Meet the Team Blog l Tom White l Design Director - Parker Knoll
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Meet the Team Blog l Tom White l Design Director

Behind every Parker Knoll Sofa and Chair, there is a dedicated team of designers and developers that take great pride in creating products of quality, distinctive design and superior attention to detail.

We caught up with Tom White, our very own Design Director here at Parker Knoll, who reveals his design muse, the trends to watch for 2016/17, and the exciting projects underway for the Parker Knoll design team.

What is your main role as Design Director?

My role at Parker Knoll means I am responsible for ensuring the advancement and evolution of the product and fabric range; bringing in new innovations and processes, and driving forward the visual identity of Parker Knoll. This involves managing a very talented and creative team of people who share the same dedication to the Parker Knoll brand.

Parker Knoll have over 40 Sofa and Chair collections of varying styles, for many of which you have been at the heart of the design process. Who would you say is your design muse and why?

I believe the best way to design beautiful and stylish furniture of the finest is by thinking of things differently and approaching them in a unique way. Richard Rogers was the architect for some of the most famous buildings in the world, such as the Lloyds Building, Heathrow Terminal 5, and Centre Pompidou (Paris). He illustrates his exceptional approach to design through his trademark of almost turning a building inside out. His unique ability to create and see a generic structure in a completely different light makes his designs innovative and beautiful – elements I like to channel in my own design work at Parker Knoll.


Find out more: Richard Rogers – Heathrow Terminal 5; Lloyds Building; Centre Pomidou (Paris)

You’ve been working within the furniture industry for 23 years, and been with Parker Knoll through the brand’s most crucial years. What has been your most memorable project or achievement whilst working with Parker Knoll?

Certainly the rebrand and relaunch of Parker Knoll in 2012. This was a major event and significant moment in the history of the company. The response to all the hard work and energy that has gone into the creating and evolving the brand has been exceptional and I can’t say that we would have done it any other way!

What projects are you and your design team working on at the moment?
We are currently working on an exclusive new range to be launched at the January Furniture Show, which is taking the LifeStyle Collection in a new direction. We are also putting together a new and exclusive collection for Furniture Village, and have recently launched a new range into ScS; Simply Parker Knoll. All of these developments come in line with our new state-of-the-art facilities at our Nottinghamshire factory, allowing us the opportunity for continued expansion.

With expansion in mind, what is your favourite Parker Knoll product from the Maison Collection?

I think the Leon is my favourite as this particular model pushes the contemporary side of the Parker Knoll range, and epitomises the concept of The Maison Collection. The inspiration behind this collection came from taking Parker Knoll’s heritage and what its known for, and bringing this up to date and giving it a contemporary twist.Leon2

What trends have you got your eye on for 2016/17? 


This year I see the focus as being on the mixture of textures to create depth and interest in a space. The juxtaposition of layers and weaves adds an extra dimension to visual elements within a home which is why this look will become increasingly popular over the next few months. The colours that I expect to see more of are blush hues creating a softer palette, minks that bring interest to a neutral space, and powerful blues; all of which can be seen throughout our carefully selected fabric collection.

What advice would you give to a young, aspiring design director, or would you have given to yourself at the beginning of your career?

To have faith in your convictions and in what you are designing, and wherever possible, don’t compromise!

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