Designer Q&A with Richard Jones, Roger Lewis

UK furniture manufacturer Roger Lewis’ latest range, Kyoto, reflects the needs of both contemporary workplace and hospitality settings. For its design, the team enlisted the creative prowess of emerging British designer, Richard Jones. Taking inspiration from a vintage pin cushion for his pieces, Richard combines a modern upright style with a surprisingly soft and sumptuous feel.

To celebrate the launch of the Kyoto collection, we sat down with Richard to talk about his broad experience and unconventional design process. Here’s what he had to say…

Design Insider Roger Lewis Richard Jones Design - Profile PictureYou’re known for your collaborations – can you talk us through how you work?

I work with a diverse portfolio of clients and really like the variety. I wouldn’t say I have a particular style, as such, but I take inspiration from the things I see around me. It’s usually an idea or a small detail (like a pin cushion, for example!) I also love playing around with proportions – I’m very hands-on in that I like furniture that’s tactile. Choosing the right materials is important to me.”

So, why Roger Lewis?

The reason I wanted to work with Roger Lewis is down to the great reputation the business has built in the residential sector, and how the team is now applying their learnings to their commercial furniture. I particularly like the ‘comfort’ factor and their attention to detail; their furniture has great character and I believe if you’re happy to have something in your home, you’ll be happy to have it at work.

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What’s distinctive about the Kyoto range?

Roger Lewis’ furniture has real ‘soul’, which means it gets an emotional response from those that interact with it. And this isn’t solely reserved for the residential pieces, the element of comfort that is so crucial for Nick (design director at Roger Lewis), and the team, means it translates to the commercial pieces too. We’ve taken this ethos and weaved it into every piece within the Kyoto collection, alongside practical elements that are required for work and hospitality spaces. With the privacy chairs and sofas, in particular, we’re allowing architects and designers the ability to break down large open spaces, without adding anything that’s too overpowering, to offer some peace and tranquility.

What was your design ethos and approach to the design?

Roger Lewis’ origin is in producing beautifully made domestic furniture. More recently, they have begun servicing both the domestic and contract markets. I set out to design a range that would encapsulate Roger Lewis’ rich heritage, taking the enduring qualities of a domestic piece, and reimagining it within a form that fulfils the needs of today’s built environment.

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Could you talk us through the design development for the Kyoto range?

I worked closely with their frame and upholstery development team on this project; creating many rounds of samples and prototypes to perfect the comfort, proportions and tailoring. Kyoto has been finely tuned to ensure consistency and quality.

What were the environmental considerations for the Kyoto collection?

All Roger Lewis’ products are British made at their Wiltshire-based factory, and each frame is crafted from locally-sourced sustainable timber. 

Design Insider Roger Lewis Blocks-375

Could you tell us a little more about yourself?

I’ve been designing and developing furniture since God was a lad. Last year, I established my own design studio, collaborating with a select client base who share my desire in bringing designs with character and soul to the commercial market.

To find out more about the Kyoto range get in touch here.

Contact Roger Lewis

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About Meg Vockins

Meg is the Marketing and Membership Executive for BCFA. She enjoys writing about the different projects companies have been involved in, as well as new product ranges that are interesting and colourful! If you would like to appear in the Design Insider Live please do send over an email to meg@thebcfa.com
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