Malcolm Thomas

malthomasdesign | Email

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Master of Arts (Furniture and Related Technology), 1985, Buckingham College of Higher Education, England.
Bachelor of Arts (Three-dimensional design), 1982, Middlesex Polytechnic, London.

Where did you head after graduating?
After graduating I worked for a bespoke furniture designer and making company. I fell in love with making and asumed that knowing how to make would make be better designer. In my holidays and spare time I would prototype up my own designs to start building a profile and folio.

When did you launch your own business?
In 2002.

What motivated you to start your own business?
I wanted control over a creative role and to focus on a form and process that facinated me personally.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
My designs come from facination with form, shape and texture. There is a particular interest in having a theme. This may be bringing human form into the design or trying to build a structure using identical elements.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
I design furniture that varies in purpose and scale. I like designing items where the production process influences the aesthetic. The designs are simple and modern, no applied ornamentation using materials that are natural or are sustainable.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
Money and time. Prototyping is costly. Designs need refining which means several versions that all need consideration. Marketing my work tends to be done on the run.

What inspires your design projects?
Natural forms, shapes in sculpture, art and architecture. Materials are a good starting point.

What are the next steps for you?
I would like to consolidate a range of products and items that I sell and draw attention to what I can do. I would like to raise my profile enough for design houses and manufacturers to take me on and commission me.

Published 15 July 2008.

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