Habitat New Designers Alumni

Habitat New Designers Alumni

Thursday 6 July

12 - 12.45pm


Andrew Tanner, Head of Design – Home & Furniture

James Cottingham, Senior Design – Furniture

Guy Selwood Miller, Habitat New Designers Award Winner 2022 – currently freelance

An insight to how the careers of three designers started at New Designers, their journey so far and their lessons learnt along the way. Including practical and related advice for young creatives.

All talks and workshops are free to attend with a valid ticket to New Designers. To attend a talk or workshop please book your ticket to New Designers, making sure to book on the corresponding day. You may then reserve your place to attend the talk or workshop using the link below.

Andrew Tanner graduated in Craft, Specialising in Ceramics from the University of Brighton.

Andrew started his own practice in 1999 to create a new partnership between manufacturers, retailers and authentic design. Andrew has been an industry consultant, designer, mentor and author over the last 26 years, with a passion and empathy for combining original design for retail whilst exploring different craft and manufacturing processes.

In 2005 he was awarded the Young Designer of the Year and in 2010, was awarded the Young Entrepreneur in Design Award by the British Council. Andrew’s private collections have been sold in many design retailers both in the UK and worldwide and through galleries, fashion design houses, department stores and museums of modern art.

Andrew is also the Industry Brand Ambassador for the organization Design Nation; the UK’s largest support portfolio for both established and new emerging designers. In 2014 Andrew joined Sainsburys Home as their Design Manager across Home and Furniture and in 2019 joined Habitat as their Head of Design.

As Head of Design for Habitat Andrew leads a dedicated team of 29 global product developers and designers who create furniture, accessories and product.

James Cottingham graduated in Contemporary Furniture and Related Product Design from Bucks New Uni and exhibited at New Designers in 2009. 

Starting his career in furniture manufacturing, this gained him industrial experience to then go on and work with a number of leading furniture brands and manufacturers over the last 15 years. Now a Senior Furniture Designer at Habitat James has worked across the fields of furniture, lighting and accessories with a particular passion for upholstery design.

Guy Selwood-Miller is a product and furniture designer from Dorset, now living and working in East London. He recently partnered with designer and maker James Trundle, running a workshop together in Greenwich, in which Guy carries out his own practice under the name Guy Marcus Studio. 

Between the ages of 17 and 23, Guy has managed to balance his studies with working in various design and making-related industries. This includes a stint as a joiner in Dorset, a prop and set builder in West London while at university, and a cabinet maker for several companies in both Dorset and London. These jobs have enabled him to quickly develop and reinforce his hands-on aptitude for making and materials.

Guy’s interest in design was sparked early on by his parents, who owned Selwood-Miller Renovations – a design and build company – and his mother’s homeware store, @Home. At 18, Guy attended an Art foundation in Bath, selecting the Design pathway and producing his first collection of furniture: a woodcrete bistro table and stools. This collection explored retaining the brutalist forms of concrete while reducing its ecological footprint through the use of timber chips instead of mined hard rock aggregate. Guy then progressed to Kingston School of Art to study a degree in product and furniture design. This culminated in the Selwood Bench, a third year degree piece that won the Habitat award at New Designers 2022 and was Highly Recommended by the Robin and Lucianne Day Foundation. It features a threaded jointing system that enables assembly in minutes without the need for glue or fixings. The design showcases playful proportions, geometric planes, and sculptural forms, while allowing the leather and wood to show off their natural beauty. The piece conveys Guy’s philosophy of establishing a harmonious relationship between the materials and his making processes, with both working together to inform the final form. As Guy puts it, ‘A happy relationship between the natural materials and the influences I put onto them through my design and making process is integral to my work.’ 

In early 2022, Guy was asked to design a lounge range for Habitat, celebrating their upcoming 60th anniversary. Taking inspiration from his previous work, the Selwood bench, Guy incorporated familiar elements such as big radius’s and rounded uprights to create friendly and considered pieces. The proportions of the dynamic lounge stool were designed with ergonomics in mind, allowing for easy and effortless movement around a space. A fluid aesthetic flows through the collection, the construction theory being easily adaptable to meet the differing demands of the individual pieces.