Radius has been one of Habitat’s most popular collections since it was created in 1999. Lasting appeal was an intention but also a result of its design.
Forget big flourishes – Radius quietly and happily gets on with fitting its purpose, slotting into any style of room. It’s a celebration of craftsmanship, materials and, especially, the bridal joint, says its designer Simon Pengelly.
But how did the collection come about? Simon Pengelly explains…
"The collection was originally briefed by Tom Dixon, who was design director at the time. The idea was that it would absolutely sum up Habitat's core values – that great design should be accessible, lasting and part of every day life."
“Its aesthetic is the result of working through constraints, which, as a designer, is really exciting. It had to be beautifully made, it had to have mass appeal and it had to be reasonably priced. It is intended as a very democratic range.
Habitat had been working a lot in veneer in the 90s, so I wanted to get back to solid wood. In some ways, Radius is Arts and Crafts in its aesthetic. Its design is about the beauty of wood and the skill of the maker. The bridal joint (a carpenter’s joint that allows for a corner connection that is very strong in all directions and needs no additional bracing) is a feature, as well as a practical necessity of production.
Even as I was sketching the collection, I knew I wanted to retain the simplicity of my pencil lines – there are no unnecessary flourishes in the collection. Being in oak gives it this romance and timelessness, I think as people we just naturally take pleasure in it.
It’s not high design, or design that rams itself down your throat. Quietness is a quality the best products possess in that they don’t follow trends, rather they have a character born of thoughtful regard to function, environment, intuitiveness and familiarity. They have no need to shout.”
Celebrating Radius’ 20 Year Anniversary
Our Radius collection spans bedroom, dining and living room furniture. To celebrate Radius’ 20 year anniversary, this season we look forward to launching 4 new designs including an extending dining table, console, coffee table and large sideboard. Stay tuned…
British designer Simon Pengelly formed his London-based Pengelly Design studio in 1993.