22 Mar Colchester Student has Designs on GeoMet Collection
Talented Furniture and Product Design Undergraduate, Ben Whittaker, 20, has designed six new innovative seats for leading Colchester-based commercial seating manufacturer, Sui Generis.
The company is renowned for its colourful and contemporary seats, planters and water features, which have taken centre stage at RHS Royal Chelsea Flower Show and Wembley Park, London. The new seats have been influenced by GeoMet’s contemporary and bold shapes which are ideal for large open spaces, exhibition areas, conferences, schools, foyers and urban exteriors.
Ben, who originates from Bury St Edmunds, designed the pieces whilst on a six-month work placement as part of his degree from Nottingham Trent University. Ben, who has ambitions to set-up his own furniture design studio, is excited that he’s been given the opportunity to see his designs go into production. He said: “I was tasked to design a new module for Sui Generis’s current range. I was given free rein over what I designed, but I wanted to give a new look and style which also complements the existing range. It’s a student’s dream to see your designs go from paper to production!”
He continued: “My work experience with Sui Generis has been an amazing opportunity. I’ve been supported every step of the way and I’ve learnt so much. I’ve worked in the factory with the seating teams and helped to create the final moulds for the composite seats. It’s also been really interesting selecting the wooden materials for the slats on one new statement seat. The new seats look amazing I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Ben created over 100 designs which were eventually whittled down to his top 15, after several meetings with staff at Sui Generis the final six seats were chosen. The highlights of the collection include ‘Urban’ an uber-contemporary, clean-lined composite base seat topped with wooden slats to give a softer edge, and ‘Arc’ a colourful modular seating design which fits together to create circular designs and is ideal for child-friendly environments. The new products also include ‘Island’, ‘Cubist’, ‘Pompidou’ and ‘Twist’, which all add to the ever-popular GeoMet range.