Michael Marriot

Placement at QUEST


In 2007 Quest 1 brought together nine designers from the UK and the Netherlands and two companies, BGB Engineering and Smith of Derby in the East Midlands. The aim of the project was two-fold, to enable the manufacturing companies to explore big picture issues through a process of blue sky thinking; and to support designers to develop extended portfolio experience within businesses.

Quest 1 - in which Arts Council East Midlands collaborated with the Dutch organisation Young Designers & Industry (YDI)  - was a knowledge transfer laboratory that travelled between the Netherlands and East Midlands.

It had a simple methodology. Following the selection of the businesses and designers, there were three workshops in the UK and the Netherlands. The first workshop introduced the businesses to the designers and set the ‘quests’.

The second workshop in Amsterdam showcased examples of designers working with businesses in new ways and saw the designers present their first responses and spend time in designers’studios. At the third workshop at The Hub in the East Midlands the designers presented their final concepts to the companies, who were able to choose one idea or concept each to take forward for further working. The designers worked in groups and presented collaboratively.

Two teams were selected to take their initial proposals forward. Michael Marriott and Carl Silvester were selected to develop the Smith of Derby proposal to the next design stage. See Documents and Images for more about their ideas.

Michael Marriott (London)
Michael’s designs focus rigorously on function, an approach that leads to objects, such as his Post Card Light (1994) or Mobile Table (a side table designed in 2002 that can be moved around by picking it up in the same way as a bowling ball, using the three holes in its top), that are deceptively simple solutions to a particular need or problem.

This utilitarian aesthetic also translates into Michael’s choice of materials, which suggests a resolute celebration of the ordinary.Alongside producing products and furniture, Michael continues to work in other areas, including exhibition design - most recently, ‘You Are Here’, an exploration of information design at the Design Museum - creating site-specific installations in both galleries and public spaces, and, increasingly, writing.