Full Grown’s History

The Grown Chairs

Full Grown is headed by designer Gavin Munro – here is the story behind the inspiration for him:

COMPANY HISTORY

2006 – Research starts on two small plots of land in the Peak District, UK.

2008 – Rent 2.5 acres of field and plant 3,000 trees in case ‘it works’ later.

 

2012 – First generation of chairs, lamps and experiments begin.

2013 – Second generation of chairs and experiments started.
Full Grown registered as a limited company. By the end of the year the company comprises of Gavin, and 2 part time staff.

2014 – First lampshade harvested and word gets out locally bringing in pre-orders.

Came 2nd in the UK Climate KIC Incubator and one of the course leaders, Richard Davis MBE, continues to be Full Grown’s mentor.
Gavin delivers TEDx talk in Derby, during which he unveils the first prototype chair, which is now part of the permanent collection in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

2015 – Third generation chairs begin. First batch harvest of 30 lamps.

The global media avalanche begins with a paragraph in The Times nature corner, to be quickly followed by The Guardian, Vice, Design Week, Architectural Digest, International Business Times, MIT Technology Review and 100s of other articles. Combined with appearances on BBC News, ZDF GermanTV and Countryfile,this leads to Full Grown reachingTens of Millions worldwide,an invitation to lecture at Kew Gardens, and an offer to collaborate with designer Martin Baas.

 

  • 2016 – First completed lamp delivered by hand to Zurich.Exhibitions begin: Little Morton Hall in Cheshire; National Centre for Craft & Design in Lincolnshire; Ars Electronica in Berlin; Museum Boijmans & Tutti Cortex, both in Rotterdam. The Nat. Museum of Scotland purchases the prototype chair for their permanent collection. Due to increasing volume, we learn not to say yes to every media request, although highlights include CNN’s Great Big Story,The Daily Telegraph, French National TV News, Country Life magazine, and The Daily Record, who call us one of ‘the best treasures in the new galleries at the Museum of Scotland’
  • 2017 – Three more Prototype Chairs sold to the Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Manchester Metropolitan University, and a private collector in North America. First batch despatched to New York, Connecticut, Paris, Germany, UK, and Norway. Kickstarter campaign, with 200 backers, raises 260% of original target. Begin collaboration with artist Wolfgang Buttress (The Hive at Kew Gardens).Received the honour of giving Keynote speeches to the European Academy of Design in Rome and at Cologne’s Interzum Furniture Fair, followed by hosting a visit from the International Dendrology Society the very next day. Exhibition at Messums in Wiltshire. Delivered a talk at Thomas Heatherwick Studios, in London, were nominated for the San Miguel Rich List, and featured in the Book ‘Change Makers’ from the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam.2018 – Exhibition of the freshly harvested Gatti Chair at Messums Wiltshire.
    The Edwardes Grown Chair in the garden of the UK pavilion at Beijing Horticultural Expo

    A grown chair amongst wildflowers

    2019 – Proud to be part of the Live Green, Live Better exhibit in the UK pavilion at the Beijing Horticultural Expo

    A grown chair, still with long limbs & leaves attached, hangs above a doorway

    The Clements Chair hangs above a Mayfair showroom doorway.

    Exhibition at Secretcape, in conjunction with Sahrai for Autumn on Brook Street. Launch of the Gatti Chair & the exhibition of 1 & a half freshly harvested chairs.

    Exhibition at London Design Fair, with Blue Patch Collective

     

     

     

     

     

    2020 –

     

 

WHAT'S THE STORY?

How did it all start?

How did it all start?

The first seed was sown when as a young boy playing in the garden, Gavin noticed an overgrown bonsai tree had the distinct appearance of a chair.

The next stage - Patience

The next stage - Patience

The second seed had time to germinate when he had lots of time to think about that chair a few years later. Gavin went through several operations to straighten his spine.

Gavin in the frame that held his neck straight while the bone graft healed.

“It’s where I learnt patience. There were long periods of staying still, plenty of time to observe what was going on and reflect.  It was only after doing this project for a few years a friend pointed out that I must know exactly what it’s like to be shaped and grafted on a similar time scale.” – Gavin Munro

 

 

 

Driftwood Furniture in San Franscisco

Driftwood Furniture in San Franscisco

The third and final seed of the project sprouted twenty years later on a beach in San Francisco – after Art College, a Degree in Furniture Design, an apprenticeship to a cabinet-maker and a long stint building with natural materials in Scotland and California – Gavin had a period of making driftwood furniture.

It was a sheer delight to see what new materials each tide would bring,  then a matter of stitching the wood back together – each ‘stitch’  fitting into carefully cut-out mortices.

This was the moment Gavin realised that we could grow trees directly into beautiful and useful shapes.

Full Grown's History & Major Achievements

Who Are We?

Gavin Munro

Gavin Munro

Managing Director
Gavin is the visionary designer behind Full Grown. After studying Art at Chesterfield, Furniture Design at Leeds Becket University and a stint with a London Design Studio, Gavin worked as an apprentice to a traditional cabinet-maker before travelling to Scotland to build a replica Saxon Barn and after this, to California to build eco-houses and furniture using sustainable materials. It was during his childhood in Derbyshire that the seed of the living furniture idea took root. Gavin founded Full Grown during 2006 and has built the business from scratch. His invaluable experience over the past 12 years has made him a leading expert in the very niche field of furniture growing, developing new techniques and experimental approaches. 

Alice Munro - Co-Director

Alice Munro - Co-Director

Communications Director

After a degree in English and German, Alice eventually began work in Financial Print, working in London, Frankfurt, Paris and New York. Alice also worked with VSO (VoluntaryService Overseas) for 2 years in China, and in Germany for 4 & 1/2 years. Alice taught in fields varying from teaching German and English, environmental & HIV AIDSeducation, to manufacturing, supply chain, shipping and export, as well as gardening and outdoor roles. Alice’s current role with Full Grown encompasses social media, export documentation, and customer relationship management.

A woman sits backwards on a grown chair

A woman sits backwards on a grown chair

Diary

Lampoon Magazine – May 2020

Milan's Lampoon Magazine 'promotes worldwide cultures, aesthetics, design, fashion & all sustainable matters', and they have featured us at Full Grown. Have a read: Lampoon Magazine article...read more

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