SplinterWorks was formed in 2009 as a collaboration between Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington. They are design pioneers; instinctively driven to pursue creative opportunities that allow us to re-imagine familiar objects and enhance the things you enjoy with ambitious, beautifully crafted, functioning sculpture.
We strive to enrich the lives of the people who live with our work, by creating pieces that enhance their environment and elevate the experience of everyday life. Our aim is to create work that is engaging, inspiring and a delight to use.
Our designs are experimental and theatrical, but the function of the piece is always paramount. We love to play visual tricks, especially where balance comes into question. Opposing dichotomies of solidity versus weightlessness, motion versus stillness, and strength versus fragility are played out in our ambitious designs through innovative materials.
Our ambitious projects are fuelled by our passion for absolute quality, technical ingenuity, artistic integrity and a solid belief in creating the most considered and exquisite work befitting of its purpose.
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 cross-pollination 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.
Matt and Miles 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.