Teak, crafts and innovation

Mark Gabbertas

Mark Gabbertas was born in Yorkshire in 1962, and graduated from Durham University with a degree in political philosophy. Following an 8-year stint at the advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, in 1990 he left advertising to train as a cabinet-maker. Initially this was as an apprentice with Codrington Furniture and then with Stemmer and Sharp at Oblique workshops in Hackney as a junior maker.

He set up on his own after two years training and embarked on the well-trodden path of the designer-maker. Initially commissions were for private clients, but briefs from larger commercial organisations increased in number and became the focus of the workshop.

Mark Gabbertas was at the forefront of the renaissance in British design in the 1990's, especially the rise of the self-production designer. A number of retail outlets carried his work including Purves and Purves and The Furniture Union.

In 2002, he established Studio Gabbertas in West London and in 2006 the studio started to work with leading outdoor furniture brands, including Gloster. From this collaboration, the iconic Cloud collection emerged to become the definitive outdoor seating programme - setting the standard for the outdoor lounge category for over a decade and recognised through a number of significant awards programmes worldwide.

An intrinsic part of Mark's design process is the belief that at all times, the design of an object is governed by an appreciation of commercial realities. He believes passionately that if a great design does not sell, perhaps it is not such a great design.