Meta

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Meta was first developed in 1995/6 for my own collection and launched in 1997 at the inaugural Designer's Block exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery in London's East End.

I'd seen the quality of work on the prototype of a friends drawer system and was fascinated by the accuracy of the sheet metal that had been stamped and folded by CNC machines. I asked for the details of the manufacturer and was directed to CHW, a small West Wycombe company run by engineers and guys really passionate about getting the best out of the material and their production processes.

I wanted to produce something that expressed the process of making it, using the characteristics of the material and manufacturing techniques to enable assembly....deliberately avoiding the use of fittings, instead using a 'Dutch fold', a metal edge folded back on itself, to enable shelf components to be connected together without additional fittings or components.

The idea that a freestanding shelf could be built using only the characteristics of sheet metal and folding technology was new but the idea that just two components could be used in multiples to build shelves of infinite (within reason) height and length made the idea more interesting, justifying the time spent in the factory getting under the skin of the process.

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  • Volume difference between the original and re-engineered Meta