Without a school, but with plenty of talent
If you are long enough in business, any business, you know that after some time your focus shifts from doing something to thinking about something. As Vesna and I know from our experience, at the beginning you try to design something, then you do it more or less as a routine, and then catch yourself thinking and not designing. At the end of the story, no matter what you occupation is, you end up in philosophy.
At the same time, you are dreaming of big success and money (or fame). Andrew Muggleton's example shows us that we all, being designers or not, can stay on the ground and enjoy our work without too much philosophy and without too much unnecessary questions.
Mr. Muggleton was born in the United Kingdom, and he lived in Germany, Holland and Hong Kong. He studied manufacturing engineering in England and his first work was at Ford Motors where worked on cost reduction. As a good engineer he was promoted and sent to China where he worked on a new factory. From Ford Mr. Muggleton joined Andersen Consulting where he was in charge for company’s information technology and gave an advice or two to Andersen's managers.
A good story so far, but something was missing. Not very satisfied with his work at the Stock Exchange, Mr. Muggleton decided to put all his money in his dream. Being unsatisfied with routine work, he moved to the United States to work as a furniture designer. It turned out that he had enough talent to support his dream.
Mr. Muggleton moved to Colorado, then to Rhode Island, and his next workshop may be in some other yet unknown place because he like to move. In this moving around he finds ideas on more unusual places, from bank to sing on the street. Those ideas late come to life as a beautiful piece of furniture, simple and uncluttered with unnecessary details. It is easy to add a piece here and a piece there, and in the end we have a design that filled every bit of space. Mr. Muggleton somehow control that curse that lies on every designer and creates very simple piece, but very effective ones that show the beauty of the wood. As he uses the most precious wood his approach is probably the most logical solution. Keep things simple and allow wood to speak.
His tables, chairs and lightning devices follow flowing curves, the ones that are so natural. As Mr. Muggleton used to say, everything in nature is curved and jagged edges are in some was unnatural. While it seems easy, it is very hard to make a simple thing that looks beautiful. His engineering experience certainly help him, but creative part of the mind must be under control all the time. And Mr. Muggleton does that very well.
At his current location in Mystic, Connecticut, Andrew Muggleton creates high quality modern furniture that connects the beauty of the old wood and the modern way of life. In his every piece it is visible that he uses three philosophies: engineering, design and architecture. If you like his work but don't see what will be fit your home or office perfectly, contact him. He will work with you and together you will create a piece of melted tastes, your and his, but unique and beautiful. ■