The father of British furniture on 40 years of Parnham College

By John-Michael O’Sullivan
The Guardian
October 15, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Opened four decades ago, Parnham College in Dorset founded by John Makepeace, quietly transformed British design. It started with a table: a low, glass-topped timber square designed to be easily dismantled and folded into a crate (see picture below). Sold through Heal’s in the early 1960s for the princely sum of £6, it was furniture designer John Makepeace’s first big success. …Bidding to create a more functional perspective on design education, Makepeace set up the School for Craftsmen in Wood, which opened its doors in the grounds of Parnham House, a dilapidated Tudor manor, in autumn 1977. To realise his ambitions, Makepeace roped in eminent supporters, such as violinist Yehudi Menuhin and theatre director Peter Hall, and brought together an eclectic mix of designers, craftsmen and teachers to shape a curriculum with a uniquely holistic approach.

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