36 students of design from colleges and universities across the UK have just visited the headquarters of Bradford-based Knightsbridge Furniture as part of their research into furniture design and production. The visit was part of a three-day tour sponsored by the Furniture Makers’ Company in conjunction with Festool, and the delegation was led by Junior Warden Ben Burbidge and Grants & Education Manager Damilola Bamidele.
After a formal welcome by Knightsbridge Chairman Margaret Miller, the students were taken round the factory in small groups to see the furniture design and manufacturing process through from conception to finished article. The wood mill was of particular interest: viewing the mill in action was a rare opportunity for the group, given that Knightsbridge is one of the few remaining companies in the world where visitors can still observe the complete process from planks of timber to finished chairs.
A buffet lunch and a Q&A session followed the factory tour. Margaret Miller then gave a short address, advising the delegates to consider carefully their transition from students to furniture designers and makers. Guest speaker was consultant designer James A Wright, who provided some fascinating insights into the highs – and lows – of his career.
The 36 students are all studying different aspects of furniture design and manufacture.
Included in the party were contingents from Bath School of Art & Design, Birmingham City University, Buckinghamshire New University, London’s Building Crafts College, Burnley College, London Met’s CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design, the City of Oxford College, Kingston University, London South Bank University, Manchester School of Art, Plymouth University, Teesside University, the University of Brighton, the University of Wolverhampton and the Wendy Shorter Interiors Upholstery & Soft Furnishings Training Centre.
Knightsbridge Furniture has been producing seating, tables and cabinets for the international contract arena for over 80 years and now operates through specialist divisions covering the healthcare, residential care, hospitality and corporate sectors.
Traditional craftsmanship continues to be balanced with advanced manufacturing technology and a commitment to sustainability, and the company holds Preferred Supplier status with the NHS, the SHS, HSE Ireland and key providers of private and charitable healthcare.
Tours of the Knightsbridge factory on Bradford’s Thornton Road are not restricted to students and any Knightsbridge customers and prospective clients interested in arranging a personal visit are invited to get in touch – call MD Alan Towns on 01274 731442, e-mail Alan.Towns(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)knightsbridge-furniture.co.uk or visit www.knightsbridge-furniture.co.uk