Young entrepreneurs will work in the central London space during a six-month programme, which includes mentoring and workshops intended to hone their core business skills. The intention is that by the end of the programme the businesses will have grown sufficiently to move to their own premises.
"It was an interesting commission because the use of the space was quite prescribed," said Wilkinson.
Samuel Wilkinson's brief was to create a space for six entrepreneurs that would give them each a separate work area and the flexibility to communicate with each other, providing a balance between privacy and the potential for collaboration.
The studio responded with the Seeds workspace. "The client wanted a space that had distinctive character," said Wilkinson. "To achieve this within the budget we concentrated on fixed furniture elements."
Three shared desks cantilever out from the wall and have rounded ends to provide space for informal meetings or additional work areas. The desks were made from birch-based plywood cut using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technology, and assembled together with steel legs onsite.
Each desk space features one of Wilkinson's Hatcham chairs for London design brand Decode, an Anglepoise desk lamp, a magnetic whiteboard, three cantilevered shelves of different sizes for displaying inspirational items or newly developed products, a notice board that doubles up as a privacy screen and a hidden cable tray. The addition of decorative leaves and the tree-like arrangement of the shelves reinforce the theme of growth and development.
A fixed L-shaped banquette, upholstered in Stitch fabric from Dutch textile company Innofa, with a floating backrest includes hidden storage under the seat. Two of Wilkinson's Hoof Tables complete the break-out area. Floating benches have open sides for further storage and an Eames Hang It All in black provides somewhere to hang coats and bags, keeping the space uncluttered.
"The aim was to retain an industrial quality with honest materials, so the power trays and ducts were left unpainted," Wilkinson said. "To soften the space we used a wax coating on the wooden elements instead of a lacquer. The floor was originally intended to be painted but when the carpets were removed we really liked the texture of the glue pattern on the concrete, so it was just given a simple polish."
Sam Wilkinson set up his industrial design studio in 2007, having graduated from Ravensboure College of Art & Design in 2002. His Plumen 001 for Hulger won a D&AD Black Pencil and was awarded the Design Museum's Design of the Year in 2011.
Photography is by Sylvain Deleu.
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