Take a Seat with Magnus Long

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Take a Seat with Magnus Long

Musings, thoughts and visual wanderings exploring our latest collection Barricane, designed by Magnus Long.

A successful creative collaboration doesn’t just rely on the individual merits of those who come together on a project. We believe collaboration finds its most beautiful and powerful expression when both sides bring something different to the table, free of egos, united by a quiet, relentless resilience to create something unique. 

In our first “Take a Seat with” piece, we profile designer Magnus Long. Musings, thoughts and visual wanderings exploring our work together creating the latest dining chair collection, Barricane.

A human scale 

Magnus Long is driven by longevity, a believer in the power of Design to live a long and meaningful life, being passed down and brought forward, lacking in transience and instead imbued with a deep sense of purpose and engagement. To hold this vision in his work and his process he sees every piece as more than just furniture. “Furniture design has a human scale to it because we know what it is to live with it around us. It has character, and it talks to us, and furniture speaks to each other, and we try to create harmony in the conversation.”

Something to say

And like family members and those closest to us, Magnus believes every piece he creates must have something to say, a clear point of interest. Barricane, Long muses, “speaks of durability and lightness” a design conversation that talks to the strength of its construction and the delicate translucency of the cane work, a dialogue of duplicity, exploring both the complexity of its creation and the simplicity of its aesthetic. “I always look for elegant solutions in my work – where the clarity of the form belies other complexities. For Barricane I wanted the design to have a very clear and simple silhouette, playing with translucency within a clear, welcoming frame. The forms and curves are complex, with several intersecting lines and fixing points. I don’t think we ever really made a compromise to the purity of the design because Morgan constantly handled the challenges and we worked together to find that elegant solution each time.”

A sense of joy

The ambition to bring together technology and craftsmanship to create something sculptural brought challenges to the fore. But with a humble, collaborative relationship and spirit, the setbacks were met with positivity and enthusiastic resilience. “I know it’s been rewarding for Morgan’s production team too because the design has presented them with technical challenges which they have always responded to positively. That’s not always common, and when you listen to the chat on the shop floor, it’s really connected and positive, which is a cultural thing and it’s been a joy to work with them.” Combining this emotional openness to collaborate with the self-sufficiency of our technology and engineering has fostered a relationship of trust, honesty and possibility. 

Design conversation 

With creative partnerships often being long processes with multiple voices needing to be heard, the strength of our unity has come from having the space and ability to talk, experiment and listen. “One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most on this project has been the design conversation of let’s push things harder, let’s see where we can take this to. All of the design team have done that. There’s no arrogance. It’s just about doing things better. Without the ego. Without the need for recognition.” Both sides bring experience and humility to the table, knowing where each other’s strengths lie, and being able to draw energy from the mutual desire to create something special.

“I’m often quite apprehensive before launching a new design because you can be caught up in the detail by the end point, but the outcome has been immediately rewarding because throughout the project I’ve been in a position to trust and respect the opinions of the design talent within Morgan. ”

Creativity, self-sufficiency and craftsmanship

A visit to the factory floor revealed our caning production, a material that had long been a source of interest and excitement for Magnus. I had been looking for a way to work with split cane for many years, due to its translucency, strength and the fact that it is wholly natural material so when I visited Morgan’s factory, the opportunity was immediate.” Magnus explored how its tactility could become central to Barricane’s design by introducing a radio weave design and bringing a modern take to this heritage material. “It’s not a material often used in chair design. It has this lovely point between craft and modernity”. The design centres around a very circular, almost sun-like backrest, giving light and lightness through caning, which Magnus describes as “an incredible material with incredible heritage and story.” Fascinated not only by its strength and tactile nature, the designer was also inspired by Morgan’s cane-weaving craft being passed on within the factory. “Ricky, the craftsman who makes the cane work, told me how much he loves the process and explained that someone taught him. I hope this project means there is more opportunity for him to train a new generation.


“There’s a part of me that hopes that in some small way this project is supporting a craft and a skill that then gets paid forward. I love the idea of contributing to sustainability in craft. ”
“I wanted to challenge the notion that mesh must be synthetic by creating a chair that gives support and comfort, using natural materials that can be repaired, which is what Morgan have been doing for years. Caning work by UK furniture brands is now uncommon, and aside from its natural beauty, it is also a clear point of differentiation for Morgan. ”

A collaborative spirit

A collaboration is a process. The coming together of people, opinions and visions that culminate in one single, solidified expression. The journey can be enriching or depleting depending on the force of the communal intent. Our partnership with Magnus, the design and development of Barricane, has been a journey of joy, courage and determination. The result is a collection that positively challenged our technical ability, while delivering a piece that invites emotional connectivity. Elegance has dictated the design outcome, but also the way in which we collaborate. “Morgan is a family company and has been very welcoming with a collaborative spirit throughout. Real value is placed on integrity and honesty, and I’ve never had to hold back saying what I’m thinking, and neither have they. It’s always an open conversation, and that needs trust in judgement to work best. Those qualities are important to the way I like to work and ultimately, we agree that it needs to be right, and they always came back with a constructive and positive reply to any challenges or points of tension.”


Nourishment and openness

The coming together of creative minds is an invitation to invent, to build, to make mistakes and make progress together. It is also an invitation to be open in conversation, guided by a creative language with its own rhythms, sounds and expressions. The result of our creative dialogue with Magnus has been Barricane, an elegant collection that speaks of delicate profiles and strong lines, of translucency, comfort and sturdiness, of encouragement, craftsmanship and technology. Creativity at its most refreshing and rewarding. “I think about the subject of creativity a lot and for me creativity begins with and is ‘play’ as a source of nourishment and engagement. I was lucky enough to never have been told to stop playing, but creativity is a universal human quality that permits an openness to questions and ideas.”


Barricane is launching at British Collection during Clerkenwell Design Week 21 – 23 May 2024. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello—we’ll be at The Crypt.

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