design case: Pioneering Furniture designer

Harcourt chairs (large)

Above: Geoffrey Harcourt's plywood chair design for Emmemobili. Image copyright: Emmemobili.


With clients in Italy, France and the Netherlands, the furniture designer Geoffrey Harcourt has an established european profile.

In fact in Modern British Furniture: Design since 1945, published by the books imprint of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the design historian Lesley Jackson writes that: Geoffrey Harcourt was the first British furniture designer to develop a significant European profile. His long standing collaboration with the Dutch firm, Artifort, established a precedent for alliances between British designers and foreign companies that continues to the present day’.

In addition to Artifort, other firms Harcourt has worked for include Emmemobili of Cantu, Italy - the plywood chair shown was designed in 1965 and manufactured in 2004, and Hotouko, Japan. All three firms continue to produce seating of Harcourt's designs. Past customers include Dynamite Nobel, Trau of Turin, and Steelcase Strafor of France.

Working solo, Harcourt is based in Oxfordshire. 

Asked why Harcourt chooses to base himself in the UK, he says: "There is no better place to live, bring up and educate one's children, and enjoy the wealth of art and design which are at hand. For work, Western Europe is a flight away."

His nominated UK designers of choice are Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

His other interests include painting, as demonstrated by this self-portrait, below.

 Harcourt image (400px wide)

Above: Geoffrey Harcourt, RDI DesRCA, self-portrait, 2012.

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