385 Words - Posted on 1st October 2018

Collaborations: Why collaborate?

We were talking about the symbiotic relationship between David and Daren, where the creative imagination of one is matched by the interpretative abilities of the other, and the remarkable results that have been achieved as a result. Isn’t that the way of almost all enterprises? 

Very rarely is the thinker also the doer. Or rather, maybe what we should say is that even the person who is the sole creator can step out of that box and work well with others.

Many, if not most, of the students at Rowden are there to be trained as designer makers. It is a courageous and confident thing to do, deciding to be a designer maker, and the rewards of taking an idea and making it real with your own hands are numerous and visceral. 

At a pragmatic level it also makes sense. 

Moving forward

Most students aren’t connected to a spectrum of other creative people with whom they can collaborate. So it makes perfect sense that they should start their work, working entirely for themselves. But the world is a dynamic place. People can’t help themselves but to look for opportunities to work with other like-minded individuals, especially if they come with amazing and complimentary skills.

We often hear about the big names who created industries and empires. The likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. But they might be the first to admit they had collaborators from the start, without whom their empires might have faltered. Thank you, Steve Wozniak and Paul Allen, for showing us that even the best need to collaborate to create the truly incredible.

We have seen it many times that cabinetmakers have joined forces with other makers, or other creative people, and found a way to make pieces that, on their own, would probably never have happened. 

Maybe it is a kind of coming of age, when the designer maker finds themselves sought after for collaborations. This is when the quality of their work is recognised and respected, when they are chosen to be part of something great. 

Truthfully, for so many makers, it happens time and time again. This is more evidence that this business, this craft, has a way of taking makers way beyond their initial hopes and dreams.

Until next time,


Lakshmi Bhaskaran

Writer at Rowden Atelier
Lakshmi Bhaskaran studied at the Rowden Atelier in 2008, following on from a successful career as a design writer and author. It was at Rowden that she met her husband and business partner, Jonathan Walter. The pair set up Bark Furniture in 2010 and now run a successful furniture business, based in Cornwall, with clients all around the world. Lakshmi has written for renowned publications like Wallpaper, and has authored five books in the design area.
Lakshmi Bhaskaran

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Categories: Contemporary Furniture Making

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