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Between 2002 and 2010 I was co-founder of a London based design agency called Raw Nerve. Life is Suite was an internal project that came about be… Read More
Between 2002 and 2010 I was co-founder of a London based design agency called Raw Nerve. Life is Suite was an internal project that came about because in 2005 we were invited to take part in an an exhibition for emerging talents called 100% East (which later become Tent London). Read Less
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Between 2002 and 2010 I was co-founder of a London based design agency called Raw Nerve. Most of our output in that period was digital, which meant we spent a lot of our time doing screen based design. In 2005 we set ourselves an internal design project with a theme of 'upcycling' a found object for an upcoming exhibition. This was an opportunity to step outside of our comfort zones, to collaborate and apply our design thinking on something physical.
After a morning of discussion, we decided it could be interesting to find a piece of abandoned furniture and to tell its story through design. I set off for a meeting across the other side of town, and en route I happened up an old sofa that was looking rather sorry for itself and was destined for the scrap heap. After the meeting, I arranged to bring the sofa back to the studio. As a team, we began to imagine the people it had lived with and the stories it would tell; a lover's tiff, wild parties, a stash of jewels from a robbery, a grandfather telling stories. 

We knew nothing of upholstery, but diligently began to deconstruct it, each of us taking a section (an arm rest, a cusion, the base ) and set to work imagining scenes, drawing illustrations and designing graphical collages. The final piece was entitled "Life is Suite". The sofa was exhibited at 100% East in Bricklane (which later become known as Tent London). Our original intention  was to sell it, however we all became rather attached to it. It was such a talking point when people came to visit our studio. 
 
The story of our project spread far and wide as bloggers from around the world took interest before capturing the attention of New York Times, Vogue Italia. Die Gestalten featured the sofa in a book called 'Furnish'. Not bad for something that had previously been destined for the scrapheap!