The Government has enlisted the help of local Cornish furniture makers and designers to produce the meeting tables that will be used by leaders at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, showcasing the region’s design work on the world stage.
The G7 – which is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA and the EU – is the only forum where the world’s most influential and open societies and advanced economies are brought together for close-knit discussions.
Seven Cornish furniture makers from Helston to Bude have been asked to submit designs for the tables - which will all be sustainably sourced - by Tuesday, March 16.
The Prime Minister’s Office will choose the final design which will be used for group and one-to-one meetings between the leaders across the Summit and profiled in press pictures and media footage shown right around the world.
The designers are:
- Henry Swanzy, from Falmouth, who has created elegant and contemporary handmade furniture since 2013 using sustainable materials, and in 2020 launched ‘Less is Better’.
- KOOS Furniture, Wadebridge, who design and create handmade bespoke fine furniture, luxury gifts and accessories for private and commercial clients.
- Max Marshall Design, based in Bude, design and make bespoke freestanding and fitted furniture, influenced by scandinavian design.
- Rozen Furniture, based in Helston, who have made handmade bespoke furniture and kitchens since 1986 through the creative partnership of Ian Cox and Alan Pearce, both cabinet makers by trade.
- Sam Walsh, based in Redruth, designs and crafts sculptural and functional furniture inspired by the Cornish landscapes in which he grew up. Sam began furniture making in 1994 and set up his furniture business in 2005.
- Scott Woyka, who has been producing beautiful one-off furniture pieces for private clients and public spaces in his riverside “Woykshop” in Falmouth since 1995.
- Tom Raffield from Falmouth, whose team has been making contemporary steam-bent wooden furniture and lighting in their woodland workshop since 2008.
Tables will be donated to local organisations following the Summit.
Cornwall Council Leader, Julian German, said: “It’s vitally important that the whole of Cornwall benefits from hosting the G7 this summer, so I’m delighted that the Government will be using local suppliers and that the tables used during these historic talks between world leaders will be designed here.
"This is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase Cornish creativity and innovation on a global stage. I wish all of the furniture makers the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the final designs.”
CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Kim Conchie DL, said: “A powerhouse for green innovation, Cornwall provides an ideal setting for the G7 Summit and I’m delighted that the eyes of the world will be on our beautiful, historic and innovative area.
“It’s important for the whole region to reap the benefits from hosting the event and that’s why I’m delighted that the Government will be using local suppliers where they can and why the tables used for the talks will be designed and built in Cornwall, celebrating local craftsmanship.
“I’m pleased that we can give a global platform to the best of Cornish talent and it’s a great opportunity for designs to be showcased in meetings which will help set the agenda between the most powerful democracies on earth. Good luck to all the designers.”
Falmouth’s Henry Swanzy creates elegant and contemporary handmade furniture using sustainable materials. He said: “An invitation to submit designs for the G7 Summit is obviously a huge honour.
"A brief specifying that the designs should reflect Cornwall’s landscape, heritage, creativity and commitment to sustainability – well that makes it pretty much the dream brief! The chance for a smaller design brand like ‘Less is Better’ to potentially receive exposure on this scale is a unique and truly exciting opportunity.”
Founder of KOOS Furniture, Steve Coonick, said: “I very much welcome that the Government is working with local furniture designers on providing tables for the Summit. We have so much talent and natural resources in the area, I’m glad it’s being recognised and promoted."
Max Marshall of Max Marshall Design, based in Bude, commented: “We are honoured to be asked along with some of Cornwall's top makers to design furniture for the G7 Summit, a very prestigious event for Cornwall to hold.
"I believe Cornwall, and especially our local town Bude, has been at the forefront of tackling climate change, with the two minute beach clean, Cleaner Seas project and Refill Bude just to name a few.
"It's great that they are focused on using local craftsmen and sustainably sourced materials for the event which has always been close to our heart, it really shows that the whole summit has been considered and stays true to its core values."
Director of Rozen Furniture, Alan Pearce, said: “It is certainly an exciting project to be short listed for and as a Cornishman I am proud that we have a wealth of designers and makers throughout the county capable of delivering something of quality and unique to Cornwall.”
Redruth furniture maker Sam Walsh commented: “It is very exciting to be entering furniture designs for this contest and it is great to see that the organisers have set sustainability as a primary focus of the design brief.
"Environmental considerations have to be at the forefront of everything that we build. Cornwall is blessed with a wealth of creative talent and hopefully with contests like this within the G7 Summit, the countries involved will be treated to a glimpse of what goes on here.”
Scott Woyka, who works from his riverside “Woykshop”, added: “It’s so exciting to be designing the tables for our world leaders to sit round at the G7 Summit. Let’s hope the winning design can create the setting for positive and fruitful outcomes.”
Falmouth furniture maker Tom Raffield said: “I truly believe that sustainability should be synonymous with good design, much like long-lasting quality and function, and that this is the answer to over-consumption and the environmental challenges we face.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity to share our mission on a global platform and showcase the talent and innovation found here in Cornwall.”