John Makepeace OBE

‘As a designer and a maker, I am constantly searching for more eloquent concepts for furniture,’ says John Makepeace OBE. ‘My objective is to achieve freer, lighter, stronger, and more sculptural forms better suited to their function and more expressive of what is unique about each commission.’

John Makepeace OBE, known as the the Godfather of contemporary British wood furniture design, gained respect as a furniture maker early on; in 1972 he became a founding member of the Crafts Council UK, and from 1987–91 was a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 1976, Makepeace set up the acclaimed Parnham College for furniture designers and in 1982 he initiated Hooke Park as a School for Woodland Industries and Forestry Management. 


Makepeace was awarded an OBE in 1988 for his services to furniture design and in 2004, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Furniture Society. In 2012, his work was included in the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition ‘British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age.’ He is the Winner of the UK’s Prince Philip Designers Prize 2016.

Makepeace is part of major museum, corporate and private collections around the world, including Plymouth University; Templeton and Keble College, Oxford; Liberty’s; the Fitzwilliam Museum; Birmingham, Cardiff and Leeds City Galleries; The Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum fur Kunsthanwerk, Frankfurt; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Banque General du Luxembourg.