Viaduct Contemporary Furniture Design of the Year




Guto Davies

1282 Chair, Stream Side Tables

Nottingham Trent University


4 weeks work placement 


Good sense of proportion and lightness. Blend of traditional and contemporary design. Simplicity and creativity of approach.

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Guto’s graduate collection, made using stainless steel, was inspired in part by the architectural and furniture design styles he discovered while on a year abroad in Rotterdam. Davies has merged these influenced with the traditional form of the Welsh Stick Chair, which has been commonplace in Welsh homes for centuries. 

Traditionally, the starting point for the stick chair was the arms. The solid curved piece of oak or ash used in the design would not have been steam bent or fabricated, but rather found naturally curved. Branches would have been spotted by the maker and chosen with this chair in mind. To follow this idea, the designer based the chair design around the curve and dimensions of the rolled arms. Inspired by traditional stick chairs, the designer incorporated their unique arm height, originally designed to relieve shoulder tension from physical work, to address modern-day posture and ergonomic challenges.

As the designer wanted to work with metal, rolling steel tube emerged as the most suitable process as it enabled the signature curve from the traditional chairs. Davies was certainly influenced by his time at Studio Phil Procter in Rotterdam during his placement year, as many projects utilised sheet metal. Furthermore, the designer noted that using wood might lead to a chair too similar to existing contemporary or traditional chairs on the market. Metal enabled him to create a unique design language influenced by Welsh stick chairs, while still providing creative freedom.


James Mair – Founding Director, Viaduct Furniture Ltd

Catherine Rouxel – Director, Viaduct Furniture Ltd


Creativity, Design Thinking, Sustainability