Take A Seat 

Alleyn’s is a member of the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership (SSLP), which is a collaboration between 17 local schools. The SSLP Creative Hub, made up of member schools’ Art and Design teachers, launched the Take A Seat competition in October. 

Students, who came from five of the SSLP schools, were introduced to bespoke furniture designer Tom Faulkner and to interior designer Nicola Burt and then attended four workshops, led by Nicola, that focussed on Design, Modelling and presentation. 

As part of the process students visited the KLC School of Design, Tom’s showroom in Chelsea and Tom’s Swindon studios. In Tom’s workshop the students learnt how he makes furniture, from design through to assembly and finally transportation.  

Throughout the process, students were able to submit their designs to Tom for feedback before submitting their final designs to Tom in December. All the designs were very different, so it was a difficult task for Tom to choose just one chair design to be made as a one-off piece. 

Finally, on the February 11 at Bell House in Dulwich, the students gathered with their families and teachers for a private view of the designs and prototypes as well as exhibits from Tom’s furniture collection. 

Catherine May SSLP co-director welcomed the audience before Tom unveiled the completed winning chair, designed by Anne-Elizabeth from St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, who was delighted to have won and to see her design brought to life. 

She said, “My inspiration comes from the Ziggurat shape, often found in art deco architecture. The ziggurat (stepped pyramid) is reflected in the legs of my chair”.