Launching at the London Design Festival this week, the Hardy Series is a range of furniture expected to last for decades, due to both its aesthetic quality and its robust construction.
The collection includes chairs, stools and tables, all made from either solid oak or ash. Each features details inspired by 19th-century British classics, such as the spindle backs on the much-loved Windsor chair, but these details have been simplified to make them feel more contemporary.
David Irwin came up with the idea two years ago, after Another Country asked him to create a chair to mark the company's fifth anniversary. His brief was to reference the English county of Dorset, where the brand originates from.
While researching the county's history, Irwin stumbled up on a poem by Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, titled Old Furniture. In this poem, Hardy reflects on the history of the furniture that surrounds him, which he says has been handed down from "mothers' mothers".
This led Irwin to his design for the Hardy Chair, which he hopes will be loved by generations to come. It fuses together elements of the traditional low-backed Captain's chair and pub classic, the Smokers bow.
The chair launched in 2015, and was awarded the Design Guild Mark the following year, in recognition of its design quality. Shortly after, Another Country asked Irwin to expand the design into a full collection, which goes on show for the first time this week.
Each piece is available in natural timber or with a black lacquer finish, with features such as steam-bent back rests and tapered dowel joints.
"The design of the Hardy family picks up where it left off from the original Hardy chair, creating a collection of furniture that imbues quality and longevity so that it will be passed down through the generations," said Irwin.
"With the design of the Hardy Series, I have kept one eye on the past and one on the present, utilising time-honoured Windsor chair-making techniques to create a range that, although it has a vague element of nostalgia, still retains a contemporary aesthetic and relevance for today’s environments."
Irwin is based in Newcastle, and primarily designs furniture. Other recent works include a folding wooden chair that he launched with Case Furniture last year.
The Hardy Series is his first collaboration with Another Country, which was launched by Wallpaper* co-founder Paul de Zwart back in 2010. The brand's other collaborative projects include a set of simple tableware by Ian McIntyre and a Portland stone light by Studio Dessuant Bone.
"Key to Another Country's ethos is to design products that have contemporary appeal but also aesthetic longevity, and David's designs capture this ethos perfectly," said De Zwart.