Matthew Hilton - worthy of an Oscar
von Vera Siegmund | Oct 17, 2007

No a Design category does not yet exist for the most famous American movie award. But British designer Matthew Hilton has already received important prizes in his own discipline, for instance in 2006 the Elle Decoration Design Award in the category best furniture design for his pull-out table "Cross? or in 2000 Design Plus for his plastic chair "Wait".The reference is to quite a different Oscar. Namely, Oscar Niemeyer - and Matthew Hilton makes a specific reference to him on his website. Under the image section "Inspiration? amongst other things you find two typical architectures by the creator of Brasilia whose use of concrete was revolutionary.And this reference truly does create a formally clearly recognizable connection between the architect and the designer. Specifically it is a softly undulating line and the rounding of the vertical that makes for a pleasant surprise. This cancellation of the orthogonal and his dexterous handling of a great variety of materials lend Hilton's furniture something graceful and a great lightness. This is especially true of his round table "Antelope?, but equally to his dark-brown leather chair "Balzac" with its soft shapes - and which looks a little like kids left to their own devices one autumn day took a chestnut and stuck matchsticks into it for legs.Yet Hilton's furniture also has a streamlined and classic look. His re-interpretation of functional furniture shapes lies in the details and simultaneously makes them innovative. Functionality is a high priority, Hilton designs for the user. However, thanks to his feeling for forms and proportions in his case functionality achieves perfection - you might call it "graceful functionality?. This has long since been recognized by manufacturers such as SCP, Driade, Disform, Montina, Case, XO, Habitat and others: This furniture has the potential to become tomorrow's classics. It is well worth visiting the British designer's Web site. Matthew Hilton lets the visitor in on the design process - from what inspired him through to the "making of? his products. The design is simple and uncluttered. Like his furniture. It not only considers the user but puts him or her