Behind the exhibition: ‘Inside Out: Furniture from the Crafts Council Collection’

The design world is buzzing as the London Design Festival kicks off across the capital this Saturday and Habitat is jumping in with both feet in celebration. ‘Inside Out: Furniture from the Crafts Council Collection’ is a partnership exhibition with the Crafts Council taking place at Platform until 17th October.

The exhibition presents key furniture pieces from the Crafts Council Collection. With works dating from the 1970s onwards, the Collection is a rich archive of making in the UK that embraces all the main craft disciplines. This exhibition gives you the chance to see work from some of the most significant UK makers including Fred Baier, Floris Van Den Broecke, Tom Dixon, Michael Marriott and Tomoko Azumi.

We  caught up with Jill Read, Head of Communications for Crafts Council, to find out more.

Tell us a little about the Crafts Council

We’re a charity that supports and promotes British craft nationally and internationally.  We want to get people enthused and passionate about craft.

What does Inside Out mean and how did the exhibition idea come to fruition?

Inside Out alludes to the indoor/outdoor nature of furniture, this exhibition features furniture pieces with ‘inside’ spaces and offers a look inside the Crafts Council Collection. The pieces showcase a wide range of techniques, materials and processes from Jim Partridge’s bench, hewn from a single solid truck of green oak,  Jane Atfield’s chair made from recycled plastic shampoo and washing-up liquid bottles, to Michael Anastassiades’ bedside table with felt storage pockets that muffle any noisy objects (such as alarm clocks) inside.

We wanted to create an exhibition to showcase the wonderful furniture pieces we have in our own Collection and with Habitat’s legacy working with furniture designers it seemed a really lovely fit to launch it in the Platform Gallery.


S Chair, Tom Dixon, 1988, Crafts Council Collection W84. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography.

How were the pieces chosen for this exhibition?

We wanted to get a mix of pieces from the 1970s (when our Collection was founded) through to present day, include makers who’ve made a significant contribution to furniture making and design and show a range of processes and materials.

What are the stand out pieces of the show?

We’re chuffed to be showing Fred Baier’s Megatron – Whatnot – Etagér. It’s quite the eighties show-stopper!


Johanna I (Red), Ineke Hans, 1996, Crafts Council Collection W119. Photo: Todd-White Art  Photography.

The exhibition is part of London Design Festival, what does LDF mean to Crafts Council?

It is now a globally renowned showcase event for design and they’ve really shone a spotlight on craft and makers particularly over the last few years. So we’re big fans of LDF.

What are your top five things to see and do at London Design Festival?

We’re looking forward to Hands Together – a jewellery pop-up exhibition within Sense of Jewellery at The Goldsmiths’ Centre, the Four Corners of Craft at Tent LondonBarnaby Barford’s Tower of Babel at the V&A will be quite a sight, Future Heritage at Decorex will showcase new talent and The New Craftsmen’s Craft and Ingenuity will be well worth a look.

‘Inside Out: Furniture from the Crafts Council Collection’

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