Pushing the Boundaries of Furniture Design: Applied Art + Design Awardee, Sholto Scruton 

Photo: 2019 Applied Art + Design Award recipient, Sholto Scruton

Sholto Scruton received a BC Achievement Applied Art + Design Award in 2019 for his outstanding talent, dedication to furniture design and public installations, along with his contributions to the arts and culture community in British Columbia.  

As a Vancouver-based furniture designer Sholto has been making a name for himself in the industry for his unique and innovative designs as well as his commitment to promoting the value of locally-sourced products. 

Sholto’s passion for furniture design began at a young age and he pursued his interest by completing a Visual Arts degree from the University of Victoria (Canada) and then a Masters degree in Industrial Design At the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), where he honed his skills and developed a keen eye for detail for sculpture and industrial design. As he began working in the industry, designing and building first sofas for manufacture, then furniture for clients including Global affairs, his work gained recognition for its unique aesthetic and impeccable craftsmanship.  

Since 2001, Sholto has been dedicated to designing exceptional furniture and public installations. His career includes beautifully detailed wooden furniture, customized metal structures for public spaces, and exciting and engaging pieces for exhibitions. The focus of Sholto’s work is on people and how they use and interact with their environment. 

Photo: Sholto Scruton, Cauldron, digital design

Sholto’s work is characterized by its clean lines, minimalist aesthetic, and use of natural materials such as wood. His commitment to social and environmental responsibility is apparent in all his projects, as he uses local crafts people along with regionally sourced natural materials to achieve a beautiful and intended design integration. 

Currently, Scruton is working on a number of new projects, including a line of furniture inspired by the versatility of upcycled materials, particularly materials from the West Coast. He is also exploring new materials and techniques, experimenting with the use of tube laser cutting and welding, 3D printing and other cutting-edge technologies to push the boundaries of what is possible in furniture design. 

In addition to his work as a furniture designer, Sholto is also a dedicated teacher and mentor. He has taught numerous workshops and courses on furniture design and woodworking and is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He is currently working as a part time Product Design Instructor at the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen University’s Richmond campus.  

Recently, Sholto was selected to design the cauldron for the 2023 Canada Games, hosted in Prince Edward Island from Feb 19 – March 5. The cauldron held the flame for the duration of the games and was designed not only for its functional purpose, but also for its symbolic value. “The perpetual ring of fire symbolizes the ongoing inspiration that athletes have continually drawn from each other and pass onwards. The black spruce, silver birch, sweetgrass and red cedar span Canada and represent our unity and our diversity.” 

The project is a testament to his dedication to promoting the value of handmade and locally sourced products, and his belief in the power of design to inspire and unite communities. The cauldron was designed in Vancouver and manufactured in Prince Edward Island by Charlottetown Metal Products, less than 10 kilometers from where the first Canada Games were held in 1967, and the place where this cauldron starts its new life. The cauldron will travel to subsequent games for the foreseeable future. 

Sholto’s work is now primarily focused on public spaces and particularly the outdoors and furniture. Collaborating with local companies, creatives and institutions on furniture and accessories for outdoor public spaces. 

Nominations for the Applied Art + Design Award open on June 1, 2023. 

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