Press Release:
Then and Now: Celebrating 50 years since the opening of The London College of Furniture

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Friday 28th November 2014 – 14 January 2014

The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design

Celebratory symposium – Thursday 27th November 2014

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The London College of Furniture (LCF), a predecessor of The Cass at London Metropolitan University, this November the university will be holding an exhibition to illustrate the richness of the institution and its international status.

Combining over 70 pieces of furniture, machinery, photographs, original archive material, and objects ranging from toys to musical instruments, the exhibition surveys the last 50 years of furniture making, through to today’s contemporary practices, and looks ahead to the future of the sector.


LCF archive image (Shoreditch Technical Institute)

The exhibition comprises of pieces by LCF alumni, students, lecturers, designers and craftspersons who attended the courses from 1964 to 1992, as well as contemporary practitioners who have gone on to lead their field. Illustrious alumni whose work is included in the show include Frederick Parker (founder of the company that later became Parker Knoll), Lucian Ercolani (the founder of Ercol), and, more recently, famous designers such as Terence Woodgate, Michael Marriot and Roberto Feo (El Ultimo Grito).

Alongside the exhibits, the Frederick Parker Collection, which is on long-term loan to The Cass, will also be on display. This collection of over 140 chairs includes some by past and present staff and associates of the Cass, whose work is included in the retrospective exhibition, such as Robin Day, Ernest Race and William Warren.


(Left) LCF archive image (Right) Venturi Stool by Assa Ashuach

On Thursday 27th November The Cass will be hosting a one-day symposium to celebrate the opening of the exhibition and share the achievements of the LCF. The first half of the day will explore the rich heritage of the school, with eminent speakers such as the former principal of the LCF, Peter Metcalf and Cliff Rust, Chairman of the Frederick Parker Collection. The afternoon presentations will examine how education and industry are currently working together for the common future at The Cass. Speakers include the Dean of The Cass, Professor Robert Mull and former PVC of the University of the Creative Arts, Professor Paul Coyle.

For more information please visit:



Exhibition runs: 28th November – 14th January (University closed between 20th December – 9th January)

Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon – Fri) 11am – 4pm (Sat)

Exhibition Free

Address: 42 – 47 Commercial Road, London E1 1LA (The Gallery is next door to the University’s main entrance on the right hand side)


For press information and images please contact the Cass team at Caro Communications:

Marta Bogna, Account Director
Rachael Jones, Account Executive

T: +44 (0)20 7713 9388

E: /



Notes to Editors

The Cass
The Cass is the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University.  It is one of four faculties within the University. The Cass teaches about 2500 students at Foundation, Degree and Postgraduate level at two buildings in Aldgate.

Subjects include Animation, Architecture, Film Production, Fine Art, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewellery, Music Technology, Musical Instrument Making, Photography, Product Design and Textiles. The Faculty also offers 200 short and professional development courses.

There is a strong emphasis across the studios on socially engaged Architecture, Art and Design applied to both local and global contexts, a Faculty-wide interest in making and many projects focus on aspects of London. Students at The Cass are encouraged to learn through practice, experiment with process and gain real-world experience in both individual and collaborative projects, engaging with professionals, communities and companies.

The Faculty was formally created in 2012 from the merger of The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design and The Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design. The Cass takes its name from the Philanthropist Sir John Cass (1648-1718) who’s Foundation established the predecessor Sir John Cass Technical Institute in 1899.

The London College of Furniture
The London College of Furniture (LCF) is a predecessor institution of London Metropolitan University. LCF (formerly Shoreditch Technical Institute) was open from 1964-1992 and was based from 1969-1992 at the Commercial Road site presently occupied by The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.

In 1990 LCF became part of City of London Polytechnic. In 1992, City of London Polytechnic was granted University status and was renamed London Guildhall University. In 2002 London Guildhall University merged with the University of North London to form London Metropolitan University.

Although The London College of Furniture no longer exists as a stand-alone institution, its legacy has been celebrated for the past two years through the use of ‘London College of Furniture’ as the title of a Furniture Degree studio led by designer William Warren at The Cass.

The Frederick Parker Foundation
The Frederick Parker Foundation was established by Frederick Parker’s descendants in 1997 with the view to keep the chairs included in the collection together as a unique resource for the study of the history and development, as well as the design of, construction and restoration of chairs.

In 2002 the Trustees successfully negotiated a long-term loan of the chairs, together with associated archives, to the Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design at the London Metropolitan University, to be used for research and as a teaching aid. The Trustees have since begun to complement the Collection with further purchases and gifts.