Matt Hill unveiled his Array coffee table at last year’s New Designers show, before going on to receive an accolade for the design’s innovation at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition in October. Combining the classic pairing of oak and walnut with metallic fixtures, Array bosts modular contruction elements and steam-bent components.
“The inspiration for this design came from exploration of patten inspired by nature in art, design and photography throughout my education," he says. "Research into how pattern is received by the brain and the reactions it causes inspires the use of pattern, symmetry and material in my designs. Steam-bending was the process I wanted to explore – pushing how steam-bent components can interact, utilising their properties of strength and elegance.
“As my design process progressed through initial design to development, the concept of using modules to create interconnecting and modular furniture became the direction I wanted to follow. This led to the Array module used in this coffee table.
“Inspiration from mid-century furniture, through the use of material combinations and utilising modern techniques, pushed me in the directions of using precision-machined components and fixtures.
“Oak and walnut are a classic combination in furniture. However, I wanted to contrast these classic warm tones with stark metallic fixtures. Further development of the design could see alternative material options for the different components within the Array range.”
Matt graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a 2:1 in Furniture and Product Design, having completed internships at Sitting Firm Chairmakers and as a furniture designer at Nottingham Boat Company. Shortly after finishing university, Matt started working in product development at deVOL Kitchens, and now aspires to develop his own furniture designs alongside his career there.
Array was one of two designs exhibited by Matt at the Business Design Centre as part of New Designers 2018. Matt also exhibited at last year’s Young Furniture Makers exhibition, where he won the Young Furniture Makers Innovation Award for the Array coffee table.
“Experimenting with processes and materials to try and understand their limitations is an important aspect of design, and has the potential to lead to something new and innovative, pushing modern design,” he concludes.