Max Lamb designs PLANKS collection for Benchmark
Launching at London Design Festival 2015

  • Lifestyle
  • Table and Benches
  • Shelving
  • Continuous Grain
  • Sketch
  • Sean & Maxs
  • Measuring for size
Planks is all about working furniture. Its roots lie in the humble carpenters workbench and 17th and 18th century English country furniture such as boarded chests, box stools and dough troughs.  Common to all is the additional function of storage to which legs are attached, providing easily accessible storage and preventing clutter on the working surface.
'I started with a rigorous understanding of the processes involved from log to boule and then stripped away all superfluous detail. I've used full width planks as the defining feature, both structurally and visually, with the key intention being to make a collection of furniture with utility, strength, durability and economy of material.'  Max Lamb
Planks acknowledges the fact that a milled tree yields boards of varying widths by utilising multiple sizes in the construction of each piece of furniture. Three wide planks side-by-side offer a generous surface with uninterrupted wood grain whilst the impressive scale of the tree remains visible. Narrower planks are joined to form structural rails to support the top. By adding a fourth plank to the underside, a hidden storage box makes good utility of the otherwise wasted space below the surface. Four simple L-shaped legs, structurally strong yet physically light, connect to the side of the box and support the cantilevered top. 
The wide planks of oak and Douglas fir give the pieces an apparent simplicity but one which presents significant challenges around construction and stability of the timber.
Planks is plain, simple and useful furniture made with well executed and workmanlike techniques. The combination of our craftsmanship with Max Lamb’s lateral approach to design, thoughtful detailing and attention to proportions results in pieces that have both function and beauty.

‘As a maker I really admire Max Lamb’s clarity of thought and way of approaching design.  He is entirely driven by his fascination with material and process, breaking it down to its purest expression with no concern of style or fashion.   I am naturally drawn to Max’s enthusiasm and values.  I really like his association with nature, which provides so much of the inspiration for his work, and the way he immerses himself wholeheartedly, and more, into every project with seemingly unbounded energy.  He is a joy and an inspiration to work with.’  Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder of Benchmark
The new collection will be shown as part of  FACTORY; The Reunion of Design, Craft and Industry; a collaborative show with 1882 Ltd  who will launch designs by Lindsey Edelman & Kiki van Eijk among others.  We will share our love of making and our deep knowledge of process and material through hands-on demonstrations and interactive displays.
Product details:
1. Dining Table 2500 x 900 x 720 £2450
2. Bench 2500 x 300 x  440 £1195
3. Lounge Table 900 x 900 x 378  £1395
4. Lounge Table 900 x 1350 x 378 £1450
5. Console 1500 x 300 x 800 £1775
6. Shelving 2500 x 330 x 2230 £3300 (with storage); £2285 (without storage)

Tues 22nd September Late Opening Sponsored by Jamesons Whiskey
Wed 23rd September at 10:00, The Future Laboratory will curate and host a public talk ‘Can craft be synthetic?'  -  Drop in event.

The Future Laboratory, 26 Elder Street, London, E1 6BT

22 – 27 September 15 Tues 10–10 | Wed 10-7 | Thur 10-4 | Fri - Sat 10-7 | Sun 10-4

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For more information contact Jess Tully +44(0)7973 630421.
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ABOUT BENCHMARK: One of Great Britain’s most technologically advanced workshops; Benchmark has an unrivalled depth of knowledge of wood. The company has a 70 strong team in over 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spray shops, metalworking, and in-house upholstery, as well as design studio. Benchmark runs an award winning apprenticeship scheme, was the first furniture maker to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development and is proud to be at the forefront of the development of environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in furniture making – a world first. The company makes its own furniture range and works extensively with hotels, restaurants, public buildings, shops, offices and private residences. Recent projects include The Store x Soho House Berlin; Turnmills for Piercy & Co with Derwent; London Library; and ACE hotel Shoreditch. @MadebyBenchmark

ABOUT MAX LAMB: Max Lamb’s designs are deeply rooted in materials and process. Employing both the traditional and unconventional, the high tech and low tech, he continually builds his knowledge of the different ways to transform raw material into product. He is fascinated by different environments, and produces designs that are uniquely of their time and place. Max is not committed to a single material or process, nor is he attracted to design as a means to solve problems. Rather he exploits the qualities inherent in the materials that he uses to draw out their natural tendencies and beauty. He runs a modern workshop, where he is both designer and manufacturer, collaborating with foundries and factories as the scale or complexity of the project necessitates. With a diverse body of work, his commissions include crockery, glassware, engineered marble tiles, spoons, bookends, shop interiors and furniture, in everything from concrete to wool, wood to plastics.
Max has received numerous awards, including a 08 Designer of the Future Award at Design Miami/Basel and the 2010 HSBC Private Bank Design Collection commission. His work is exhibited internationally and is highly regarded by both public institutions and private collectors.
ABOUT THE FUTURE LABORATORY: One of the world’s most renowned futures consultancies inspire and future-proof organisations with a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, brand strategy and innovation. Helping companies to harness market trends, understand and adapt to emerging consumer needs, position brands for success and competitive advantage, The Future Laboratory gives confidence to make the right decisions and investments to survive and thrive in the future by inspiring innovation, helping to manage risk and focus on the initiatives that will lead to profitable growth. Since 2001, they have helped to shape the future of more than 1,000 brands in 37 countries. @thefuturelab