Young Furniture Makers exhibition

Harvey’s Design Career


"I feel very grateful to have a job doing what I love."

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Case Studies

Harvey is an Assistant Designer at Habitat. His journey into the furniture and furnishings industry was deeply influenced by his school product design teacher, whose classes ignited his passion for creating and crafting.

“I didn’t enjoy school, but I did enjoy going to my product design classes and making things in the workshop. It just didn’t feel like work, as it was something I loved and had a passion for. But also, my teacher made it exciting, and I looked forward to every one of his lessons.”

Following this inspiration, Harvey pursued a degree in Product Design with a focus on furniture design at Sheffield Hallam University. "I had an amazing product design teacher at school who inspired me to do a degree in furniture design and eventually have a career in it. It is also something I love doing, I have always enjoyed designing and making things and I feel very grateful to have a job doing what I love."

During his four years of study, Harvey embarked on a pivotal placement year at CNC Projects / Object Studio, where he gained invaluable real-world experience in design for manufacturing and work ethic. This experience played a crucial role in shaping his success in his final year at university.

Winning the IDEA Prize at the Young Furniture Makers Awards and subsequently securing a six-month placement at Habitat marked significant milestones in Harvey's career. The placement provided him with insights into company operations, rapid-paced design processes, and invaluable feedback, contributing to his growth as a designer. Harvey also won the Habitat Future Design award at New Designers 2023.

“It was surreal. There were so many talented and amazing designers and products at the event, and I didn’t even consider winning. I just felt very grateful and honoured to be part of it.”

The main thing I learned from the placement was how to work to deadlines. Working for a company like Habitat is completely different from doing a project at university. The pace at which you get designs developed and completed is so fast. But it has helped me to improve as a designer, as you get constant feedback, and your ideas/designs chop and change all the time. It has also taught me not to take criticism to heart and see it as an opportunity to grow and my design skills have improved massively from this."

As an Assistant Designer at Habitat, Harvey collaborates with a team to design furniture primarily for the bedroom, upholstery, and children's furniture. His day-to-day involves extensive CAD (computer-aided design) work and designing furniture that pushes boundaries.

Looking ahead, Harvey envisions owning his own furniture design and manufacturing company, where he can indulge in the freedom of creating bespoke pieces. He acknowledges the importance of further education, considering a furniture-making course to enhance his craftsmanship skills. “I would love to one day have my own company and design and manufacture furniture. I love the freedom of furniture design and if I could get to a point where I could make furniture all day in my own workshop for a living, that would be a dream come true.” Harvey explains.

“Get as much industry experience as you can. University was great but I learnt so much at my placement. My placement was voluntary, and I had to work a second job but the skills I learned were invaluable. It doesn’t matter if you get paid, get out there and learn as much as you can."

Harvey underscores the profound significance of acquiring industry experience, articulating that while academic pursuits hold undeniable value, they are enriched by tangible immersion in the professional realm.

“I am constantly learning all the time. It is not always design-related, as I have learned a huge amount about the commercial aspect of furniture design and learned a lot from talking to suppliers and my colleagues who have years of industry experience. I am also learning to design products and furniture for many different customers and style preferences and gaining a better understanding of the design process. As well as learning more about technical drawings and how to make them concise and easy to understand for manufacturers.”

Harvey's story serves as an inspiration for those aspiring to carve a niche in the furniture and furnishings industry, emphasising the transformative power of hands-on experience and a pursuit of learning.