William Warren

London based product and furniture designer

The Fife Bench

The Benches I designed with Chris Eckersly have now all been installed in Fife. May they continue to support the bottoms there for many years to come. They should do, they’re made out of 6mm steel.

The benches in production can be see here.

For more information about the Fife Bench project, slick here.

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CNC windsor

Following lots of interesting projects relating to traditional English Windsor chairs, I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I tried to make a windsor using more up to date materials.

The windsor chair is not a ‘designed’ piece of furniture. Rather it is an evolved set of rules and solutions that have grown from the raw materials of green timber (freshly cut), simple hand tools and traditional craft techniques and the demanding requirements of strength and…

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upholstered sunray chair

This is an extremely comfortable arm chair for prolonged sitting. It is ideal for use in waiting areas or in places to relax, such as conservatories or librariarys.

The chair has a seat made from a single plank of Ash, carved into a comfortable bottom shape. Like the Sunray chair designed at the same time, the seat’s spindles all run into the lower rails of the chair, rather than the seat block, as they would in a traditional windsor chair. The back…

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sunray chair

The direct development from the chair originally made in the woods for the Bodging Milano project, this is a traditionally constructed windsor chair in ash, with a carved seat, spindles and a steam bent back bow.

The spindles in the back do not run into the seat block, but instead fan out from the lower back rail giving a sun rise effect. The top of the seat has nothing joining into it, allowing the curve back and seat to sit comfortably together…

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Bench of Nails

Designed in 2004 for a park in Clarkenwell, this bench plays with the fact that people will sit on anything. Even if it has originally been designed to keep people off.

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Weave Stool

Inspired by traditional woven topped seating, this stool is made from four identical plywood forms that weave together to form the seat and legs. The stools are veneered in natural ash or black ash.

The stools were launched at the British Design Embassy during the Milan Design Festival in April 2009.

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Potala Bracket Range

A sand-cast aluminium bracket that enables DIY enthusiasts to make a range of furniture themselves. The bracket can produce beds, benches, tables, wardrobes and cupboards and can either be used as a short leg on its own or as a bracket to hold a longer wooden leg at an angle of five degrees.

The Potala Palace in Tibet was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until he fled to India after the Chinese invasion in 1959. The palace is built with…

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Siren Seat

A repaired Thonet chair with a new uphostered leather cushion. The base of the cushion has a small hole into which a siren whistle is fitted. When the seat is sat upon, the air help within the foam escapes through the whistle, creating a comic sound. It’s fun. Honest.

These seats were developed as a response to a brief generated through the group WC Franck.

photography by Ivan Coleman

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Silhouette Chair ‘Victoria’

The ‘Victoria’ chair is the wife of ‘Albert’, the Silhouette chair that I designed for Trico in 2001. Both chairs are developed from the shapes of traditional English chairs and made in laminated plywood. The result is an elegant shape, which is aware of the chairs that have gone before it.

Victoria was launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to chair on Trico’s website

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Look Back Mirror

This full-length wall mirror presents a modern exterior alongside a more traditional hidden form. What at first appears to be an undecorated square mirror frame reveals the ‘ghost’ of a traditional molded gilt frame when you look into the mirror.

The mirror was launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to mirror on Trico’s website

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Half-tone bench

A series of four benches commissioned by Islington Council and installed in Clerkenwell Green in 2005.Each bench overlooks the next and can be peeped through by looking through the holes. The concept came from observations of people watching one another in parks.

The graphics on the benches are created from photographs and achieved through C.N.C. stamping a series of holes in a similar way to half tone printing photographic images in newspapers.

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Shelves for Life


These shelves are designed to last you a lifetime. The wood will colour, the surfaces will mark and stain and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you.

When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and you’re dates inscribed on it.

The shelves were first launched at the British Library during the 2005…

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Silhouette Chair ‘Albert’

In England, this is a common shape for a chair. An archetype. The shape has evolved rather than been designed. It originated from the qualities of the wood from which it is constructed and the processes available to make it in the past. It has been reproduced often because it is strong and comfortable.

My version of the chair is made in laminated plywood. This process works by gluing together thin sheets or ‘veneers’ of wood over a mould. A technique…

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Your Umbrella Sleeps with the Fishes

An umbrella-stand made by casting concrete around Wellington boots. Is there actually any evidence of gangsters giving a victim concrete boots, or is it a universally known filmic myth?

The original prototype for this product is somewhere in the Thames, near Waterloo bridge. It was made in 2000.

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Sleeping Rough

This is a design that explores both narrative and production methods. The bed was made in Birmingham by a company who would normally produce standard park benches. They were able to manufacture the bed using their existing tooling jigs, skills and material suppliers, for a fraction of the price of a hand built bed, made by other UK joinery firms. They were also able to include other lovely details such as the engraved text in the headboard and they explained…

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No Parking Bench

An oak bench with upholstered leather top showing double yellow lines. This bench was designed as a hallway bench that might be temporarily perched on to do your shoes up or unload, but not meant to be parked on for a prolonged period.

Designed and constructed with Toby Hattchet. Commission 1998

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Pub Sofa and Armchairs

The Pub Sofa and Armchairs carry the traditional within the modern. The simple modern cube sofa contains the memories of older sofa styles. The deep buttoned velvet sofa is at a slight angle to the exterior to reinforce the two at slightly at odds with each other.

The sofa and armchairs were launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to sofa on Trico’s website

Link to armchair on Trico’s website

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Terrace Sideboard

The Terrace sideboard plays with the idea of ‘home’. Home is where things belong. As my dad would say when encouraging me to tidy up his tools, “There is a home for everything and everything must go back to it’s home.” The terraced house is a very English home and a sideboard is a home for our things.

The sideboard was launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to…

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Bathroom Toolbox

Talco produce metal tool boxes in the west midlands with a relatively low perceived value. We developed this bathroom cabinet to be manufacturable using the companies existing manufacturing capability.. The project was conceived to offer an established British manufacturing company new market opportunities. Where a toolbox would normally wholesale at £8, we thought a bathroom cabinet might wholesale at £25 to home-ware retailers. The higher perceived value increases the profit whilst working in similar materials and production techniques.

The toolbox cabinet…

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