I am a designer and carpenter based in Cornwall, UK.
My mission is to make joyful, small, wooden buildings, that threat the planet with as much respect as humanly possible, that last a lifetime, and ultimately help the user to reconnect with nature.
The primal, and healing effect of nature is in our DNA. Connecting with ourselves, and our bio rhythms is most powerful when we live, sleep and relax close to the natural world. My buildings are designed to help you reconnect with nature.
Highly considered interiors are more important for small spaces than their larger counterparts. Ergonomics and storage are as critical as aesthetics and longevity and I carry those beliefs through the design and build process.
With small buildings every single square inch should be considered, and psychological space is more pressing; by creating illusions for the eye, one can increase the feeling of space without extending the footprint.
Even small buildings should surprise and delight and I try to incorporate a sense of theatre and discovery in all of our buildings.
Wood is a unique building material, for its many qualities. How it looks, how it ages, how it is to work with, how it smells, how it reverberates sound and heat, and its sustainability as a building material. There are drawbacks with regards the issues of monocultures created by timber production, and the emissions that come with transporting it, but timber is essentially a carbon neutral material. If responsibly grown timber is used and maintained before it can decay, it locks up carbon that would have otherwise been released in its natural breakdown. Therefore a wooden building acts as a carbon sink and by designing buildings to an extremely high level of detail, I can help ensure better longevity.
Wherever possible, I recycle materials, objects and fittings to use in my buildings. There’s a richness of quality and style that the ubiquitous modern can lack, and with the added joy of restoration. When considered aesthetically and used sympathetically, old objects seem to retain an energetic resonance that can transfer into the rest of the building.
I never use them just for the sake of it, always because it compliments the building, and is better for the environment.
Because I take a lead in the entire design and build process, from initial concept right through to delivery I can ensure that the issues of material responsibility, and waste processing, remain of paramount importance.
We constantly educate ourselves to the current thinking regards building performance, insulation techniques, energy technology, and material responsibility so that our buildings represent the most up to date understanding of these elements, whilst maintaining a healthy balance with the natural world and what I believe is important to human health.
Why default to filling the ground with concrete when there are less intrusive ways to foot a building? It’s about reframing the need and the response, so the interior and exterior work in harmony.
As a society we have the space, knowledge, and materials to create modular buildings and auxiliary services that can grow and shrink with the inhabitants requirements, but that don't interfere with or pollute the land, or damage the environment so acutely. As a result I, would love to see a shift in the planning laws that would allow people more autonomy and choice to live rurally and holistically with nature. By creating beautiful and thoughtful off-grid buildings and services, I would like to think I may help alter the slightly archaic planning mentality that we have in the UK.
After a childhood of Blue Peter follow-alongs, and endlessly reconfiguring his bedroom furniture, Sam spent school holidays working for his parents, manufacturing wooden garden furniture, and restoring and moving antique snooker tables.
He got properly into a creative stride at Falmouth University, studying BA Fine Art: Sculpture which gave him the freedom to explore form, aesthetics, context, and materials in a way that more prescribed design courses couldn't offer.
Moving to London straight after graduation, a year making ends meet working in the production department on fashion shoots and big TV commercials lead to Sam discovering the joys of the film industry Art Department. After a further couple of years assisting established Art Directors, Sam teamed up with Arthur de Borman, a fellow Falmouth graduate and created the Art Directing duo SAM & ARTHUR. For six very creative years they designed and built sets and props for music videos, short films and TV commercials. Also commercial installations: interior design, fashion show sets, pop-ups, and sculpture design, for big brands such as Nike, Vans, Ikea, Guinness and Smirnoff, in London, Barcelona, and New York.
After 10 fast years based in London working in an overly wasteful industry, a more personal and materially responsible way of working and living called, and a return to Cornwall answered. To facilitate his London exit he spent time working in-house for a UK based interior architecture + design company specialising in high end, French ski chalet refurbishments in Val D'isere and Meribel learning lots about maximising small living space.
But now back in Cornwall, with a young family, Sam is finally realising a dream of designing and making beautiful wooden buildings.