Working with the natural world

Full Grown, Derbyshire, England

The experimental designer who grows his own living furniture

“In a world of instant gratification, it’s rewarding to know we’re not the only people who appreciate something slow,” says Gavin Munro, the artist behind Full Grown. The company produces extraordinary living furniture through tree shaping — and items are so popular, the waiting list for “grown” chairs stretches to 2023.

“Being in a place of great beauty is wonderful”

Gavin studied furniture design before developing a “driftwood furniture habit” in California. “This got me thinking properly about the life of products,” he says. “It was the final spark that ignited Full Grown.” He and his team are out in the orchard most days. “Being in a place of great beauty is wonderful,” he says. “I’m enchanted with the natural world.”

“Trying new things and experimenting are important — it’s what life is all about”

Gavin also epitomises a trailblazing spirit. “Trying new things and experimenting are important — it’s what life is all about,” he says. “Whether you’re learning old skills or developing new ones, mistakes are part of it.” His philosophy, meanwhile, has helped him live with a serious spinal injury. “You need to be able to be positive even on the days when the pain seems the biggest thing in the world,” he says. “The challenge is to try to be present for those moments when there is joy — and not be grumpy when you’re stuck behind another spreadsheet!”


Photography by Jody Daunton