This week we meet successful designer and WIN Award winner, Daniel Schofield. Born in 1986 in Royal Leamington Spa in the UK, Dan studied graphic design at college, going on to work as an apprentice at a local carpentry firm. He later left to take a degree in furniture and product design at Sheffield Hallam University in South Yorkshire, and graduated with honours.
Dan established his own studio in Sheffield in 2012, which then moved to London’s fashionable Greenwich district in 2013. Dan’s aesthetic combines simple, functional works with strong narratives, or as he puts it: “If an object can connect to its space, material, surroundings, function, and user, then it will gain personality and longevity.” We find out more about what makes this talented young designer tick…
It’s great to be awarded from a panel of designers you really respect and admire so it was very humbling, and also very unexpected.
The judges said of Joist Table, ‘A really clever, simple and scalable design that unusually adds something fresh to the world of tables’. How far into the design process did you realise that you were creating something special that was both practical and beautiful?
I came to the design after my carpentry apprenticeship, it’s a similar construction method we used to build houses so scaled down architecture really so the practical side of it has always been there. I think when an object works well it’s always intriguing so I didn’t try to force the aesthetics in that sense, I just let the materials and construction do the talking.
You have designed a wide range of beautiful products, from a glass carafe with silver coins, a spherical light which splits into two halves, a pocket mirror designed to store small belongings, to tables made from marble offcuts. Where does your inspiration come from, and is there a product that you would like to tackle next?
My inspiration usually comes from trying to solve a problem, whether that be from a material or functional perspective, or just trying out new processes or materials to me. There are too many things I want to design and am working on lots at the minute so it depends what gets released next!
Your background is graphics, construction and design including restoring historic houses. How has this experience influenced your approach to product design today?
I think the time spent studying graphics has helped me give a more refined view, whilst being in construction allowed me to study and play with materials and how things go together, especially on an architectural scale, I think this also helps with race and proportion. It was never planned but I think the two complement each other quite well.
Moving on to you…How do you like to unwind after a hectic week, and where might we find you out of hours?
After a busy week it’s nice just to sort my life out! Do some exercise, have a nice meal, catch up with friends etc. Out of hours I’m usually in bed, at a gallery or playing football.
What would you like to own that you don’t already possess?
Tough one, there is quite a lot I don’t already possess. Furniture-wise maybe a Poul Kjaerholm PK22 chair.