Mowat & Company are an independent company of architects, designers and lateral thinkers who find elegant and often unexpected design solutions.
Their work often comes back to one material: Oak. This timber endures because of its physical density, durability and colour but also because of its associations in our minds and culture.
“Oak: Building, Growing and Manufacturing” will showcase their architectural design work and the products manufactured from many designs.
Working with wood has brought them into contact with a wide range of talented designers, specialists and craftspeople. They have also been influenced by many influential thinkers in design work with wood.
The exhibition aims to show the resulting products, spaces, ideas and processes behind our design work. Mowat & Co. want to share their experiences and give an insight to the design possibilities of this magnificent species.
In designing the exhibition ourselves, we will draw on our considerable experience of exhibition design, where we have worked with institutions such as the V&A, Design Museum and the Museum of London.
Alongside the exhibition, they also propose to hold an evening talk on each of the sections with specialists and influencers from around the industry. This will give visitors the chance to hear from some of the best and most talented people working in wood design, but who are relatively unknown outside of this field and may not have many opportunities to share their knowledge to the wider public.
Three Sections in the Exhibition
Mowat & Company’s exhibition is divided into three sections that they refer to as “Building”, “Growing” and “Manufacturing”.
Section 1 – Building (17th September 2018)
This will show our architectural design work in oak, showcasing the variety of finishes and application of oak, the functionality and versatility of oak as
a material and the specialist design knowledge required to use oak for building. We hope this will give visitors an insight into a building material that can be widely used, the use of which is growing but not yet fully widespread. We also want to give our visitors an understanding of how oak can be integrated into the built environment by design, a material that wears in and does not wear out.
Section 2 – Manufacturing (19th September 2018)
Here we will showcase the products we have designed and had manufactured. They include door handles, handrails and bespoke wine racks. Our products have been specified by such architects as Stirling prize-winning dRMM, Jasper Morrison and Herzog and De Meuron. These products are also double Architizer A+ award winners, both for the jury and popular votes.
Our physical products will be on display for people to see and touch (as wood is not just aesthetically pleasing, it also is a beautiful medium to touch and hold). We will discuss / exhibit the design and manufacturing process behind the products so our visitors can understand what goes into that process.
Another learning outcome is that visitors will understand some of the lesser-known properties of the use of oak (e.g. it is beneficial for elderly and infirm as it is “warm” to the touch).
Section 3 – Growing (20th September 2018)
We are committed to sustainability to ensure that all of the oak we use is responsibly sourced and replaced. This section will discuss the different species of oak we use and the various ways that we can all help to ensure sustainable use of oak. Our founding director, Alex Mowat annually plants acorns in the southwest of England and is hugely knowledgeable about the species and planting.
We will show how Londoners and LDF visitors to London can be involved in this, displaying a map of green spaces in London where the best acorns for planting can be found. We will also endeavour to give every visitor acorns of their own to take away, with directions for planting.