May saw the Furniture Makers Company award the latest round of Design Guild Marks to some of the most deserving new British designs. Among these was David Irwin’s Hardy Chair, part of the Dorset Series collection commissioned to celebrate supplier Another Country’s fifth anniversary.

Newcastle-based industrial designer David created the solid oak Hardy chair as part of a bespoke studio line highlighting the history and landscape of Dorset.

The chair was inspired by Dorset-born novelist Thomas Hardy. Referencing the past and present, it features a steam-bent backrest which flows continuously around the seat to embrace the user, whilst providing a comfortable armrest.

“When designing the chair I purposely wanted to have one foot in the past to an extent, drawing reference from chair typologies of Hardy’s era whilst creating something relevant for today,” explains David.

“I purposely wanted to have one foot in the past”

Two typologies from the 19th century further influenced the design: the low-backed wooden Captain’s armchair; and the Smokers bow, a low-back Windsor often found in smoking rooms, public houses, barber shops and cottages. David looked at the construction details of these chairs and stripped them back to a minimum.

David had been aware of Another Country since its launch in 2010. Another Country’s founder Paul de Zwart says: “We’ve always been a fan of David’s work, and the Dorset Series project gave us the perfect opportunity to work together.”

This is the second Design Guild Mark Another Country has received, having previously been awarded in 2014 for Desk Three by Marie Dessuant, the company’s head of design.