London-based design studio Smith.Matthias is our one to watch for November
Words by Ellen Peirson
Started by Jack Smith and Gemma Matthias, furniture designers who met at Sheffield Hallam University, Smith.Matthias is a London-based design studio. Since 2012 it has developed its own toolkit of sorts, which is used to develop and test ideas, engaging with the design process to create something unique and meaningful each time.
Smith.Matthias attempts to place its work at the intersection of utility, innovation and resilience, in order to create products that endure both in use, strength and look.
Garden Bar: In producing work for Camden Town Brewery, Smith.Matthias designed a new range of portable, collapsible bars for beer gardens in the summer months. Printed marine plywood is slotted into a box section metal framework with a roof that can be raised during use and lowered for storage and transportation. The lightweight, moveable structure makes the garden bar transportable and easy to use when connecting and changing barrels.
Jack: Taking inspiration from the traditional, straightup- and-down form, Smith. Matthias reimagined the pint glass with shorter and wider proportions for Camden Town Brewery. Part of a duo, ‘Jack’ – named after the male half of Smith.Matthias – is in good company as its pair, ‘Kenneth’, is named after the iconic designer Kenneth Grange. With a sturdy, simple profile, the beer vessel brings a minimalist approach to glass design.
Through a rigorous development process, Smith.Matthias ensures that its designs are thoughtful to both the market and sustainability, designing for the long term. The results are intelligent products that keep an eye on function, manufacturing and cost.
CDW Presents 2019: For Clerkenwell Design Week’s 10th edition, 10 pioneering designers were selected to create celebratory pillars, exhibited at the 2019 event in May. Smith.Matthias was inspired by the rich tapestry of old and new in Clerkenwell, and how this is manifested in the London district’s architecture. The result was a pillar of stained plywood bricks in a ‘hit-and-miss’ pattern.
Through its work, Smith.Matthias aims to incorporate innovative manufacturing methods with a timelessness in design, to ensure that its products are resistant to fashions and deterioration.