Young Furniture Makers exhibition goes virtual for 2021

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition, an unmissable showcase of fresh thinking from the future of design, returns in October 2021 as a special month-long virtual event.

Organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the Young Furniture Makers exhibition is an annual celebration of new, awe-inspiring designs of furniture and furnishings from talented GCSE and university students as well as recent graduates from around the UK.

Traditionally, the event – sponsored by Axminster Tools & Machinery - is a one-day spectacular providing the next generation of designers and makers direct access to some of the UK furnishing industry’s top influencers and employers, but for 2021 the event is going online thanks to the support of the January Furniture Show in partnership with REVEAL.

Around 55 designs will be showcased across three categories – the Bespoke category, Design category and School Design category.

The entrants in each category will be judged by a panel of experts with an overall winner from each group announced on Friday 29 October, the last day of the online exhibition.

In addition to the Bespoke Award, Design Award and School Design Award, the judges will also select a winner of the Innovation Award – a piece they think is pushing the boundaries of design – and an overall Best in Show Prize.

Jonny Westbrooke, CEO of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “The Young Furniture Makers exhibition is an extraordinary and unmissable celebration of talented young designer-makers, many of whom are in the early stages of their career and looking for employment. We are thrilled that the Young Furniture Makers exhibition is returning in 2021, thanks to the support of Axminster Tools and Clarion Events, as a month-long celebration which we hope will give even more people the opportunity to see the outstanding designs of some of the UK’s rising stars.”

Alan Styles, managing director of Axminister Tools & Machinery, exhibition sponsor, said: “Axminster Tools is committed to helping to build a sustainable future for the furniture industry. In order to preserve traditional crafts, it's vital that we continue to support and develop fresh new talent. It's a privilege to be involved with an event like the Young Furniture Makers exhibition; the level of innovation, design and craftsmanship is truly wonderful to experience. I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings.”

Zoe Bonser, portfolio director at Clarion Retail, organiser of the January Furniture Show, said: “Nurturing the creative, technical, design and craft talents of the next generation of furniture makers is so indescribably important, and we’re thrilled to be giving our support to The Young Furniture Makers exhibition. I have no doubt that those visiting digitally will be in awe of the work being showcased, and we look forward to celebrating the success of all that have been shortlisted for these noteworthy awards.”

To view the shortlisted entries, go to


Notes for editors

The Young Furniture Maker Awards

The Young Furniture Makers Awards are the student equivalent of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Guild Marks, recognising excellence in the fields of Bespoke and Design. Every year the Company receives hundreds of entries from students for the awards. The designs that impress the judges on paper are then invited to show at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition so they can scrutinise them in person and pick winners. With the 2021 show being a virtual event, all the judging has been done using the information and images provided in the application.

The judges for the 2021 Young Furniture Maker Awards are:

  • Zoe Bonser, portfolio director at Clarion Events
  • Chris Hyde, director of curriculum at Activate Learning
  • Peter Sharratt, technical support advisor at Blum
  • Alan Styles, managing director at Axminster Tools & Machinery
  • Charles Vernon, Past Master and industry expert

About The Furniture Makers’ Company

The Furniture Makers’ Company is the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry. It fosters the industry by supporting those in need, nurturing skills and expertise and inspiring excellence. It provides support and assistance to those in need who are working or have worked in the UK furnishing industry. It supports students and young people with grants, training and mentoring in order to foster talent and safeguard the future of the industry. It encourages the highest standards and best practice in the design, making, marketing and selling of all kinds of furniture and furnishings throughout the UK, recognising quality through the award of its Guild Marks and Awards.

For further information, contact George Cooper, or 020 7562 8522.

Progressive Media International Limited. Registered Office: 40-42 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8EB, UK.Copyright 2021, All rights reserved.