"This bench is a tribute to a local
hardware shop" - Roger Arquer

| 5 comments

In this movie filmed by Dezeen, east London designer Roger Arquer talks about the benches he made for the Stepney Green Design Collection using materials sourced from his local family-run hardware shop just before it closed down.

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The thick planks of wood and coffee-table-legs used to make the benches plus the screws, sandpaper and oil used to finish them were all bought from the General Woodwork shop.

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The store in Stoke Newington was close to Roger Arquer's studio as well as the Dezeen office and sold hardware for over 60 years before it closed down earlier this year.

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

"The shop was family run and quite useful for me and other designers and makers in north or east London," says Arquer. "I would go there quite often to buy lots of bits I would need to build prototypes or projects."

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The Stepney Green Design Collection consists of 10 products selected by Marcus Fairs of Dezeen from creatives who live near to VIVO, a new housing development in the east London district. The project also includes objects chosen by east London bloggers Pete Stean of Londoneer and Kate Antoniou of Run Riot.

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The collection is on show at the Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Whitechapel, London E1 4UJ, from 10am to 10pm every day until January. After this, the objects will be given to VIVO residents.

Roger Arquer on his benches for the Stepney Green Design Collection

See all the items in the Stepney Green Design Collection here and watch the movies we’ve featured so far here. The music featured in the movies is by American designer and musician Glen Lib. You can listen to the full track on Dezeen Music Project.

  • http://www.sneleten.nl Mr. Food

    Nice story, not the best looking bench though :P

  • http://www.tonerland.dk Svend Curtis

    Amazing video and photos!

  • DesignerNL

    Ugly as hell.

  • http://www.puigicabeza.com Josep

    Very interesting! I think the continuity and matter are a good contrast to the virtual omnipresence. Congratulations Roger!

  • Bento Box

    General Woodwork, the most over rated shop in the area. Romanticised by designers who see some old wood and think it’s enough to justify its place on the high street.

    The reality of this place beyond the vaguely interesting stock of wood was a poor inventory of products that could be obtained elsewhere, run by a group of patronising, unhelpful old men with massive chips of general wood on their shoulders.

    I grew up in north London and would rather spend my money down at Leyland, staffed by chirpy and helpful Polish dudes who know that service is more than just tuttin’ and tellin’ you that you are asking for the wrong thing. General Woodwork? Well, why did Leyland survive?