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Second Sitters vs. SCP at the Barbican

Three identical chair frames, three upholsterers

The Project​

The Second Sitters led project was an experiment in freeform upholstery putting the upholsterer at the forefront of the design process.

The original ‘vs’ project was sponsored by SCP and Coakley & Cox Ltd as part of the Second Sitters exhibition Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution at the Geffrye Museum, and took place live during London Craft Week 2017.


The Frame

Balzac - designed by Matthew Hilton for SCP in the early 90’s, the Balzac is the modern take on a classic club chair and features in Taschen's 1000 chairs, a compendium of some of the most iconic chairs from 1800’s to the present day.

The Three Upholsterers

Steve - Coakley & Cox craftsman Steve upholstered to Matthew Hilton’s design using their usual and sustainable production methods.


Jude -  Bastard Beeralu Balzac.  A prototype of an experimental process developed during a two day residency at the Tandemize Beeralu Cafe. Upholstered using a bastardised version of beeralu, a Sri Lankan lace-making technique, and uses only waste materials from the workshop and constructed without the use of any glues.

Hannah - Big Ball Balzac. The antithesis to the tight confines and rigid form of the leather club chair - but no less comfortable. The oversized feather filled ball breaks through the Balzac frame


SCP - is a London based manufacturer of contemporary furniture, accessories, lighting and textiles, guided by the idea that design can transform the world around us.  

Coakley & Cox ltd - SCP’s dedicated upholstery factory.

Second Sitters  - Hannah Stanton and Jude Dennis, both practising upholsterers who come together to promote independent UK and international upholsterers through publications, exhibitions, collaborative working and education days.

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