Faye Toogood. Portrait by Andrea di Sica
Fay Toogood’s limited-edition line of creamware, Cuppa. Photo by Rory van Millingen
Spade chair from Faye Toogood’s Batch furniture line. Photo by Marius W. Hansen
Trestle table and spade chairs from the Batch line. Photo by Marius W. Hansen
Element table from the Batch line. Photo by Marius W. Hansen
Milan Preview | Faye Toogood
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Designer, Studio Toogood, Faye Toogood
English designer Faye Toogood is the force behind both Studio Toogood (creative consultants on interiors for the likes of Opening Ceremony) and her namesake brand, Faye Toogood, which has drawn acclaim for its handcrafted Batch furniture line. Toogood has hit the fair for 10 years, but this will be only her fourth year showing her own work. Her unconventional approach to design cuts against Milan’s commercial grain—just the way she likes it.
DB: Fave Salone memory?
Faye Toogood: I think it was the closing night of Natura Morta, a series of midnight dinners that my studio had organized over five nights. Each night we started to party at 11PM until 3-4AM. After four nights of hosting black dinners, dancing, and entertaining, followed by days visiting all the other events, I was on a high… Milan became very surreal and magical in my haze.
DB: What keeps Milan relevant?
FT: One of the main purposes of Milan is to push the whole industry forward in terms of technology, ways of thinking and communicating. More recently I think the limited editions versus mass-produced argument has also become more prominent in Milan. Mass-produced is not sustainable or economically viable for a designer. I think the resurgence of the individual and small collectives applying their own skills to produce, make, manufacture, and sell direct is the way forward.
DB: What’s the benefit of making limited editions?
FT: Limited edition pieces that are handcrafted enable an industrial, product, or furniture designer to be experimental, to be radical, and to be free of commercial shackles. For a designer to have the opportunity to work with materials that would ordinarily be prohibitive on a mass-produced market or to create something that questions our notions of what is function, is very important to the history of design. The design world needs limited editions to question, to move things on, to explore new technologies, and even rediscover old methods of working. It is not just about feeding the pockets of the rich and merely providing works for a market—it is one of the ways we define our decade, our history, and in the end influences how we all experience design.
DB: Sounds like a call for revolution.
FT: Well, mass-produced design in my opinion is increasingly becoming irrelevant. I feel I need to shout up for designers in this moment—it is tough out there to make a living from furniture and design. Designers have to either take opportunities that arise within the industry and suffer financially at the mercy of big brands who implement unfeasibly small royalties, or attempt to make their own way. I think designers, much like the farmers in this country, can take back some control.
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