Jesse Dorris | September 13, 2013
Leigh Cameron is a gem of a furniture maker. Halfway through the two year furniture program at Central Saint Martins, he won a Palladium Alliance jewelry design competition judged by Hannah Martin and Giles Deacon, then worked on two window displays for Bulgari sponsored by British Vogue. His stark, architectural designs are elegant and balanced whether manifested as rings, benches, or tables-all of which are currently available.
Interior Design: How did you first encounter design?
LC: From a young age I was quite obsessed by how things were made and what made them work. When I was about ten, I spent an entire weekend taking my bicycle apart and putting it back together again. But Gerrit Rietveld's work was the first thing I really remember being bowled over by. It was the first time I understood you could construct things in an alternative way. It was suddenly clear to me: the special awareness, the proportions, the structure. It spoke directly to me and made me think I might have something to say as well.
ID: How was your time at Central Saint Martins?
LC: I worked as a cabinet maker for 15 years before I did the course-it took me two years to pluck up the courage to even apply! Once I got there, I was really pushed out of my comfort zone, which was hard, but it helped me acknowledge that I was a designer and not just a maker.
ID: What did winning the jewelry award mean for you?
LC: First, it gave me a huge confidence boost; and second, getting to the final show and thinking-yes, I did it! I am proud of what I have achieved and people even want to buy my designs!
ID: What's your take on the current furniture and design marketplace?
LC: It is a hugely competitive market, and understanding what makes you different from everyone else is crucial. I particularly admire John Pawson for his clarity and simplicity, and the way he combines proportion, light, and space. I am also interested in the move toward more crafted pieces, for example, G&T by Bethan Gray and Heavy Light by Benjamin Hubert, which challenge perceptions of materials.
ID: What's next?
LC: Since graduating, I have worked on a project with Vivienne Westwood and have co-created The Concrete Foundation, to work on some large-scale public arts pieces. It is hard to keep focused, but I am trying to keep my launch at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair as the goal post.