max lamb’s planks collection for benchmark informed by the carpenters workbench




max lamb‘s creative practice is focused on harnessing valuable materials and crafting them into thoughtful and detailed functional works that pay close attention to proportion. his ‘planks’ collection for benchmark is no different. drawing on the humble carpenters workbench and traditional english country furniture from the 17th and 18th century (boarded chests, box stools, dough troughs etc.), lamb translates their common utilitarian nature into contemporary furniture.

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the ‘planks’ table features a hidden storage box that prevents clutter on its surface




acknowledging that when a tree is milled, it yields boards of varying widths, and so the british designer utilizes these multiple sizes in the making of each ‘planks’ piece. employing workmanlike qualities, the highlight of the series is the ‘planks’ table characterized by three wide boards of oak and douglas fir that are placed side-by-side. this composition offers a generous surface with uninterrupted wood grain, while the scale of the tree still remains visible. narrower beams are joined to form structural rails to support the horizontal counter, with a fourth plank placed on the underside; providing a hidden storage compartment that makes use of otherwise wasted space below the tabletop, this preventing clutter. L-shaped legs, while physically light offer a strong structure, and are connected to the side of the box to support the cantilevered top. the result is a family of furniture that is simple in its presence, but which present significant challenges around the construction and stability of timber.


comprised of a dining table (2500 x 900 x 720 cm), bench (2500 x 300 x  440 cm), lounge table (900 x 900 x 378 cm / 900 x 1350 x 378  cm), console (1500 x 300 x 800 cm) and shelving (2500 x 330 x 2230 cm with or without storage), the ‘planks collection’ by max lamb is on show as part of the ‘FACTORY; The reunion of design, craft and industry’ during the 2015 london design festival at the future laboratory from september 22nd-27th, 2015.
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‘planks’ dining table
2500 x 900 x 720 cm




I started with a rigorous understanding of the processes involved from log to boule and then stripped away all superfluous detail. I’ve used full width planks as the defining feature, both structurally and visually, with the key intention being to make a collection of furniture with utility, strength, durability and economy of material.’ – max lamb on the design of the ‘planks’ collection for benchmark
max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
detail of the hidden storage boxes found in max lamb’s ‘planks’ collection




as a maker I really admire max lamb’s clarity of thought and way of approaching design. he is entirely driven by his fascination with material and process, breaking it down to its purest expression with no concern of style or fashion. I am naturally drawn to max’s enthusiasm and values. I really like his association with nature, which provides so much of the inspiration for his work, and the way he immerses himself wholeheartedly, and more, into every project with seemingly unbounded energy. he is a joy and an inspiration to work with.’ – sean sutcliffe, co-founder of benchmark max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
the ‘planks’ pieces are supported by L-shaped legs that are physically light, and structurally stablemax lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
‘planks’ dining table and bench
max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
profile of the ‘planks’ dining table and bench
max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
‘planks’ shelving
max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
max lamb with benchmark co-founder sean sutcliffe
max lamb benchmark london design festival designboom
in the benchmark workshop