Okay Studio's Five 20.05.14

Written by 

OKAY Studio

To mark the fifth year of CDW, five teams from design collective Okay Studio produced designs using five lesser-known species of hardwood

To mark the fifth year of Clerkenwell Design Week, design collective Okay Studio worked with the American Hardwood Export Council to produce designs using five lesser-known species of hardwood and inspired by the number five.

The results are on display at an exhibition, Five, at the Scin Gallery on Old Street for the duration of the festival.


Ed Swan (pictured above) responded to the brief with his Shift series of pentagonal seating, which celebrates movement, contrast, texture and adaptability. Each side of the stool is made using a different type of wood, while the panelling shifts in orientation with each turn.

shift 2

“I wanted the simple act of moving an element to have a tangible effect, something geometric and graphical, yet straightforward and satisfying,” says Swan. "When stacked, the seating forms a patchwork of grains and colours – and can be clustered together to create tables.


Working together, Peter Marigold and Andrew Haythornthwaite (above) considered several designs that aimed to highlight the lightness of tulipwood, including a giant canopy and a series of tree-like structures, eventually settling on a dividing screen – Tulou – made up of triangles of curved wood perched on tensile wire, held in place by red oak counter balances.

"The entire “wall” sways and bobs in the breeze, playing with the boundaries between two and three dimensions.

Apex 1


Meanwhile, Norwegian-born Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud made a series called Apex (above) that reverses the usual role of glass and wood in a table – in their designs, blown glass vessels encase stained-wood cones that resemble spinning tops and, in so doing, highlight the qualities of the wood.


Mathias Hahn brought ambiguity to the kitchen with his Runcible family of maple utensils (pictured above) – each of which is based on a familiar culinary form but leaves its application to the user’s interpretation.


Meanwhile, Lilliana Ovalle (above) played with perspective with Claroscuro, a pair of tulipwood benches with sides formed of battens of different thicknesses – creating the effect of changing density as the angle from which they are viewed changes.

Kent-based sculptor Adam Kershaw offered guidance during the design process and eventually made three of the five projects – see him in action in this video.

Until 22 May, The Scin Gallery, 27 Old Street, London EC1V 9HL



quotes story

Mathias Hahn brought ambiguity to the kitchen with his Runcible family of maple utensils



Leave a comment

Click to show