Samuel Wilkinson graduated in furniture and related product design at Ravensboure College of Art & Design in 2002.
While at Ravensbourne Wilkinson won several design awards, including the RSA award. He went straight into employment working for leading consultancies such as Tangerine, Fitch:London, and PearsonLloyd.
During the last 6 years he has worked on projects for leading clients such as British Airways, Audi, LG, Samsung, and Virgin Airways.
Samuel Wilkinson set up his industrial studio at the end of 2007 and a year later, in 2008 Wilkinson completed his largest work, co-designing L’arbre de Flonville in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It was the first of a series of large projects to be completed as part of the regeneration of an old industrial area, Le Flon. The work consists of a contemporary town square featuring a 16m sculptural metal tree surrounded by root benches.
Wilkinson has since gained a number of private commissions and exhibited a full collection of furniture during London Design Festival 2008.
Plumen 001 light bulb
Samuel’s recent designs of the Plumen 001 light bulb (a collaboration with Hulger) and the hand blown glass lamps ‘Vessel Series’ for Decode London have won international acclaim.
Plumen 001 collected the grand prize from the London Design Museum of ‘2011 Design of the Year’ and the highly coveted ‘Black pencil’ from the D&AD.
The studio’s work diversifies across various disciplines from consumer products to public realm. Samuel Wilkinson’s commitment and enthusiasm to designing interesting objects and spaces is apparent in his work, always looking to add a fresh dynamic approach in either form or function.
Plumen 001 is the antithesis of low energy light bulbs as we know them. Rather than hide the unappealing traditional compact fluorescent light behind boring utility,The brief was to design a new dynamic identity for a low energy cfl light bulb. The design references the filaments of incumbent incandescent bulbs.
The mirroring glass tubes take an irregular, yet harmonious form. This creates a silhouette that changes with every perspective. Designed in collaboration with Hulger.
- Samuel Wilkinson born in Devon
- Samuel Wilkinson graduated in furniture and related product design from Ravensboure College of Art & Design
- Won RSA award and D&AD New Blood
- Began working at Fitch:London
- Began working at PearsonLloyd as Freelance Industrial Designer
- Began working at Tangerine as Freelance Industrial Designer
- Started Samuel Wilkinson industrial design studio
- Co-designed L’arbre de Flonville in Lausanne, Switzerland
- Awarded Design of the Year at London Design Museum
- Awarded Black Pencil 2011 at D&AD
- D&AD New Blood
- RSA Design Award
- Best British Design (Shortlisted)
- Brit Insurance Design Of the Year, London Design Museum
- Brit Insurance Product Award, London Design Museum
- D&AD Black Pencil
- Eco Designer of the Year
- Index Award (Finalist)
The Telegraph’s Amazing 15
Samuel Wilkinson grew up in Devon, where his path to technology and industrial design wasn’t a smooth one. “I come from a very logical background: at school I was good at science and maths, but in art I got a D, so technically I didn’t even pass,” he explains.
The turning point came aged 15 during an internship with an architect, where Wilkinson discovered computer-aided design. “I saw the potential and my interest developed quickly. It grounded an attitude in me: it doesn’t matter what the scale is, you can apply the same process and hopefully something good comes out.”
Eventually upping sticks to the capital, Samuel graduated from design college and went on to work for international design agencies such as Tangerine, PearsonLloyd and Fitch. In 2007, he set up his own studio in east London.
“The first big project was in Lausanne, Switzerland. There was a plan to put trees and benches in a new public square, so we pitched something more inventive.”
The result was the formidable L’Arbre de Flonville, a 52ft-tall white metal tree with flowing wood canopies and sculpted metal roots emerging from a tactile, red rubber floor to provide communal seating. Off this success, in 2008 Wilkinson took another brief for what would be a multi-award-winning product.
“An agency wanted an aesthetic low-energy light bulb,” he says. “They didn’t have much manufacturing knowledge, so I needed to understand their vision and try to ‘design something amazing’: that was the brief.”
Within 18 months, he’d created the Plumen 001, a bulb with a unique form that changes constantly through 360 degrees. Wilkinson has since developed a new lamp to showcase the bulb’s best qualities. “Everyone loved it. We won the London Design Museum Design of the Year award and also the D&AD Black Pencil, which was incredible as the only other product that had won it at that time was the iPad.”
The studio’s latest work includes a 19ft-tall solar tree which, in a “solar forest”, could help power cities throughout the world. But at 35, Wilkinson believes he’s only just getting started. “You’re a ‘young designer’ until you’re in your fifties,” he laughs. “In the meantime, I’ll keep designing beautiful, inspirational products. I’m not driven by money. I just want to make sure the products I’m doing really are amazing. If I can keep doing that — fantastic.”
Samuel Wilkinson’s idea was to create a desk that would work excellently in a compact home environment with a clean elegant aesthetic. The flexible design comes with attachable accessories that help to keep your environment neat and tidy. The solid wood top has a removable plate that allows easy access to a storage tray hiding unsightly plugs and cables. Other accessories include a small draw for a laptop or papers, a file holder and a back panel that can act as a note board or in an open space as a privacy screen.
- Full name
- Samuel Wilkinson
- 1977, Devon
- Ravensbourne College
- Industrial Designer
- Case, Decode, Plumen, British Airways, Audi, LG, Samsung, Virgin Airways
- Known for
- Plumen Bulb