Dezeen Magazine

Paul Cocksedge mines the floor of his studio for latest furniture collection

After being evicted from his studio to make way for a new property development, London designer Paul Cocksedge reacted by excavating material from the floor to produce a new series of furniture.

Cocksedge will present five new works at the Fondazione Luigi Rovati during Milan design week, created by digging up both the concrete floor of his workspace and what he found underneath.

He sees the collection as a celebration of "the tension and creative energy" of the Hackney building he has occupied for the last 12 years, which was once a Victorian stable. He calls it EXCAVATION: Evicted.

"Wanting to commemorate my time there, I decided to delve further into the building and uncover what was underneath the surface," he explained.

"After carrying out extensive scans of the foundations, I drilled down into the floor to uncover the levels hiding underneath."

"The resulting findings epitomise London's multi-layered history, with the initial concrete hiding Victorian bricks left over from the building's former life as a stable," he added.

One of the highlights of the series is a round glass table, with a base made from concrete columns of varying sizes. The pieces become shorter towards the centre of the piece, and each one has colourful aggregate set into it.

Another table is made up of a rectangular glass top supported on two large upright discs. On one side is the concrete floor surface, while the other side displays the brick floor of the old stable.

The collection also includes a third table with a solid round base and a shelving unit supported on cylindrical columns.

Cocksedge hopes the work will cause people to reflect on the uncertainty affecting creative centres around the world, caused by rising property prices and socio-political upheavals.

"Intended as the last creative work to come out of the space, the pieces celebrate London's reputation as a home for creativity – a status that is increasingly under threat as artists are displaced from their studios by property developers and rising rents," he said.

"By creating pieces from the very fabric of one of London's disappearing creative spaces, I hope to remind of the transient nature of both creative workers, and the places they inhabit."

"My Hackney studio will also accompany me to my new workspace, in the form of a work made from retrieved material," he added.

Paul Cocksedge moved into the studio in 2002, the same year he graduated from the Royal College of Art with his popular Styrene pendant lamp made out of heat-shrunk plastic cups.

He was joined in 2004 by partner Joana Pinho. Big projects since then have included furniture created by freezing metals and a table folded from a single sheet of steel, although they have had commercial success with products including bicycle lights and the Vamp speaker adaptor.

The EXCAVATION: Evicted project was supported by New York's Friedman Benda gallery and philanthropist Beatrice Trussardi.

It will be on show at the Fondazione Luigi Rovati, at Corso Venezia 52, from 4-9 April to coincide with Milan design week.

Photography is by Mark Cocksedge.

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