Furniture makers rising to challenge of hybrid working

As versatile and adaptable standalone furniture grows in importance, the 2023 Design Guild Mark award scheme for design excellence in the UK shows how home and workplace is being bridged

The rise of hybrid working is opening up new vistas for furniture designers and makers as companies re-evaluate their priorities for workspace. Serried ranks of fixed bench desks are on their way out as office populations fluctuate. Individual furniture pieces which are more versatile, adaptable and support a better workplace experience for office returners are in growing demand.

So how is the furniture sector responding to a shift in emphasis? This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, held in London on 23-25 May, was a good place to explore the latest trends in interior design. One of its highlights was the launch of the jury-reviewed Design Guild Mark awards for 2023, which recognised 25 products for outstanding design.

‘Serried ranks of fixed bench desks are on their way out…’

The Design Guild Mark is awarded by the Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, to drive excellence and raise the profile of British industrial design. Top award in this prestigious scheme, the Jonathan Hindle Prize, was given to AD11 Lounge Chair, designed by Huw Evans and Campbell Thompson for The Conran Shop.

Here is a selection of the Design Guild Mark winners, many creating a bridge between office and home in the hybrid era:

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