Benchmark, the UK’s powerhouse of craft, at the Salone del Mobile

14th – 19th April 2015

  • Shake Sideboard
  • Sebastian Cox
  • Sean Sutcliffe
  • Plate Petr

English furniture maker Benchmark travels to Milan’s annual Salone del Mobile to showcase their craft skills and their continuing work with pioneering Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in furniture making – a world first.
The company of craftsmen and designers will participate in two separate exhibitions, Wallpaper* Handmade and The Green Room at designjunction. Both will demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practice and knowledge of traditional furniture making techniques paired with modern design thinking. In addition, Benchmark co-founder Sean Sutcliffe will give a keynote talk during designjunction edit Milan’s Architects breakfast, partnered with Architonic.

Invited to participate in the coveted Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition, Benchmark collaborate with Danish / Swedish architecture practice Kolman Boye, and American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to produce Rotunda Serotina. This is the magazine’s annual salute to craft and creativity bringing together the best designers and makers to deliver handmade one-off wonders.  All will be unveiled on Tuesday 14th
Championing the best of British sustainable companies and products, The Green Room at designjunction edit Milan selected Benchmark’s Chestnut & Ash collection, designed by Sebastian Cox. A project by UK Trade & Investment Milan and curated by Marina Iremonger, Head of Consumer & Creative Team, the selection criteria focused on low-carbon footprint to coincide with Expo Milano’s theme
of ‘Feeding the Planet’.  The Green Room appears as a furnished dining room.

Sebastian, a designer and craftsman and a kindred mind, is dedicated to proving that sustainable design does not have to result in a compromised product. He is highly recognised for using coppicing in his work, a bi-product of woodland management, which provides an abundant source of timber, as well as creating
a healthy and diverse woodland.
The Chestnut & Ash collection, made by Benchmark, uses coppiced chestnut and well-managed ash, combining the ancient skill of cleaving with contemporary furniture making techniques. The Shake sideboard has a solid dovetailed ash carcass and doors made of cleft chestnut shakes, which are split as thinly as possible to keep the doors light and full of texture. The Lath Chair, shown with both a leather and woven cord seat, is a modern interpretation of the traditional ladder-back chair. Fine cleft laths split from freshly coppiced chestnut make the ladder back and the frame is made from ash. These pieces show a
strong connection with the making process through visible joints, and honest construction.

Presented against the derelict surrounds of Casa dell’Opera, in Milan’s San Babila area designjunction edit Milan is a curated show of cutting-edge design. We sit alongside other British brands including lighting brand Anglepoise, wallpaper maker Tracy Kendall, design company Designer’s Guild and handmade
makers and producers Utopia&Utility.

For more information please contact:
Jess Tully +44(0)7973 630 421
Twitter: @MadebyBenchmark

Tuesday 14th 16:00 – 18:00, design junction edit Milan press preview
Sebastian Cox will be at his workbench demonstrating cleaving in The Green Room.
Wednesday 15th April, 10:00, Architonic hosted Architect’s Breakfast Talk at designjunction edit Milan (open 09:00 – 11:00)
Sean Sutcliffe keynote talk on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Rotunda Serotina at Wallpaper* Handmade:
The Arcade via San Gregorio 43 Milan
14 April 2015, 12pm – 4pm
15 – 18 April 2015, 10am – 7pm
The Green Room, UKTI Milan at designjunction edit Milan
‘Where design and creativity meet eco-sustainability’:
Casa dell’Opera Nazionale Balilla
Via Pietro Mascagni, 6, 20122 Milan
Wednesday 15th – 11.00-19.00
Thursday 16th – 11.00-19.00
Friday 17th – 11.00-19.00
Saturday 18th  -11.00-19.00
Sunday 19th – 11.00-15.00
@UKTIItaly @GREATBritain

Notes to the Editor

Sean Sutcliffe co-founded Benchmark with Terence Conran in 1984. Furniture makers, Benchmark are one of Great Britain’s most technologically advanced workshops and are widely regarded as the UK’s powerhouse of craft, with an unrivalled depth of knowledge of wood. Based in West Berkshire on a converted farm, now with 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spray shops, metalworking, and in-house upholstery, as well as design studio. Benchmark works internationally with hotels, restaurants, public buildings, offices and private residences and sells its own furniture range direct from the workshops..  Benchmark runs an award winning apprenticeship scheme and was the first furnituremaker to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.
Truly international, consistently intelligent and hugely influential, Wallpaper* is the world’s most important design and style magazine. Wallpaper* has readers in 93 countries and has unparalleled success in reaching the design elite right across the globe. With 12 themed issues a year, a limited-edition cover by a different artist or designer each month, over 1.15million Twitter followers and a monthly iPad edition, Wallpaper* has evolved from style bible to internationally recognised brand.
design junction has firmly established itself as the leading destination for contemporary interior design and culture, held annually during the London Design Festival, Salone de Mobile, Milan and NYCxDesign, New York. designjunction is at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge design within challenging and expertedly curated spaces.
UKTI is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. They also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK‟s dynamic economy acknowledged as Europe‟s best place from which to succeed in global business.
UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. They provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.