United States

« I am an artist working with furniture. »

• Phillip Lloyd Powell •

Phillip Lloyd Powell is an essential member of the American Studio Craft movement. He is the most unique personality in the design landscape in the United States.

He is born in Pennsylvania, the American Craftmanship homeland representatives where George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick are settled : nature is really important and this is the childhood land of Phillip Lloyd Powell. He began engineering studies at the Drexel Institute of Technology. However, as a teenager, he is remarkably gifted with woodworking and he makes furniture for his family and his friends. His dexterity and his talent are obvious : he will never be trained as a designer but he will be a great one.

World War II forces him to join the army. It’s only in 1947 that the adventure begins : he opens his first showroom in New Hope (Pennsylvania) and he sells furniture from Knoll International, Herman Miller and creations by Isamu Noguchi. More a dealer than a designer, the capital presence of George Nakashima in New Hope will change the life of Phillip Lloyd Powell : he encourages his protégé to design his own furniture, Phillip Lloyd Powell uses walnut, American Craft Studio typical material, a local-warm-graphic wood.
His association between 1950 and 1966 with Paul Evans, one of the greatest American designers, is a major point in his career. They share love of materials and passion for the handmade work, a fruitful collaboration starts for years. He used to say, « Paul helped me to refine my engineering base designs, as his background was in the arts, and in return I turned his art into furniture. » Then Phillip Lloyd Powell did a tour, especially in Europe, where Modernism was in full swing : his inspiration grew up for sure.

Phillip Lloyd Powell is a true artist : he understands furniture so sensitively and he mixes a simple modernism with organic forms. His creations are characterized by a particular attention for readability and functionality. The hallmarks of his design are elegance and sculpturality, sinuous lines and rigorous execution. A particular sensuality emerges from his creations, coming both from the wood itself but also from its treatment, reminding natural forms.

Phillip Lloyd Powell continued to make furniture in his hometown of New Hope until his death in 2008, and major museums include his works in their collection, such as the America House in New York or the Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center and many more •


Flying desk