Today we talk to furniture designer/ maker Ben Rawlinson, Futon Company Design Master and creator of the Iso table and Acute furniture range.


All of Ben’s furniture is handmade bespoke in the UK.

Explain your approach to design
My approach to design is to keep relatively simple forms and let interesting techniques and materials do most of the talking. I think that good design incorporates an element which immediately engages the eyes and then further elements, such as unique materials or stand-out details, continue to draw attention.

What do you love about being a designer?
The best thing about being a designer/maker is having the freedom of expression to produce fresh ideas and then put your making skills and knowledge to the test by turning them into finished pieces, working through and overcoming problems along the way. Although the completed products are important in themselves, for me there is more pleasure in their conception and creation.

Tell us about your product designs for Futon Company
The first product is called the ‘Iso’ table which is short for Isosceles since the triangular section of the legs are exposed at the top. The purpose of the design is to highlight the stunning Vavona burr that covers the top, one of many exotic species of timber that are rarely seen other than on the most traditional and expensive furniture.

The table works well in a small space because of its very minimal aesthetic with the triangular legs creating negative space where you would expect to see a square edge. The tables have no rails which adds to the minimal effect. This table could be produced with alternate interesting and unusual veneers on the top.

The second product is another side table, part of my ‘Acute’ furniture range. The aesthetic is a sharp acute angle with a distinctive coloured double stripe that flows around the leading edge. The open back of the design gives a minimal feel and the visual impression that the table does not occupy much space in a room. The product can be ordered in a number of colour/species combinations.

When designing for a small space how do you approach it?
I approach small space design by keeping the feeling of the design light, through careful choice of materials and form.

Give us a space saving tip.
Create interesting negative spaces between the solid forms.

What are your thoughts on sofabeds?
I have an old pine framed sofa bed and whilst the frame has seen better days, the mattress is a futon style packed hard with down filling and always gives a great night’s sleep.

Join us for the launch of Design Masters at Futon Company, Tottenham Court Road on Thursday 13th March 2014 from 6-9pm