Prototype Square Table - Michael Marriott

Prototype Square Table, Michael Marriott, 1994. Image © Nick Moss

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Furniture making: woodworking
Plywood, beech, maple, iron, nylon
L740mm x W740mm x H730mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

London, England
Place Trained
London College of Furniture, Furniture Design, 1991-1993; Royal College of Art, MA Furniture Design, 1993-1995
Unit F2, 2-4 Southgate Road, London N1 3JJ, England UK
Winner, Jerwood Applied Arts Prize: Furniture, 1999; Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, 1994
website -->


This object inspired new work by...


Michael Marriott believes in designing and making objects simply and inexpensively, often incorporating everyday objects, as well as banal materials like plywood. The XL1 chair and Square Table, both in the Crafts Council Collection, sum up Marriott’s intentions at the time; to design affordable, producible, honest furniture.

Marriott has continued to make his own work alongside production commissions and views designing and making as a useful part of the British designer's apprenticeship. 'DIY manufacturing puts designers in a position in which they are forced to tackle things in a hands-on way, provoking a more thorough understanding of materials and processes.’ This vision of material culture is further explored in Marriott’s curatorial work.

Prototype Square Table was included in the Crafts Council’s 2001 ‘Industry of One: Designer-Makers in Britain 1981-2001’ exhibition, celebrating ‘design-and-make’ culture.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Michael Marriott

“Having earlier developed the XL1 Kit Chair, several people had asked about a table to accompany it. What was most interesting about designing Prototype Square Table was how to take an idea and structure that was all about economy and lightness (XL1 = Xtra Light One), and make a table with it, which by its very nature shouldn’t be so light. It was acquired for the Crafts Council Collection as part of a drive to collect work in progress.

I have been asked to join the Crafts Council acquisition panel this year, which has prompted reflection on my contribution to it as a maker and panel member. My work was proposed for acquisition by Erik De Graaf, one of a generation of furniture designers/makers who came to prominence during a kind of golden age of craftswork. Thinking about this relative to recent practice makes me think we are perhaps on the edge of another.”

Michael Marriott

Michael Marriott, Product and furniture designer, writer, curator. Crafts Council Acquisition Advisor, 2011.

From the Archive

Image from 1994 catalogue for the Crafts Council 'Works for 94' exhibition, which looked at works made following the affluent late 80s. © Crafts Council

~ Tweet about this object ~



View all tweets -->

More work by this artist

A selection of other collections that hold work by the artist

Share this object