The Wish List - What I Have Always Wanted Is by Various Designers

V&A Project

13 — 21 Sept 2014

Craft, Materials

Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road



Ten emerging designers created objects they have always wanted. ‘The Wish List’ celebrated sustainable design and the power of craftsmanship, brought together by the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture for London Design Festival 2014.

In a collaborative fusion of design experience, young talent and craftsmanship, Sir Terrence Conran and Benchmark Furniture teamed up with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to invite ten illustrious names in design and architecture to each nominate an emerging talent to collaborate on a very open brief: "What have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?" While open to interpretation, the one restriction was that each project must be produced in a single material - American hardwood. All of the items were crafted during one intense 'making week' at Benchmark's Berkshire workshops in July. Each design was, as expected, unique and esoteric. Sebastian Cox designed a "cocoon-like" desk with cabinet space for Sir Terence Conran, co-founder of Benchmark, while Norie Matsumoto was charged by Norman Foster to create the perfect wooden pencil sharpener. Win Assakul created an extendable wooden bowl for fruit or cheese inspired by traditional African designs for Amanda Levete; and Studio Areti designed three items for John Pawson's farm in Gloucestershire: a slanted door, a triangle shelf and hook. Meanwhile, Felix de Pass designed a kitchen stool for Alison Brooks ("the most popular seat in the house"), Gareth Neil made two CNC cut vessels for Zaha Hadid and Nathalie de Leval built a shed for Sir Paul Smith. Barnby & Day fashioned a "beautiful large round laminated dining table" for Alex de Rijke; Xenia Moseley made a ladder "from which to wonder and wallow" for Richard and Ab Rogers; and Lola Lely designed a chaise longue for Allen Jones, inspired by legendary art collector Peggy Guggenheim "and her mischievous nature". Supported by the American Hardwood Export Council. Further support by Benchmark Furniture.