John Green Design is a self-titled brand headed up by John himself in York in the North of England. Using FSC certified timbers, the clean lines and simplicity of his style have already been installed in residential and hospitality projects from York to Singapore, and are currently on show at the Sleeper Bar at Sleep.

We spoke to John to find out more.


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What’s the story behind John Green Design? 

It’s my self-titled brand that I founded whilst launching my first (and still hugely popular) product “embrace”, straight out of university in 2008.

To date I have a small collection of products that I wholesale to retailers and work with interior designers all over the world. I also design products for other brands.

Founder, John Green
Embrace is the product on which John Green Design was founded 


How are your products made? 

The way my products are made is mostly dependent on the material.

During the design process I always develop products through fully working prototypes, this allows me to better understand the material and work out the most suitable production method.

Once I understand how the product should be made I set about finding the appropriate factories to outsource the production. This in turn results in faster lead times for projects and better economies of scale for the buyers as I can maintain a certain stock level.

The Otis Chair and Stool are often kept in stock to fulfil demand.
The Otis Chair is also stackable and comes either flat-packed or assembled. 


Your first product “Embrace” is a rework of the iconic Isokon Penguin Donkey. What was your main influence and consideration?

This was a brief set by my university during my 2nd year. Obviously my main influences were the 3 penguin donkeys that Isokon still produce.


The brief was to design a modern take on the Isokon Penguin Donkey. The award-winning piece of furniture forms two low modern tables that are then ’embrace’ in order to form a storage unit / magazine rack / occasional table.

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The two parts of Embrace can be used separately as a laptop table, bench, desk for kids or even a breakfast in bed serving tray. 
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John’s award-winning Embrace

This brief was my first go at furniture design, whilst studying on a product design course. I’ve never really looked back…


Otis is your new range targeted at hospitality projects. How do considerations differ between designing for hospitality and residential?  

OTIS is an acronym for “Off The Industry Shelf”. Launching the Otis range earlier this year has been my first real taste of hospitality design….To be honest I don’t think the design process is any different for me as I take time over all of my designs to consider every detail and designing the chairs hasn’t been any different. They are designed to be robust to withstand commercial challenges and attention to detail has been considered at every stage. The main difference for me is the way in which the products sell, it is all about Quotes and Quantities right now.

The Otis Chair has been designed to be suitable for both commercial and residential projects


How does sustainability feature in your designs? 

Whilst designing I always make a conscious effort to ensure my products are sustainable, by using the least amount of material and generating the least amount of waste.

All of the Timber and Card used in my products and packaging is FSC certified.

Tab is a flat pack wooden lampshade designed and made in the UK


Where have your designs been used recently? 

Otis Chairs have been used on the new refurb of the Theatre Royal, York, UK


Otis Chairs in the Theatre Royal, York


They have also been used in a new Café called “The Providore” in Singapore alongside the Otis Stool

Otis Chairs in The Providore, Singapore
Otis Stools line the The Providore, Singapore


What’s next on the horizon for John Green Design?

I’m still finishing off completing the “Otis” range, currently working on a bench, dining table, wire framed and upholstered versions of the seating……so lots to be doing 🙂


To open a trade account with John Green Design and start ordering from them directly, click through to their catalogue below, and then ‘request a connection’:

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