Brodie Neill presents new sustainable furniture at Sotheby's London

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Brodie Neill presents new sustainable furniture at Sotheby's London
Brodie Neill Material Consciousness Exhibition at Sotheby's. Photo:James Harris.

LONDON.- London-based Australian designer Brodie Neill is presenting a new collection of work for Sotheby’s this May. Part of Sotheby’s ongoing Design series, the selling exhibition Material Consciousness is on show at the auction house’s New Bond Street location and online via from 6-19 May 2022. Featuring nine new sustainable furniture pieces, the collection showcases Neill’s desire to reshape the world’s most precious resources into a range of collectable design pieces.

Presented as a triptych, the collection focuses on three specific fields of material research; ocean plastic, reclaimed timbers, and circular metals. Each design applies Neill’s signature rigour and resolve to the complex issues of waste and the world's finite resources. Through technical and creative innovation as well as painstaking preparation, Material Consciousness presents a deep understanding of process and the true potential of circular design.

Brodie Neill says: “Material Consciousness represents the convergence of over a decade of design research into material circularity and the redefining of waste. It’s an honour to have Sotheby’s select my work not only for its aesthetic merit but for the environmental issues it addresses”.

Elena Checci, Specialist 20th Century Design at Sotheby’s London says: “What is captivating about Brodie’s work is his creation of beautifully crafted designs realised through the development of innovative processes. From salvaging, transforming and ennobling abandoned materials to plastic waste, recyclable metal and reclaimed wood. His equal attention to form, material and process is clearly revealed in the impressive works he produces, which never compromise on functionality”.


Ocean Terrazzo is an innovative material produced by fragments of ocean-plastic waste. First developed for the Australian Pavilion at the inaugural London Design Biennale in 2016, Neill collaborated with an international network of scientists, researchers, environmental experts, beachcombers, engineers, artisans and manufacturers to produce the terrazzo-like composite that is compiled of reconstituted small fragments of plastic washed-up on the shores around the globe.

Neill says: “The environmental issue of ocean plastic is vast and complex. Plastic is a material built to last yet carelessly discarded after a single use. My aim is to recapture that material potential with each piece of microplastic forming the building blocks to a better future, where each coloured fragment forms a pixel to the bigger picture”.

For Material Consciousness Neill has produced three new limited edition pieces: Gyro Second Wave, a contemporary rendition of a 19th century tabletop that substitutes traditional marble, timber, and ivory with Ocean Terrazzo (Limited edition of 5 + 2AP + 2 prototype). Jetsam, a triangular dining table that makes use of the thousands of microplastic fragments left over from the Gyro table’s creation. With a strong mix of greens, yellows and reds the triangular Ocean Terrazzo dining table is backed in a deep forest green (Edition of 12 + 2AP + 2 prototype). And finally Flotsam, a low elliptical table that consists of black backed Ocean Terrazzo. Edition of 20 + 2AP + 2 prototypes.


In response to the devastating effects of deforestation and the catastrophic consequences towards climate change, Neill’s practice often utilises reclaimed timbers in the pursuit to reuse what is already in circulation. By sourcing salvaged materials from demolitions, exotic hardwoods like Mahogany and Panga Panga have been painstakingly refurbished into the building blocks of Neill’s latest timber creations.

Torso is a series of three side tables with biomorphic silhouettes carved from a stack of laminated, reclaimed Panga Panga parquet. The hundreds of blocks of this rare tropical hardwood used for Torso have been salvaged from a school in Leicester where it lay as a herringbone floor for almost 60 years (Edition 20 + 2AP + 2 prototypes). Using reclaimed Rhodesian Mahogany salvaged from floorboards used in a hospital in Hastings, the Longitude Bench is formed using a cross thatched technique developed by Neill that is structurally lightweight whilst surprisingly rigid (Limited edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes ). Elevating this structural moiré pattern to new heights is the Altitude Chair that pins each coordinate of rich toned wood with brass rivets. Limited edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes.


Highlighted as two of the most infinitely recyclable metals in circulation, Neill melds stainless steel and bronze into singular sculptural forms for the exhibition. Encompassing form and function, these materials are expertly shaped into loops and voids with each design exploring the versatility and long-lasting qualities of the inherently sustainable material.

Formed from a single surface of infinitely recyclable metal, the Atmos Desk and Atmos Console meld form and function with sculptural precision. The Atmos Desk is finished in a two-toned technique of a mirror-polished void and satin metallic exterior, the desk cantilevered planes and cascading uprights fuse at the central hyper-reflective vortex. Limited edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes. The taller Atmos Console celebrates the duality of bronze finishing in a slender console table reflecting its warmer inner tones through the central void contrasting with the smooth satin exterior. Limited edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes.

Material Consciousness also features Neill’s iconic @ Chair design, produced in a mirror-polished stainless steel that reflects Neill’s early explorations into form and function as a seamless mobius-strip like entity. Encompassing the entire configuration of a chair within a single gesture, the @ Chair was included in Time Magazine’s Design 100 in 2008. Limited edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes.

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