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[Photo by Rob Evans Photography]

About Hugh Miller Furniture:

Our studio was founded by Hugh Miller, an award-winning designer and applied artist specialising in wood. Hugh trained as an architect, and sees his work as small pieces of architecture, where the concept is embedded in the intricacy of the detail.

Hugh is heavily influenced by his time studying in Japan as a Churchill Research Fellow. This transformative experience led Hugh to develop a set of design principles, inspired by Japanese applied arts philosophy, that now underpin our studio. Our latest collection, titled ‘The Coffee Ceremony’, is inspired by the everyday ceremonies of life in Japan.

Our studio explores contrast: between texture and smoothness; between hidden and visible; between plane and lath; and between lightness and solidity. These contrasts illuminate the duality of Japanese and Western cultural influences that underpin his work.

As well as being the principle of Hugh Miller Furniture, Hugh has also taught and lectured widely on the subjects of architecture, design, furniture, and Japanese wood craftsmanship. In 2016, Hugh was invited to be a visiting lecturer at Osaka Institute of Technology, where he compared the design influences of Japan and the UK. Hugh will return to O.I.T in November 2017 to speak on the subject of ‘Furniture as Small Architecture’.

Hugh’s book, ‘Japanese Wood Craftsmanship’, is available to buy in print, and the full-text can be read here:

Hugh Miller: CV 2017 PDF >






  • Work held in private collections in London, Cheshire and the Lake District.


Current / Upcoming Exhibitions:

  • ‘Coffee Ceremony’ collection selected by British Council for British Pavilion at Cheongju Biennale, South Korea; (Sept-Oct)
  •  Selected to exhibit at Tomoshibito Makers Festival, Osaka, Japan; (Nov)
  • ‘Coffee Cart no.2’ on display at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield as part of John Ruskin Prize shortlist exhibition; (June-Oct)
  • Folded Record Bureau to go on loan to Naestved Museum, Denmark, for ‘Craft and Technology’ exhibition; (Jun-Sept)


Previous Exhibitions (selected):

  • 2017: Selected for COLLECT Open, at the Saatchi Gallery, London, organised by the Crafts Council.
  • 2017: Selected for ‘Dish of the Day’ group exhibition of tableware and furniture, at Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool; (July)
  • 2017: Featured in New Member Showcase at Contemporary Applied Arts gallery, Southwark. (Aug-Sept)
  • 2017: Selected for Design Nation ‘Marks and Tools’ Showcase at the Oxo Tower Gallery, as part of London Craft Week.
  • 2016: Exhibited at Made:London, Marylebone.
  • 2016: Joint exhibition of my furniture with textile weaver Rita Parniczky at Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool.
  • 2016: Exhibited at Designer Crafts on the Mall, London, as a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.
  • 2015: Exhibited at Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Cheltenham. (Also exhibited in 2016).


Awards (selected):

  • 2017: (Current) Selected for Walpole ‘Crafted’ business mentorship programme, for emerging high-end craft studios.
  • 2017: ‘Coffee Cart no.2’ shortlisted for John Ruskin Art Prize
  • 2016: Winner of the Craft&Design Magazine Award at Made:London
  • 2016: Selected as 1 of 15 international artists to design an ArtSuite bedroom at IceHotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Selected again in 2017
  • 2016: ‘High Commendation’ in design, from Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, for ‘An Absence of Noise’ collection
  • 2015: Awarded Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship, to research woodworking and design philosophies in Japan
  • 2015: Winner, Wood Awards, for the design and construction of Constellations Bar, Liverpool.
  • 2015: AJ Small Projects Awards, shortlisted for Constellations Bar
  • 2015: RIBA Awards, nominated for Constellations Bar
  • 2010: Awarded Silver Medal at RHS Tatton Show for design of ‘Handbag of Harmonies’ Garden
  • 2009: Awarded North East Timber Trade Association Prize for best use of timber in a Masters Architecture thesis
  • 2006: Awarded William Bell Memorial Scholarship by University of Newcastle


Collaborations (selected):

  • 2017: Design of two pieces for Benchmark Furniture, as part of their new collection, unveiled at Decorex 2017
  • 2016: ‘Coffee Cart no.1‘ incorporates ceramics and bamboo in collaboration with Japanese artists Saiko Fukuoka and Take Sagawa.
  • 2014: ‘Folded Stool’ collaboration with RCA graduate Kate Rieppel, shown at Royal College of Art Summer Show, London.


Teaching, Lecturing, Writing (selected):

  • 2017: (current) visiting lecturer at Osaka Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, Japan
  • 2017: Timber design tutor at Newcastle University School of Architecture (started 2016)
  • 2017: Lectures and panel discussions on practice and process for a number of institutions, including Crafts Council, Creative Lancashire, Leeds Beckett University, and Athenaeum Liverpool
  • 2016: Visiting design tutor at Liverpool University School of Architecture
  • 2016: ‘Japanese Wood Craftsmanship‘ – book written to document research in Japan
  • 2016: ‘The Use of Water as a Tool in Japanese Woodworking’ – article for Carpenters Company Magazine
  • 2016: Lectured on Japanese Wood Craftsmanship at Manchester University School of Architecture, Liverpool University,Glyndwr University, the Heritage Crafts Association, and Benchmark Furniture