In Brief

Pearson Lloyd extends flatpack furniture range


16 April 2020

"The proposition to deliver sustainable furniture using simple ecommerce principles with Scandinavian design values was utterly compelling," notes Tom Lloyd, co-founder of London-based design studio Pearson Lloyd. "It seems like the market agrees."

In 2019, Lloyd and Luke Pearson launched Cross Chair, a flatpack version of a timber side chair whose structure was formed from the intersection of two pieces of solid wood. Designed for the newly formed Danish brand Takt, the chair was intended to serve as a statement of the brand's values – furniture pieces suited for direct-to-consumer shipping, whose elements can be quickly separated to allow for recycling or replacement at the end of the product's life.

Now, a year on from the brand's launch, the studio has revisited the Cross Chair (which remains Takt's bestseller) and extended it into a family of flatpack products based upon the same construction principles. Cross table borrows the underlying cross-shaped structure of its predecessor, while Cross Chair Tube replaces its forerunner's solid wood frame with recycled tubular steel, a cheaper material that hits a lower price point. “Our furniture designs for Takt truly reflects the principles of circular design thinking," says Pearson.

The pieces feed into a growing focus on repair and design for disassembly as part of efforts to improve sustainability within product and furniture design: a focus on ensuring that end-of-life products may be readily separated into constituent materials that can be handled by existing recycling streams. Every element of the Cross family can be replaced if damaged and worn, while the wooden and metal elements can be fully separated at end of life.

While coincidental, the release of the new Cross furniture pieces during the Covid-19 pandemic chimes with the renewed focus on manufacturing and distribution methods that the crisis has precipitated. Takt's online focused, direct-to-consumer model resonates with a world in lockdown, while the range's emphasis on repair and disassembly is in line with renewed efforts to moderate consumption and extend the lifespan of products.

“Consumer habits are changing at extraordinary speed," concludes Lloyd. "The growing familiarity and ease of buying online is now balanced by a much more critical view of the impact of these purchases on the environment."