My bespoke furniture designs represent a journey that began in 1975 when I set up my first workshop. It is a journey that has sought to make connections along the way with a wide range of skills and issues including forestry, wood, design craftsmanship, ethics and sustainability. Since the mid-1990s my work has embraced the issue of sustainable forestry which eventually found its focus in the creation of a local cycle that sources non-commercial timber from woodlands in Oxfordshire. This resulted in a range of innovative designs that has received national publicity ...
Awards include:
  1. Arts Council England ~ Research grant “Ideas in the Making: Researching Creativity” (2013)
  2. PhD ~ Brunel University (2007) for developing an innovative approach to furniture design
  3. FIWSc ~ Fellow Institute of Wood Science (2007) for advancing the field of Wood Science
  4. FCSD ~ Fellow Chartered Society of Designers (2002) for “Exceptional professional practice and creativity”
  5. FRSA ~ Life Fellow Royal Society of Arts (1988)
  6. Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers ~ Travel Scholarship (1984) ...
Exhibitions include:
  1. Oxfordshire Artweeks ~ Annual (May) Open workshop-studio exhibition
  2. Ideas in the Making, River Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames ~ Feb-June 2014
  3. Art at Goring ~ July 2013
  4. Art in Action, Waterperry House ~ Multiple years
  5. Henley Festival of Arts, Oxfordshire ~ July 2011
  6. Traditional Skills that Built the Abbey, Dorchester Abbey ~ August 2010
  7. 21st Century Craftsmen, The Millinery Works, London ~ March - April 2010
  8. Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Cheltenham ~ 15 - 24 August 2009
  9. 21st Century Furniture: The Art & Crafts Legacy ~ The Millinery Works, London ~ 1 - 26 April 2009
  10. Going Green: sustainability past and present ~ Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading ~ 2007
  11. Celebrating Art in the Garden, Urchfont Manor, Devizes ~ 2 - 9 September 2007
  12. Out of the Woods, Wycombe Museum ~ 22 July - 8 October 2006
  13. Out of the Woods, River Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames ~ 17 September 2004 - 7 January 2005
  14. The Art of Furniture, Gas Hall, Birmingham City Museum ~ 28 February – 4 March 2004
  15. Classic IX, Belgium ~ 1 – 9 November 2003
  16. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford ~ May 2003
  17. Designs on Environment, Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London ~ 1999
  18. International exhibitions in USA, UAE, Italy and France ...
Public Collections:
  1. Oxford University, Blavatnik School of Government ~ Window to the World furniture
  2. Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts ~ Stage and public space furniture
  3. Museum of English Rural Life, Reading ~ Pondlife Bench
  4. Wycombe Chair Museum, High Wycombe ~ Sculptured Chair
  5. River Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames ~ Children's activity space furniture
  6. Dorchester Abbey ~ Choir Stalls and Clergy Seating
  7. Dedworth Green Baptist Church ~ Communion Table, Crucifix and Small Table
  8. Checkendon Church ~ Lectern in English oak with walnut inlay
  9. Alms House Chapel, Goring Heath ~ Font in Oxfordshire oak and copper
  10. St Mary’s Church, Henley-on-Thames ~ Mobile lectern ...
Books:
  1. Bespoke, Betty Norbury, Stobart Davies Ltd, 2007
  2. Furniture for the 21st Century, Betty Norbury, Stobart Davies Ltd, 1999
  3. The Encyclopaedia of Woodworking Technique, Jeremy Broun, Headline, 1994
  4. British Craftsmanship in Wood, Betty Norbury, Stobart Davies Ltd, 1990 ...
Publications:
  1. A Sustainable Approach to Furniture Design, The Designer, Chartered Society of Designers, Issue 21, 2004
  2. Out of the Woods ~ Philip Koomen: a Sustainable Approach to Furniture Design (Exhibition Catalogue, 2004)
  3. Techniques to Add Aesthetic Value to Beech in Product Design, Transnational Woodland Industries Group, 2002 ...
Lectures, including those that have been in association with American Hardwood Export Council:
  1. Ideas in the Making
  2. A Craftsman’s Progress
  3. Shaping a Sustainable Future in Wood
  4. British Furniture Designer-Makers
  5. Making a Modern Legacy
  6. Designer Furniture
  7. Adding Value through Design
  8. Towards a Sustainable Approach to Furniture Design
  9. Designing Furniture in Hardwoods
  10. Forest to Furniture: Designing in American Hardwoods
  11. Provenance in Wood
  12. Techniques that Add Aesthetic Value to Beech (with Adam Lawson)
  13. Creativity and Spirituality
  14. Out of the Woods
  15. A Strategy to Promote Sustainable Business Practice ...
Education:
  1. 1974-75 ~ Buckinghamshire College: Furniture Design and Technology
  2. 1975-77 ~ Buckinghamshire College: Wood Science and Technology
  3. 2007 ~ PhD, Brunel University: Sustainable Furniture Design