Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington both trained in Product Design and have 25 years combined design experience.
Hartwell learnt about making ‘things’ alongside his father in their home workshop from a young age, most notably making his mark on his father’s design of the very first handheld GPS receiver! He went on to study design at Plymouth University but left early to start working as a junior designer. He continued in design studios, creating prototype furniture, and designing high-end kitchens until Splinter Works formed in 2009. His unique approach is fuelled by the crosspollination of ideas between disciplines. He enjoys simple designs that are realised through the controlled repetition of shapes and patterns. He holds with high esteem the sculptural work created by great American designer/artist Wendell Castle, the wit of the Dutch based Studio Job and the agility and sheer brilliance of British architect/designer Thomas Heatherwick.
Withington also became enthused with design at an early age, with his first memorable present being a hammer because he deduced “that was what you needed to make stuff”. With his first tool, he banged wood scraps together in his father’s garage until they succumbed to being objects. Upon discovering Product Design he became excited that he could fuse artistic and practical sensibilities, and graduated from Bournemouth University with Honours. After graduating he worked at a plastic injection moulding company honing his technical skills, but became frustrated with industrial design feeling the creativity was compromised to enable the large production quantities. He started working in furniture design, finding an outlet for his creativity in three dimensional forms and sculpture combined with technical discipline. Matt is also an avid portrait painter and photographer and is most inspired by the organic forms found in nature and by the movement and aerodynamics of racing sports.
When asked “Where do your ideas come from?” the duo’s response is usually “The space between us!” In other words, they are both independently capable designers but when working together they enjoy a creative alchemy that generates their best work. Having been friends for many years, they share a vision for ambitious design that has limitless aesthetic and functional possibilities.