PLYable, created last year by architects, Claire and Mags Margetts, and furniture designer, Tom Ownsworth, is a design studio covering architecture, interior, furniture and product design
Words by Ellen Peirson
Founded in 2017 by architects Claire and Mags Margetts, and furniture designer Tom Ownsworth, PLYable is a design studio in Blyth, Northumberland that spans architecture, interior, furniture and product design. PLYable was borne out of its directors’ enduring love of making.
Each PLYable product is handcrafted, but still employs modular techniques, using CNC machines, laser cutters and standardised dimensions. Alongside this, the PLYable team produce installations and one-off commissions of an architectural scale supported by their sister company, EDable Architecture.
Pervading all of its work is a playful – but useful – presence; producing furniture to be enjoyed by adults and children alike, PLYable’s products have multiple functions; a ride-on truck can become a coffee table or a footrest. The products also inform ongoing research into how we both produce and inhabit space. The design for an innovative form of scooter, evolved into an investigation into the ever-agile workplace – using the scooter design as a seat for ‘standing tables’. This informs PLYable’s research into collaborative workplaces, working with the School of Architecture at Newcastle University to produce public engagement toolkits and encourage users to interact with their environments. PLYable’s projects seek to be both practical and flexible, creating products that work for the user and adapt with the user.
Able to adjust to any given alcove width, the ALLcove comprises a range of standard modules, which can be combined by the user to their own wants and needs. Working with gravity, the units will fill any space and then are easily removed to leave no trace, perfect for those moving between rented properties. The modular design supports units of different requirements – from bookshelves, to TV stands, to cupboards.
Sitting at the threshold between playful and functional, Truble can be a truck, a footrest, a coffee table and anything in between. Multiple Trubles can be connected together, forming a train. Part of the range PLaY, it is designed to fit the needs of growing families and to grow with them. The birch plywood is CNC cut, biscuit joined together and the unit is topped with a woollen cushion.
Made from PLYable’s signature material, Birch plywood, PLYable have formulated a design that produces 15 of these stools out of one single sheet of 8x8 plywood, with minimal waste. The modular components all slot together and are held in place with a single tension cable, requiring no glue or tools to selfassemble. Available in circle or hexagon top, they can be faced in five different colours.