June 21st, 2012
Retro, sci-fi furniture: who’d have thought it? With years of experience designing for films like Star Wars and The Fifth Element, Mark Garside and Kate Lennard have mastered the fine art of effortlessly futuristic furniture. Wonderland chats to the design duo from Rockman & Rockman.
Cube 1: £650m; Cube 7: £840; Cube 19: £2200, available at Liberty, Regent Street, W1B 5AH.
How long have you been a partnership – when and how did it start?
Mark and Kate: We met at Middlesex University when we were both studying Furniture Design and became a partnership when we had children.
How does the Geometric Living Collection compare to previous projects?
This is the first project we’ve collaborated on – before that we did our own creative things.
When was the idea first dreamt up? Were you inspired by something in particular?
Needing a small table for our home, not able to find anything we liked and realizing we were furniture designers who could make exactly what we wanted. We took inspiration from strong graphics that we collect in ceramics, furniture and packaging. The more we worked on it, the more it seemed to join up the dots of things that we were interested in.
Was it difficult to source the materials for it?
We wanted the strong graphic look with solid material rather than a print that can rub away, which led on to the idea of marquetry and parquetry. We realised that there were traditional materials that we would have to test and discovered that we had to invent new methods of constructing using a range of materials to see what worked and what didn’t. In fact, we became experts in what doesn’t work! In the process, we developed some new techniques for fabricating the tables in both cast acrylic and raw wood veneers. It took about 18 months before we got it to work.
Any new projects you’re working on?
We only just launched this in the last few weeks so at the moment this is our focus. But to be honest, we have many other ideas – it’s a case of cherry picking the ones that shine the brightest.
View the full Rockman & Rockman on their website.
Words: Jack Mills