Knightsbridge Furniture have launched Tron, a new collection for the healthcare and hospitality sectors designed by Bruce Kenneth. We took the opportunity to ask Bruce about his design ethos, his new collection and his plans for the future.
Can you tell our readers a bit about your design background?
I have always appreciated furniture, design, architecture and art so it’s been something from a young age that I have always embraced. However it wasn’t until around 2014 when I started woodworking and making pieces of furniture. I instantly fell in love with woodworking and being creative. I have never had formal training with anything I have done, it has all been self-taught but that’s the beauty with design, it is difficult to teach but if you have a vision you can find a way to make it work.
Do you have a design ethos or style?
I am influenced by the mid-century period and I like designs that challenge the eye and take you on a journey of movement around the piece of furniture, whether that’s a chair or a table. I feel that good design should do that, it should evoke emotion and make you want to touch. That is what I want when people come into contact with my work, I don’t want them to be passive with how they interact with it.
As for my ethos, the quality of materials are essential in everything I make from the selection of timber to the construction of the piece of furniture. When those are right, I am able to work and create a style that is uniquely my own.
How did your work with Knightsbridge begin?
Jason Brown, the director of design and development at Knightsbridge approached me early 2020 about my chair designs. He told me that he really liked what I was producing and asked if I would I be interested in the company bringing a range into production and therefore a mass audience. I was very honoured and taken aback that someone in his position and Knightsbridge being a British made industry leader would see something in both my vision and ability.
What is the concept behind your new collection?
The range has been designed with clean, hard lines, in turn creating interesting geometric shapes within the chair frame and table legs. It harks back to my design style with that dynamic motion which takes your eye on a journey around the piece. The Tron collection, which is the first we have released is reminiscent of mid-century furniture of the 50s and 60s but with a strong contemporary edge. There are lounge chairs, upright chairs and tables in Dining, Occasional and Coffee table heights. Everything is customisable from the wood to the fabric to the colours.
What was your development process?
Knightsbrige wanted to use a few of the designs I had already made so we could visualise a completed chair and essentially had a working prototype. They took those designs and worked out how to take a hand made chair and build them for manufacturing. There is a huge difference to how you make 1 piece and how you make 1000s so that was a process that took time to work out whilst staying true to the original idea. I was part of the whole journey and signed off the designs before it went into full production.
Is your new collection focused on a specific sector?
The primary focus for this initial collection is hotels, high end healthcare and restaurants.
Why is this sector a current focus?
We are trying to bring and element of classic nostalgia and design but with a contemporary edge to those settings. Knightsbridge also primarily sell to commercial clients so it was always going to be the first port of call but it certainly doesn’t only belong there.
Do you have plans to expand your collection?
Absolutely! I would love to see this in both independent stores and the highstreet market. It’s a beautiful and quality range with an affordable price point so alongside that fact that it is fully customisable for the individual, we would like to see it in the domestic setting too.
What design plans do you have for 2021/2022?
I hope to further my TV career outside of my BBC and Channel 4 shows that I currently have but at the same time realising my vision to bring modern wooden furniture to outdoor living. I also want to expand on my design ability, use of materials, style and look at collaborating with those at the top of their field. I already have some very exciting projects in the works so seeing them come to fruition is important to me.
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