Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of London Design Festival, has invited leaders of London’s cultural institutes to collaborate with some of the world’s most prolific designers to create a ‘Legacy’ piece of design.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Saturday, 14 – Sunday, 22 September 2019

  • Throughout the V&A

  • Free event

Legacy photo

The pieces – 10 in total - will be beautifully made in American red oak, a sustainable wood species that grows abundantly in the American hardwood forests, and will be fabricated at Benchmark Furniture in Berkshire. The pieces will be presented as a group exhibition at the V&A in September, after which they will relocate to the homes or institutes of each of the commissioners. See the 10 designers and commissioners below.

o Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, will work with Jasper Morrison
o Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive, Science Museum Group, will work with Marlene Huissoud
o Hans Ulrich-Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, will work with studiomama
o Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House, will work with Terence Woodgate
o Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO, British Film Institute, will work with Sebastian Cox
o Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet, will work with Martino Gamper
o Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director, Tate, will work with Max Lamb
o Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery, will work with Raw Edges
o Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic, will work with Tomoko Azumi
o Sir John Sorrell CBE will work with Juliet Quintero

“We called upon cultural leaders in London and asked if they would like to contribute to this thought-provoking project,” says Sir John Sorrell. “We then invited some of the world’s top designers and were delighted when everybody immediately said yes.”

“AHEC is always pushing the boundaries for American hardwoods and we wanted to create a project that celebrates the use of red oak to demonstrate not just how beautiful it is for furniture making, but also to test the performance and quality of this abundant wood,” says David Venables, European Director, AHEC. “It’s a fabulous project with incredible designers. We can’t wait to see what emerges from these unique collaborations.”

Sean Sutcliffe, Founder of Benchmark Furniture, says: “I am looking forward to working with some designers that we have not worked with before, and re-engaging with some that we have. I’m going to be interested to see what they come up with in a ‘single material’ like American Red Oak – and in such a short timeframe. I am also excited to get a brief glimpse into the personal thinking of some of the leaders of London’s major cultural institutions.”

Supported by American Hardwood Export Council.

Part of London Design Festival 2019.