Top national prize for Stowmarket design student

Design and technology student, George Mannell, with his prize-winning lounge chair
Design and technology student, George Mannell, with his prize-winning lounge chair

A young designer has scooped a top prize in a national furniture-making competition.

George Mannell, 18, a pupil at Stowmarket High School, was selected for joint first prize for his lounge chair in the Furniture Makers’ Company School Design competition in London.

More than 120 young designers and furniture makers were invited to showcase their work to representatives from the UK furnishing industry on October 10.

George, from Creeting St Peter, who hopes to be a quantity surveyor, made the chair as part of his A-level Product Design course.

“I was inspired by a previous AS-level project and the way timber can be shaped to create unique products ,” said George.

“I never thought my work would receive such recognition and found the whole experience humbling and inspiring at the same time.

“I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me.”

George designed and built the Tulip wood chair himself, with the guidance of the school’s design teachers and his cousin.

The Young Furniture Makers’ exhibition was held at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London.

George’s prize included £500 for Stowmarket High School, vouchers and a trip to Norway.

“This is an extraordinary achievement for George and for the design team,” said Stowmarket High School headteacher Dave Lee-Allan.

“We are so proud.”

George was presented with his prize by Sebastion Conran, CEO of Conran Associates.