Hopefully you have already noticed that this month we are celebrating London. Morgan opened their London showroom in May 2014, just in time for Clerkenwell Design Week, we recently met with Managing Director Rodney McMahon to ask more about Morgan’s unique use of their London space.
What was your concept behind how you use the space in your London Showroom?
Our unique double height gallery space showroom, at the heart of Clerkenwell, gives us the opportunity to showcase Morgan’s passion for high quality design and inspiring art. Since opening our showroom, and forming the initiative Morgan London, we have collaborated with a number of lighting and fabric companies as well as artists in order to create collective interiors that not only promote our product, but also the wider creative industry and the individuals within it.
We approach artists and designers that inspire us. Our space lends itself perfectly to exhibitions, seminars, film screenings and comedy nights, allowing us to explore and showcase all areas of the creative arts and offer an exciting space for our team and customers to collaborate.
Why have you chosen to collaborate with artist to install work in the London Showroom?
As a design-led business, transforming our showroom every few months into a completely new interior is something we just cannot help but get completely absorbed in, without art, it simply would not feel complete. Art transforms a space; it creates atmosphere and emotion, and is one of the strongest forms of expression. As a team we take great pleasure in discovering artists that truly inspire us, and giving them the opportunity to transform our showroom and promote their work. Our relationships are longstanding, we look to create friendships not business transactions and support the artists we work with.
Which artists have you commissioned and why did you select to work with these artists?
We are collectors of art, and other beautiful design objects, and wanted an opportunity to showcase artists they know, like and collect.
Alongside hosting a number of art exhibitions, including architectural sketch competitions and student work, we have commissioned three British artists to transform our main showroom wall: David Shillinglaw, Remi Rough and Mark McClure.
I initially met David Shillinglaw at a private view in London. Being instantly drawn into the bold, colourful world of both David’s art and personality, a friendship was formed and a collaboration began soon after. Through David, and a close friend of mines, we then met Remi who’s dynamic work drew us in, and absolutely had to be the next artist we featured. Through these connections we later met Mark, who created our latest install entitled ‘Surface’, a striking geometrical relief piece.
What is your commissioning process?
When we collaborate with an artist we tend to begin with a theme that takes into consideration the artists individual style, and the style of our product. Our most recent collaboration, with Mark McClure, began with the theme ‘Underlying Geometry’ – an ambition to create a neutral haven that focused on the design and form beneath, without the distraction of colour.
Following this brief, we worked closely with Mark, sharing designs and decisions to come up with an installation and showroom layout that complimented each other. Making sure that the art flowed around our product and was not obscured by it. During the installation week, we saw the digital elevation transform and grow into the dynamic relief piece it is today, entitled ‘Surface’.
This theme also defined our showroom layout, fabric choices and lighting and flooring collaborations.
What has the response been to your showroom installations?
The response has been really positive, being a unique venture for the industry, each of the striking installations has been a real conversation starter, drawing in artists, architects and designers with an enthusiasm for art.
Why is it important to work with professionals outside of the contract/furniture sector?
We recognize that furniture is just one element of a much greater design process, an interior could not exist without the architecture behind it and would not be complete without the many other elements that make up the space, from flooring and lighting to wall art and decorative accessories. To achieve a fully successful product, we believe an awareness of its surroundings and the design trends of the past, present and future is essential. From classic to contemporary, our product sits comfortably within any environment.
Surrounding ourselves with art in our working environment acts as a strong creative stimulus. It adds texture and colour to the space, but also invites like-minded creatives to our showroom. We also have a great amount of fun working with the artists and watching their creative process in action, as their installation comes alive.
What are your plans for the future in regards to working with artists?
We are always looking for artist that inspire us and who have something to say about the contemporary world, and we shall be collaborating anew later this year. We enjoy the stimulus of attending exhibitions and of being able to offer a non-commercial space, which might become known as a gallery in its own right.
During LDF join Morgan for a celebration of British design, in collaboration with designers and makers from Craft Central. Pop along to their Summer Sample Sale Party party for the first glimpse of what is on offer, from lounge chairs to rugs, ceramics to cushions all items under £200 (Sale ends Friday 22nd) whilst enjoying artwork by Andrew MacGregor, a London based who believes in sustainable design and eco luxury.
Morgan will also be exhibiting at Design Junction, Cubitt House, where they will be showcasing our new 2017 collections and launching a series of coffee tables.
Which artist’s work would you love to see installed in the Morgan London showroom? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @DesignInsider1