Mac Collins Invites To Explore Iklwa’s Hidden Forms

British furniture maker Benchmark has unveiled Iklwa, its newest collection designed by rising talent Mac Collins, in what is the designer’s first-ever consumer collection.

Benchmark first came across Mac Collins at the London Design Fair in September 2018, when the Nottingham-based designer was announced as the winner in the inaugural Cræftiga Awards for his Indigo-blue Iklwa chair. Since then Benchmark has worked in close collaboration with the designer to merge his design with its making know-how and craft, creating a collection inspired by the original design. Together with Benchmark, Collins has created a collection that fuses his African-Caribbean roots with British craft, a reflection of his upbringing in Nottingham as a child of British and British Caribbean parents. Comprising a big lounge chair, a second smaller lounge chair and side table, the Iklwa family is derived from Collins’ original design and will be crafted in ash and oak, available in either an Earth Orange stain or a classic white oil.

Discussing the forced migration of African people during the colonial era, this investigation is in response to how powerless these people must have felt. Iklwa, therefore, offers a speculative sense of protection from this aggressive practice as, when used, the throne conjures up notions of authority, empowerment, and dominance against oppression. Drawing inspiration from his African Cultural heritage, Mac has created a furniture piece that is in tune with the ideas of Afrocentrism and Afrofuturism. Through a composition of powerful, spear-like forms, an encompassing backrest, and a vivid, ultramarine hue, the designer has created a visually intense object designed to dominate and overwhelm its surroundings. Much like a throne, this dominating ash structure is intended to frame, enhance, and empower its human subject. Having been eased into a nonchalant sitting position, the user is then encouraged to investigate and explore the sculpted forms and intricacies that hide below the intense blue stain. – Mac Collins

Mac Collins Invites To Explore Iklwa's Hidden Forms
Mac Collins Invites To Explore Iklwa's Hidden Forms
Mac Collins Invites To Explore Iklwa's Hidden Forms


Photography with courtesy of Mac Collins

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