Sketch Series: Erin Johnson for Morgan

Morgan Studio’s collection Porto was launched at Sleep + Eat 2018.  We took the opportunity to sit down with Morgan’s Design Manager Erin Johnson to ask her more about this thoroughly considered and versatile collection.  We asked Erin to sketch the new design whilst she answered our questions.


Can you start by introducing yourself and the Morgan Studio team?

Hi, I’m Erin Johnson. I’m the Design Manager at Morgan, and I am in charge of new product development and prototyping. I work alongside the Morgan Studio team, which includes Katerina, our Design Director, as well as three designers, Adam, Scott and Ruth.

Can you tell me about the collection that you’ve launched at Sleep?

The new collection is called Porto, an arm chair, dining chair and lounge chair collection. Porto started by looking at the form of an archetypal chair and then looking at a way to make it less generic, to create something that’s versatile, elegant, sleek and sophisticated.

The breadth of this collection is extremely wide, as you can have a multitude of base options, finishes, ferrules, handles and upholstery detailing. You can select chairs from within the family which all complement each other.

We have considered the commerciality of the product, thinking about how the production of it will benefit us as a business and as a design team. Our aim was to create a product that can be specified in its “simple” form or specified with added detail for more luxurious applications – such as additional back cushion, or leather handle.


Can you tell us a little bit about what part of the design process you enjoyed personally the most?

I love the prototyping process. I love taking the 3D render and making it a 3D product. For me that’s the most exciting process.

We are constantly in our prototyping workshop with our prototyping team, who have over 45 years of experience at Morgan between them and it is amazing because we can really listen to their guidance and work collaboratively as a team.


Could just tell us a little bit about the environmental considerations that you took on board as designing Porto?

When we designed the Porto Collection we worked to rationalize the timber thicknesses.

We also wanted to offer a brass ferrule option, but brass can be quite expensive to produce and adds cost. So, we decided to offer a faux ferrule detail in addition to a brass version, which is part of the main timber leg.

Our other environmental consideration was fabric quantity, reducing waste and being able to use the whole width of the fabric roll as much as possible for each back option. We do not want to put fabric in landfill or to pass cost on to our customers.

Design Insider Morgan Porto Chairs


Stemming from an ambition to find a fresh and exciting approach to the archetypal tub chair, the Porto collection distinguishes itself with a combination of clean elegant lines and luxurious timber and upholstery detailing.

Following the current hotel design trends, Morgan Studio has developed a collection that offers “luxury for all”. This is a trend that is growing in the hotel world; boutique hotels down to hostels are looking for good design and luxury which is fresh, affordable and not confined to 5 star hospitality.

Design Insider Morgan Porto Feat

Engineered and detailed for sophistication and affordability, the Porto collection is light, minimal and versatile. The ergonomics and foam specification ensure comfort in both dining and lounge configurations. Morgan believes that luxury means comfort, as well as elegant detailing and a high quality finish.

There are many ways of achieving luxury with the Porto collection: five back variations, timber and metal base options as well as the scope for customization inherent in the collection. There is versatility to tailor the product to the bespoke aesthetic of each project.

Design Insider Morgan Porto Chair Close

Starting from a full tub, the collection expands to offer a sculptural arm that is cut out from the side of the shell and also a loose back cushion option. This can be upholstered in plain or quilted fabric. The 3 armchairs and 2 side chair options can be specified with an upholstered base, a show wood timber base, or a steel frame base. Further customization accents include leather trim, a ferrule detail and custom RAL epoxy powder coat finishes.

Morgan design manager Erin Johnson comments, ‘Our initial thought was to develop a lightweight, small footprint tub that could offer something different. Where sectors used to have clear cut boundaries, this is no longer the case. In response, we’ve created a collection which, through built-in flexibility, transcends those sectors. A sleek and contemporary metal base is fitting for the workplace while a model embellished with upholstery detailing is more at home in hospitality.’

You can read more Design Insider articles featuring BCFA member Morgan and their products by visiting their Product Finder page here.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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