Roy Tam Furniture Design
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Roy Tam is an award winning product designer, design lecturer, and ran a successful sustainable furniture business. His simple style is unlike most eco furniture, and displays scandinavian influences over his oriental origin, and are models of efficiency and people-friendly function.

Roy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Crafts Council's National Register of Makers. His work combines a range of batch produced furniture with customer led innovative bespoke commissions. He is a lecturer in 3D Design at Plymouth University, a touring lecturer in sustainable design, an external examiner, an exhibition curator and a competition judge.

Ash Forest Thinnings

Nothing comes close to timber
Timber is ecologically head and shoulders above ALL the world's structural materials. For example, raw aluminium requires several hundred times the energy to produce compared with timber. While plastics are better, they still consumes hundreds of times, and recycled plastics uses more energy again. Which all translates to more CO2 emmissions. Composite boards can only help to reduce landfill. Not only is timber greenest, it also has a double advantage. Trees also absorb atmospheric CO2 as they grow and 'fixes' it into its wood. This carbon acts as the world's carbon sink, and is not release back into the atmosphere unless it is burnt or decomposed.

Young trees fix more carbon
Fast grown ash is by far the most resilient. That is why ash was used in the wings of the Spitfire. Fast growth means stronger, so the best is often found in young thinnings too small for commercial sawing. Because of this, thinnings are undervalued and foresters won't normally get an income until 70-90 years after planting. "If more designs can be made from thinnings, we can earn a mid term income, and use it to manage our woodlands better." In comparison with an old tree, a fast grown thinning can absorb 30 times more CO2 in the same year, making it much more effective than a similar area of rainforest. Ash trees also seeds themselves, making ash the ideal 'renewable' tree. Roy's timber is sourced locally, mainly from the managed mixed woodlands around Melbury Estate managed by forestry expert Andy Poore.

Low Impact Design (Low Carbon Footprint): Why is Steam Bending uniquely saves energy?
Unseasoned ash is the perfect material for steam bending. While industry kiln dries whole planks of timber and converts typically 60% to furniture, steambending heats just the component and uses a fraction of the energy, reducing the drying time from 3 weeks to 12 hours with a heat pump. After one hour's steaming, timber is curved and seasoned at the same time ... so long as we do the bending in 20 seconds!

"Trees represent a strategic resource of incalculable value to the atmosphere and to man's well being. To sustain them the cost of planting and management must be paid for from income. Timber must therefore be used to the best advantage, not just as a fuel or pulp, but as a material for high quality manufacturing of products and the construction of buildings, for which the demand increases year by year. Scientists and industry have increasingly researched and exploited 'new materials', made from finite minerals, but timber remains the worlds major renewable resource and the most energy-efficient structural material."

Who buys from Roy?
Most of Roy's work is found in homes of private individuals, as well as corporate customers such as the Natural History Museum and Somerset County Council. Recent commissions include the main reception desk for the Ecology Building Society and East Somerset NHS.

Writing Desk

Roy lives in Sherborne, Dorset. He trained in wood at John Makepeace's Hooke Park College at the Parnham Trust. Having helped evolve Trannon with David Colwell, who pioneered eco furniture back in the early 1980's, his current business blends sleek contemporary style with ecological sensitivity. Previous to that, he trained in Industrial Design Engineering at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, and also a degree in medical electronics. While working for Cambridge Consultants, he was instrumental in setting up the product design department at their parent consultancy Arthur D Little Inc. He was elected to be a member of the Design Council selection panel and received the Braun International Prize for Industrial Design. Roy's aim is to work alongside you to deliver the optimum design solution.

Roy Tam Furniture Designer

Roy Tam
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Master of Design, Royal College of Art
British, born in Hong Kong 1957

Lecturer in 3D Design at University of Plymouth, working with Roberto Fraquelli, formerly of IDEO
External examiner, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of the Arts at Camberwell
Speaker at 'Making Futures' international design research seminar, Plymouth College of Art / Crafts Council / Alias
Judge and adviser for the New Forest Trust's Fine Woodworking Competition
Exhibition 'Wonder Wood' curation for the Centre of Contemporary Art for the Natural World
Speaker at 'Twentieth Century Furniture Research Group', Design Museum
Mentor for for small businesses for Arts Matrix
12 Years Director of Trannon Furniture with eco pioneer David Colwell 1992-2004
2 Years in Sustainable Timber Products at Hooke Park, John Makepeace's Parnham Trust 1989-1991
1 Year Management Consultant at Arthur D Little Inc setting up their product design office in the US 1988-89
2 Years Selection Panel for the Design Council's Kite Mark Awards 1983-85
9 Years Senior Product Designer and Project Manager at Cambridge Consultants 1982-1988
MDesRCA, Master of Design, IDE, Royal College of Art 1980-1982
DIC, Industrial Design Engineering, Dilpoma from Imperial College London 1980-1982
BSc Hons, Biomedical Electronics, University of Salford 1978-1980

Braun Prize Computerised Sewing Machine

Features & Awards:
Braun International Prize for Industrial Design 1983
Guild of Master Craftsman, Cabinet Maker Magazine Prize, professional category 1999
The Independent Magazine, 10 Best Ecological Products 2002
Envolve's Sustainable Business Award for Trannon Furniture 2003
'Furniture for the Twentieth Century', Roy's designs for Trannon are featured in Betty Norbury's book
Award Winning Waste 2006, adviser to this international exhibition on sustainability

Museum Bench

Corporate customers of Roy's furniture include:
Bankide Gallery, London
Bradford-0on-avon Town CounCil
Bristol CREATE Eco Centre
De Montfort University
Dillington House, Somerset County Council
Ecology Building Society
Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities
Flair New Homes
The Forestry Commission, Wales
The King's Fund
Manchester Science Park
Mark Wilkinson Furniture
Natural History Museum
The National Health Service NHS
Sarum Bible College
Southern Arts
Wessex Water
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Clients of Roy's product design include:
Arthur D Little Inc USA
Becton Dickinson USA
Black and Decker USA
Celestion Loudspeakers, product designer for their SR1 range
GRI Gas Research Institute USA
Gent Fire Systems, designer for their 3400 range
Johnson Wax UK + USA

Celestion SR1 Loudspeaker range designed by Roy Tam at Cambridge Consultants

Roy's work has been seen at these exhibitions and conferences:
'Cabinet', Peninsular Arts Gallery, Plymouth 2010
'Twentieth Century Furniture' research group conference, Design Museum, London 2007
'Homes for Good' Exhibition, Ecos Trust, Weston Super Mare 2007
'Eco Design Fair' Exhibition and slide talk, London 2006
'Gifted', Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton 2006
'Sustainable Design for a Low Carbon Future' Seminar Exhibition, Cultivate, Dublin 2006
'100% Detail" with Sustain Magazine 2006
'London Fashion Week' with the Ethical Fashion Forum and the BBC Scrap Fashion team 2006
'London Design Festival' Eco Design Day 2006
'Fine Crafted Wood' exhibition, curator, judge and exhibitor, New Forest Trust 2006
'[re]design 05', 100% Design East 2005
'Celebration of Craftmenship and Design', Betty Norbury 2004
'100% Design' 1995-2003
'To Have and To Hold' Ferrers Gallery 2003
'Art In Action' Oxford 1998, 99, 2003
'Raising The Roof' Walford Mill 2003
'House and Garden' 1997, 98, 2002-03
'Table Wares' Beatrice Royal Gallery 2003
'Artisan' Edinburgh Festival 1997, 98, 2002
'In Praise or Trees' with English Nature, Salisbury Festival 2002
'Wood x 10' Scottish Gallery 2002
'Homelodge Show House', Ideal Home Exhibition 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Artifex Gallery 2002
'Rufford Gallery' Nottingham 2001-2
'Brewery Arts' Cirencester 2001-2
'Chelsea Crafts Fair' 1990-2001
'MODE' 1999, 2000-01
'Green Design' Bledffa 2001
'Wind and Wave' Beatrice Royal Gallery 2000
'Country Living Spring Fair' 1994-96, 98-99, 2000
'Decorative Arts Today' Bonhams 1992-96
'Greenwood' Contemporary Applied Arts 1995
'Conservation by Design' RISD Museum of Modern Art, USA 1994
'Christmas Show' Oriel Moystn 1992
'Living Room' Oxford Gallery 1992
'Having Made It' Oriel 1992
'IDI' 1992
'Exempla 92' Munich 1992
'Beyond The Dovetail' Crafts Council 1991-92
'In the First Place' Aberystwyth Arts Centre 1990
'Sewing' Parnham House 1985
Braun Prize, BMW Design Museum 1983-84
Design Selection, Design Council 1982

Hanging Shelves

Roy has lectured or tutored at:
Bournemouth Arts Institute
Buckinghamshire New University
Budmouth Technical College
Centre for Sustainable Design, Surrey Institute
Colchester Institute
Design Council's Designers in Schools Week
Godolphin School, Salisbury
Gryphon School, Sherborne
Hooke Park College, Parnham Trust
King Arthurs School, Wincanton
Manchester Metropolitan University
Plymouth University
The Royal College of Art
Somerset College of Art & Design
South Wilts Grammar School
Southampton Solent University
Tonbridge School
Yeovil College

Roy Tam Furniture Design
Call: 0780 853 5863

1 Jan 2016
Copyright Roy Tam @Trannon Furniture 1991-2004, Roy Tam @Roy Tam Design 2004-2016