Faye Toogood: A True Artisan
British industrial designer and sculptor, Faye Toogood’s work evokes an intuitive narrative, whose colour palette expresses an astuteness preoccupying the temperament and nuances of nature’s materiality. Her artisanal practice evades the commerciality of modern design.
Growing up in rural England, Toogood spent her early years scavenging for meaning in her natural landscape where she would pass most of her childhood assembling found parts of nature into compositions of design. This craft would aptly foreshadow her future career; an assortment of furniture and objects that hold an esoteric sensibility with designs presented in numbered assemblages, each one paying respect to the irregularity and innate complexity of its materiality. Aggregate elements are moulded together creating a unique take on the standards of conventional design.
"Faye Toogood’s work evokes an intuitive narrative, whose colour palette expresses an astuteness preoccupying the temperament and nuances of nature’s materiality."
While having an acute vision for experimentation, Toogood’s work is fashioned by traditional artisans, a tactility that is reminiscent to that of an abandoned practice. Her work is inspired by found objects, relaying back associations of memories and past emotions: a habit that would lead her to embark on a career of international recognition. After receiving her degree in Art History, Toogood landed a position under editor Min Hogg at The World of Interiors magazine, and later on became the editor herself before departing to establish her own practice in 2008.
Toogood’s most notable designs derive from her collection of unlimited edition furniture and objects. The fourth iteration of her assemblages titled Roly Poly, having debuted at Salone del Mobile in Milan, which united an assortment of furniture and housewares. These works, developed from a clay maquette with a voluptuous façade and sleek durability, later fashioned in fibreglass and reinforced plaster – an anecdotal tale drawing influence from her experiences of pregnancy and motherhood. The collection offers a low-rise daybed, dining chairs and tables, along with a fresh interpretation on her well-known Element table. Introducing a powerful take on oversized, spherical elements bound together to create an aggressive contrast from her previous designs, whose use of geometrical angles and harsh lines are forgotten and instead replaced with soft hues and rounded edges.
Toogood has contextualized her practice through an unconventional decorum with installations for both designers and retailers that contrast the pervasive commerciality of the fashion industry through a refreshing take on modern design. A recent collaboration with the Japanese fashion house Comme des Garçons, devising a physical interpretation of the house’s newest parfum, Blackpepper, launched at Selfridges flagship in London.
While innovation feeds from Kawakubo’s famously eccentric designs, Toogood’s own work has added an element of quirk by crafting an installation of synaesthesia; a series of black pods, a new rendition of the notable Roly Poly collection, arousing the inherent molecular collision rooted from each of the parfum’s top-notes.
Toogood’s collection of sculptural assemblages holds a narrative, which pays homage to her past experiences. With honesty demonstrated through her work, an assortment of furniture and objects deeply rooted in the innate complexity of nature’s landscape. Her artistic process conveys a dynamic sensibility that holds an unorthodox approach to the proprieties of design.