Furniture and product designer Gareth Neal was born in Shepperton, England in 1974. He studied at Buckinghamshire University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in furniture design and craftsmanship in 1996. After graduating, Neal worked in the studios of furniture makers Fred Baier and Rupert Williamson. In 2001, he moved to London and opened his studio in Hackney Wick. In 2006, Neal moved his studio to Dalston.
Known for work that pushes the boundaries of craft, Neal’s designs combine traditional processes and digital manufacturing. He creates bespoke and limited-edition objects for private clients, collectors, and high-end brands as well as mass production pieces. According to the designer, “I use the pallet of techniques within my [specialty], rebranding processes for a contemporary audience, to ensure [their] survival and to inspire the modern audience.” Outstanding projects to date include The Wish List (2014), a wooden, sculptural carafe form made using digital tools in collaboration with Zaha Hadid, Benchmark Furniture, and the American Hardwood Export Council; Ash George III (2013), a chest of drawers housing a 1780s George III commode, which was created by hand-carving and computer-aided manufacture (the chest is now part of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection); and The Brodgar Chair Project (2012), a series of handcrafted chairs inspired by the Orkney Chair and made in collaboration with Scottish artisan Kevin Gauld and UK editors The New Craftsmen.
Neal’s work is exhibited internationally, and has been presented at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He regularly participates in the London Design Festival and the Milan Furniture Fair. In 2010, Neal won the prestigious Jerwood Contemporary Makers award.