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Product Design
Published: 29 Oct 2015

The Turner Prize: Local Production

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The Granby Workshop

This year the Turner Prize is blending the realms of art and design by hosting a showroom of locally manufactured homeware as part of the exhibition. This unusual occurrence is part of British architecture collective Assemble's display, the first design studio to be nominated for this prestigious art award. Granby Workshop, a Liverpool-based social enterprise set up by Assemble, has created the homeware range as part of the studio's regeneration project in the area.

The product range includes block-printed textiles, home accessories and small furniture pieces, with each piece handmade by local artists and craftspeople. Several of the designs are also being used in the renovation of surrounding homes that had previously been boarded up and abandoned.

The processes used to manufacture the items all include an element of chance or unplanned intervention, resulting in unique products that can be produced en masse. For example, a lampshade featuring a marbled design, or ceramic doorknobs that feature patterns created with smoke. Where possible, the designers are using waste materials to create the designs – mantelpieces, planters and trivets are cast from a composite made from brick and rubble gathered during the housing renovations.

Products are available for pre-order during the Turner Prize 2015 exhibition at Tramway in Glasgow (October 1 2015 to January 17 2016). The designs will go into full production in the new year. Revenue from the project will be put back into the business, enabling the Granby Workshop to train locals in production techniques and set up projects to engage the community's younger generation.

Localised manufacturing continues to be a key approach in creating narratives around product stories and appealing to consumers concerned with ethical production and giving back to their local community. See The Value of 'Made In' for further insight.

For more recent art inspiration, see our visual report from this year's Frieze Art Fair.

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