree
"The hope is that people will buy these things and never get rid of them, then that carbon that has been absorbed by the tree over its life is retained, and not released."
Beasley Brothers Repair Shop
As the nights drew in, but before the year was out, we managed to fit a couple more events at SCP. First, an exhibition and live auction of items created at the Beasley Brothers Repair shop, which was originally part of the Eternally Yours exhibition at Somerset House.
Selected items from the Beasley Brothers Repair shop, a project by Carl Clerkin
Instigated by designer and friend of SCP Carl Clerkin, the show featured over sixty different unique pieces of furniture created by designers working alongside Carl in the repair shop. All the pieces were made from donations from parts bins of a small number of British manufacturers.
We were delighted to hold a very successful auction, with a great turnout from our audience of design lovers, who bid strongly throughout the evening and created a wonderful atmosphere. All of the auction lots sold, and we were pleased to be able to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Somerset House Young Talent Fund.
"It’s a bit ridiculous the amount of satisfaction I get from making these paintings. It is in relation to other things in life. They don’t all work, but I just feel like it’s a nice challenge each time I make it."
2022 has been a year of challenge and tumult throughout the world, with so much giving us pause for thought. Yet we have found a design industry around us keen to move on from the pandemic, with a blend of good ideas and a true acknowledgement of the need to create a sustainable future. We would like to wish you all a revitalising and positive 2023 and to finish with a quote from one of our favourite designers, Shiro Kuramata.
“Function of design should not be just about whether it is practical or not. Enchantment should also be considered as function.”
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year ahead.