Social Togetherness: Alex Mowat in Conversation

On May 16, 2020 · 0 Comments

Today we’re talking to architect Alex Mowat as part of our Social Togetherness series.

Where is home for you?

Camberwell, South London. A timber house that was built in 1970, the year I was born. I think of it as my “architectural twin”.

What are the highlights of your home working day?

Everyone in our architect’s practice joins a 9 am “sign-in” and 6 pm “sign-out” video call every day. We swop experiences about eggs, baby blankets, Eccles cakes and good songs. These small things and the routine are keeping us going.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal place?

Whist trying to keep a regular routine, I have found the time to help the charity, Woodland Heritage. We are re-designing the sawmill at Whitney-on-wye in Herefordshire. We want to be able to increase our capacity for milling timber from Britain’s great estates for beams, boats, furniture and door handles. The mill will also extend its base for training, learning and sharing.

Are you learning a new skill?

The super-fast spread of the corona virus shows us how easy it is to spread animal and plant disease un-naturally across the world. Many people are rightly reconnecting with food and farming. For the furniture, design and construction industry it will mean a bigger focus on local materials.  With my morning coffee in a beautiful Standard Ware Mug by Leach Pottery I am reading my collection of old books on indigenous timber, learning each tree’s Latin name and their traditional uses and qualities. (Full Disclosure: not huge success on the Latin so far).

What positive change might come from Covid-19?

We might learn to value our parents and elders more in society. Their wisdom, stories and experience are the relay race baton they pass on. They tell us how to run the race when it gets hard. I am lucky to have generous and fun parents as well as many wise industry contacts and mentors in design, construction and forestry.

Interesting projects for later this year?

We are currently working on a social housing building and 12 individual homes for rent, both starting construction when the lockdown is eased. A new infill office building in the small lanes near Covent Garden, the “up-cycling” of an old institutional building in South London and a new way of using a collection of old barns in North London.

What would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting?

Newness is not always something I strive for but my wish starts with:

Something grown locally, something made locally, something that will get better with age, something beautiful and strokable.

Something made by one of our great manufacturers like Ercol, Very Good and Proper, Benchmark, Gaze Burvill, Young and Norgate, Another Country or Sebastian Cox……….

Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to talk to us. Join us next week for the next instalment of Social Togetherness.


Day for Flowers exhibition

On June 29, 2017 · 0 Comments

Day for Flowers exhibition at River StreetIn celebration of Lucienne Day‘s centenary year, the Day for Flowers exhibition opened at twentytwentyone’s River Street showroom on 20th June.

Day for Flowers exhibitionDay for Flowers exhibitionThe exhibition was conceived as a tribute to one of Britain’s most significant and influential textile designers. It also marked the launch of the Lucienne Day Flower Brick.

Lucienne Day centenary edition Flower BrickA limited, numbered edition of Lucienne Day’s 1960s flower brick design has been produced by twentytwentyone to mark Day’s centenary.

Day for Flowers saw a range of creative individuals from the design world present their own tribute to Lucienne Day by using her Flower Brick design to create a unique floral arrangement.

Day for Flowers exhibition The participating designers were Barber & Osgerby, Paula Day, Max Fraser, Suzy Hoodless, Margaret Howell, Philippe Malouin, Alex Mowatt, Nikki Tibbles and Faye Toogood working with Yasuyo Harvey.

The arrangements produced were remarkable for their diversity of form and the variety of flowers and foliage used. Crisply architectural formations stood side by side with abundant displays of colour, texture and shape.

Barber & Osgerby Paula Day Flower Brick arrangementsAbove left: Barber & Osgerby. Above right: Paula Day.

fraser-hoodlessAbove left: Max Fraser. Above right: Suzy Hoodless.

howell-malouinAbove left: Margaret Howell. Above right: Philippe Malouin.

mowat-tibblesAbove right: Alex Mowat. Above left: Nikki Tibbles.

toogood-harveyAbove: Faye Toogood and Yasuyo Harvey.

Paula Day’s arrangement had a particularly personal resonance. Her blooms included cuttings from her mother’s favourite ‘New Dawn’ rose, taken from a plant grown by Lucienne Day but now transplanted to her daughter’s garden.

Day for Flowers exhibition Day for Flowers exhibition openingThe wide variety of effects achieved illustrated the inherent flexibility of this elegantly functional design…

exhib-17Day for Flowers exhibition opening… and of course served as a most fitting tribute to a designer whose enduring works continue to inspire.

Day for Flowers exhibition openingDay for Flowers was on display at our River Street showroom from  21st to 24th June 2017.

If you’ve been inspired by the flower displays above you can purchase your own Flower Brick here.

Day for Flowers exhibition

On May 4, 2017 · 0 Comments

Day for Flowers exhibition

In Lucienne Day‘s centenary year, twentytwentyone is celebrating her contributions to design with Day for Flowers, a collaborative exhibition that also marks the relaunch of one of Lucienne Day’s designs: the Flower Brick.

Flowers and plants were a key source of inspiration in Lucienne Day’s life and work. She was a passionate gardener and abstracted plant and flower forms appear throughout her work.

Lucienne Day

The flower brick has its origins in the decorative Delftware produced during the 18th century to hold ornate floral displays. In 1966 Lucienne Day reinterpreted this historic genre in a collection of distinctive contemporary designs that were produced in England by Bristol Potteries.

twentytwentyone has collaborated with 1882 Ltd and the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to bring the Lucienne Day Flower Brick back into production, with a celebratory limited edition of 100.

Lucienne Day Flower Bricks

To mark the reissue of Day’s design we have invited ten creative individuals from the worlds of fashion, design, interiors, architecture and journalism to design a floral display using a Flower Brick.

Designers and creatives taking part in Day for Flowers exhibition

We are delighted to have the participation of Michael AnastassiadesBarber & OsgerbyPaula DayMax FraserSuzy HoodlessMargaret HowellPhilippe MalouinAlex MowatNikki Tibbles and Faye Toogood.

The ten arrangements they design will be displayed at our River Street showroom, providing a dramatic and inspiring summer show of floral creations – and a fitting tribute to Lucienne Day.

Day for Flowers is hosted in association with 1882 Ltd and The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.

It will run from Wednesday 21st to Saturday 24th June.

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