Orangebox was founded in 2002, in its origins of Hengoed in South Wales. They design and manufacture stylish and practical office/commercial furniture, that meet our wellbeing needs. Making social areas more comfortable and focus on connecting people.
In my 2nd year on the course, we were approached by Orangebox with a brief, to help them tackle fabric waste in order to be a more sustainable business. The task was to take one days worth of waste; 44 sub straights of fabric cut, leaving a tone of offset waste a day. This was delivered to the studio, and as a ambitious surface textile designers, I worked on a plan to utilise as much waste as possible in a practical creative manner. The final outcome goal was to create a 5 panel pieces for a skimmer sully stool out of the waste provided. The initial brief given by Orangebox had suggested using biophilia and wellbeing as research and idea development.
My initial réponse to this challenge was to identify the material, most of which was wool. My first action plan was figure a way to construct my panels from small cut offs. During my first year on the course, I learned how to use an industrial embellishing machine. This could create new sub straights of fabric, by layering either wool or silk overlapping. the embellishment machine hold 900 needles that push up and down on the fibres, joining them together. I put my knowledge to good use during this project. I managed to create all 5 panels from small scraps of wool from the waste. the texture created from the embellishment machine lefts a soft fuzziness to the fabric, this ticked the box for my wellbeing challenge, as who doesn’t love to sit on a soft fluffy stool? the panels were also reinforced with a twin stick in random compositions, both vertical and horizontal across the panels.
I was extremely pleased to fine out that my design had been chosen by the leading team managers, to be created up into a physical stool. This was very exciting and overwhelming, and to add to that excitement, they also announced ed that they would be taking the whole collection made by me and my university peers, to various design shows across the UK, including to London for the Clerkenwell Design Week, 2019, and we were invited.
Having the opportunity to work with Orangebox on this collaboration has been such a new learning curve. I got to see what the industry looks like first hand from a tour, meet with the head of design and manufacturing teams, as well as having to work face to face with their teams. Having the chance to exhibit at Clerkenwell week was also a great experience, I had wonderful time at the Orangebox set up, as well as visiting other exhibitions for research and inspiration. The outcome has been more than expected, and a really great show.