Ifeanyi Oganwu could pass for a designer of his time. Using digital design and novel fabrication techniques to develop his projects, this London- based affable young designer was born in nigeria and trained in the best schools of architecture across the globe. His furniture collection often stretches material organically towards a state of permanent tension, a result of his experiments with the structures and forms latent within his material palette. His output shares overlaps with the protagonists of London’s digital design practices who include Ross Lovegrove, Amanda Levete, Ron Arad and Zaha Hadid. The latter where he spent some time working as an architectural assistant after completing his post-gra-duate studies at New York’s Columbia University.
Did we actually read furniture? This is precisely where Ifeanyi stands out in the design landscape – whereas most models for furniture created by architects and designers are edited by famous brands such as Cassina, Poltrona Frau or Vitra, he has chosen to explore a different path.
His agency expand design Ltd, founded in 2008, provides a platform to create his furniture and has led to partnerships with a small number of art and design galleries that reveal the work internationally. His approach to design is multi-faceted, whereby ideas are refined into viable concepts through an iterative method involving digital engineering processes that synthesize topology with structural investigations informed by material properties and feedback with specialists who take the work through prototype development.
The final material of each design drives the selection of specialized manufacturing: his bench full Circle or his office chair and desk suite, double agent, was made in the uk by experts in fibreglass and composite work for the automotive and aeronautic sectors, while his table ren originated from a single block of white Carrara marble that was cnc milled and later hand-finished by Italian artisans. Also, the mirror polished and hand-formed aluminium assembly of splice was executed in the uk by car body specialists.