My guest for the 100th episode of Material Matters is a British designer who sits somewhere between industry and craft. Michael Marriott has a fascination with materials – so much so that his web shop is called Wood Metal Plastic – and a love of resourceful design. Over the years, he’s created furniture for the likes of Established & Sons, SCP and Very Good and Proper, as well as designing and curating exhibitions, working on interiors, and teaching. However, he seems happiest in his own workshop, working on batch production pieces. It’s safe to say he’s a pivotal figure in the recent history of British design.
In this episode we discuss: standing on the edge of regular design practice; not being a craftsman; how tools change design and the importance of a jig; creating cost-effective products; why ‘resourceful’ could be his middle name; the problem with design as an extension of marketing; his love of wood; not working with big Italian furniture brands; readymades and waste; how a trip to Ford’s Dagenham factory changed his life; struggling at school; and his discovery of modernism.
It’s a delightful way to mark our centenary.
Our thanks go to the headline sponsor for this series of the podcast – and the Material Matters 2023 fair – the brilliant lighting specialist, Bert Frank.
And to register for the Material Matters fair, which runs from 20-23 September at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf go here.
Find out more about Michael Marriott