Blackbird Bespoke Student Competition: Winner Announced


Blackbird Bespoke are specialists in distinctive and contemporary metal furniture, all of which is designed and handcrafted at their Central London design workshop in SW8; a place they’ve called home for the last 60 years. Their unique collection of metal tables, mirrors, lighting and accessories are made to order by their team of skilled artisans, combining traditional blacksmithing skills with modern propriety tools to create sculptural pieces of furniture that will stand the test of time.

With simplicity at the core of their design, they take inspiration from the world around them using shapes, colours and textures to create statement pieces. In addition to their own collections, they also work with architects, interior designers, buyers and specifiers in creating bespoke, one-off commissions based on original ideas and designs.

KLC Diploma students were briefed to design a chair for Blackbird Bespoke which could either be a standalone feature peice, or part of a set designed to be used at a table. The design needed to be be sculptural or functional but must be made predominantly of metal and should demonstrate an understanding of the materials used. Consideration should be given to the weight and structural stability. 

KLC would like to congratulate the winner of this student design competition, Lauren Perlman. Lauren shared the following with us, “I am really excited and thrilled that my chair design has won this competition. I had a lot of fun conceptualising this design. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to have my design transformed from an abstract idea to a physical rendition. I look forward to a successful collaboration with Blackbird Bespoke.”

Lauren's Design Concept for submission:

Inspiration for this design was taken from Ndebele women’s ceremonial dress. This comprises copper ring necklaces which are wound around their necks and legs and the contrasting bulb shaped leg bracelets.

Lauren's Design Development for submission:

The chair uses brass, copper and steel in various textured finishes such as hammered or engraved. The finish is tactile and heavily textured focussing on the skills and craftsmanship synonymous with Blackbird Bespoke products. The legs and back of the chair are finished in coiled brass which was directly influenced by the Ndebele women’s neck pieces. The seat comprises various layers stacked one on top of the other until at the top the seat cushion is finished with hair on hyde leather. Surrounding the central leather cushion is a highly decorated steel frame in various textures.

At the awards presentation, Blackbird Bespoke had the following to say about the competition and Lauren's winning design, "In the winning design you can see it all tie in together. There is a wonderful mixtures of textures, shapes and techniques used. The rings on the design going up in different materials is what really attracted me to it. At Blackbird, we focus on textured metals and I could see our business really bringing this to life. In her submisiion, Lauren included her furniture piece in a roomset with other furniture pieces of ours which allowed us to see how it could all work together and how our textures would work in this product. The whole tribal look and feel is very current at the moment and quite commercial. 
Well done to all students for their submissions, they were all unique and really different with no cross-over at all."

We value our relationship with Blackbird Bespoke and look forward to future collaborations and student projects.