Design Guild Mark 2018

Twelve designs representing both the domestic and contract furniture market have been awarded the prestigious Design Guild Mark in 2018.

The Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, a City of London livery company and the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation.

Now in its tenth year, the Mark recognises the highest standards in the design of furnishings in volume production by the finest designers working in Britain, or British designers working abroad.

Rodney McMahon, Chairman of the Design Guild Mark, commented:

“It is very interesting to meet the very passionate designers and to have their product, ranging from domestic seating through to complex desking systems, presented to the judging panel. It is a challenge for the judges to reach a balanced judgement, but they have again set and demanded a very high standard.  We look forward to the award ceremony and new products in 2019.”

Design Guild Mark 2018 award recipients are as follows:

The Hugo Settee

Designed by Ian Archer and manufactured by SITS

Aphelion Console

Designed by Byron and Gómez for Benchmark


Designed by Mark Gabbertas for Allermuir


Designed by Benjamin Hubert of Layer for Allermuir

Thinking Quietly

Designed by Jones & Partners for Thinking Works

Magnetic Copper Cube

Designed by Paul Kelley for Paul Kelley Ltd

T1 Chair

Designed by Rodney Kinsman RDI for OMK 1965


Designed by Lyndon by Boss Design


Designed by Philippe Malouin for SCP


Designed by PearsonLloyd for Allermuir

Edge Executive Desk

Designed by PearsonLloyd for Modus Furniture

Race Antelope Chair

Designed by Ernest Race for Race Furniture Limited

The Design Guild Mark is judged by a panel of leading industry professionals. Each member of the panel is from the furniture, hospitality, commercial, retail, or media industry. Judges must ensure that each piece of furniture meets the criteria of: excellence in design, materials, manufacture, and function.

Chaired by Rodney McMahon, this year’s eminent judging panel were:

Simon Alderson – twentytwentyone                         Tom Pearce – Sebastian Conran Associates

Joanna Biggs – GA Design                                      Philippa Prinsloo – John Lewis

Rosa Bertoli – Wallpaper* Magazine                        Pernille Stafford – Resonate Interiors

Barbara Chandler – The Evening Standard                  Campbell Thompson – The Conran Shop

Rodney Kinsman – OMK Design                             Terence Woodgate – Terence Woodgate

All judges with an interest in an entry stood aside when that entry was being considered.

Comments from the judging panel:

Simon Alderson, Co-founder of twentytwentyone:

“The quality and diversity of the 2018 applicants for a Design Guild Mark provided for a wholly stimulating range of presentations. It was interesting to consider the longevity of historic designs alongside the contemporary. The enduring quality of good design demands careful consideration of materials, process and form. While the panel doesn’t agree on all submissions, the debate and final consensus ensures the pedigree for the Design Guild Mark is one of respected quality.”

Joanna Biggs, Director at GA Design:

“It’s always a pleasure to be asked to join the judging panel for Design Guild Mark Award.

The 2018 entries were all of an exceptionally high standard, showing quality craftsmanship as expected, but also originality and some elegant problem solving design solutions.” 

Rodney Kinsman, Design Director and Chairman of OMK Design:

“As a first time judge of the Guild Mark I was impressed by the quantity and quality of the submissions. I was also impressed by the diversity of the judging panel.”

Tom Pearce, Creative Director at Sebastian Conran Associates:

“The standard in design, thinking and making of this year’s Design Guild Mark was not only hugely inspiring, but left me feeling proud of our British furniture industry. The critique of the submissions by the panel was tough, so the awards are well deserved and highlight that the level of ‘design excellence’ is getting higher each year.”


Pernille Stafford, Principal of Resonate Interiors:

“A wide spectrum of furniture items submitted this year which ranged from commercial to crafty but all of an exceptionally high standard and meeting our expectations. Innovation in commercial workplace was evident this year which was a pleasure to see.”


Terence Woodgate, Founder of Terence Woodgate:

“The designs were a pleasure to judge with the work presented being diverse in form and function. There were some exceptional designs, well considered and executed. Design for me is a mix of art & technology and we certainly experienced designs at both ends of the spectrum.”


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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