Stowmarket High School student scoops award at national exhibition

George Mannell who is the joint winner of The Furniture Makers’ Company School Design prize for his

George Mannell who is the joint winner of The Furniture Makers Company School Design prize for his laminated tulip chair. - Credit: Archant

George Mannell, a design and technology student from Stowmarket High School has been named joint winner of a national award at an exhibition celebrating the work of young designers and furniture makers.

The 18-year-old was invited to attend the Young Furniture Makers exhibition, organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, after winning one of the charity’s School Design Prizes for his laminated tulip chair.

Joanna Knight, who lives in Earl Stonham and owns the Reallyverynice Gallery, in Bury St Edmunds, is a Liveryman of the Furniture Makers’ Company. Having visited the school’s annual show last summer, she encouraged students to enter the competition.

The School Design Prize is an annual award, sponsored by companies and individual connected with the charity, which is given to promising design and technology students in schools across the country. The award aims to inspire students to pursue a career in the furnishing industry.

George was presented the award by internationally acclaimed product and furniture designer Sebastian Conran during a ceremony at the exhibition, held at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church, in Austin Friars, London.

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George said: “I never thought my work would receive such recognition – I found the whole experience humbling and inspiring at the same time. Thank you for supporting me with this award.”

Dave Lee-Allan, head teacher of Stowmarket High School, said: “Stowmarket High School were absolutely honoured to be included in this year’s Young Furniture Makers exhibition. To have a winning piece against such quality work was incredible. We sent our next generation of designers along to be inspired, and so they were.”

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