TOG x POoR Collective: The students in our Makers & Mentors programme

Meet the talented trio taking part in our very first mentorship scheme

Back in July of this year, we collaborated with social enterprise POoR Collective to launch Makers & Mentors: a mentorship programme that seeks to support the next generation of inspiring creatives. The programme will see leading designers Sebastian Cox, Matteo Fogale and Andu Masebo guide three students to create an artwork or furnishing for The Black & White Building, our forthcoming timber-framed Work Space in Shoreditch (which, as you may already know, is shaping up to be TOG’s greenest location yet).

The pieces will reflect the sustainable ethos of The Black & White Building, and also showcase the talent of students on the cusp of entering the industry. “Visionary design and creativity are integral to TOG’s DNA, our approach to developing Work Spaces and our success as a business,” explains Charlie Green, TOG’s co-founder. “The Makers & Mentors programme gives us an opportunity to recognise and support the talents of tomorrow and to weave their work into the fabric of one of our most important buildings to date.”

Left: Matteo Fogale with Alejandro Canales. Right: TOG's co-founder, Charlie Green, with POoR Collective founding partner, Shawn Adams

Makers & Mentors also builds on the ongoing work of POoR Collective, which specialises in educating and amplifying the voices of under-represented youth groups. “We wanted to collaborate with TOG because they see the power of young creative minds, but also want to provide students with genuine design opportunities,” adds the company’s founding partner, Shawn Adams.

Together with POoR Collective, we spent the summer carefully narrowing down a shortlist of candidates, screening applications from across the UK. Excitingly, we can now announce that the trio participating in the mentorship programme have been selected: Isobel Browne-Wilkinson, a second-year student in 3D design and craft at the University of Brighton, Alejandro Canales, a second-year student in architecture at Central Saint Martins, and Emilie-Gabrielle Lemaitre-Downton, a second-year product design student at Ravensbourne University.

Left: Isobel Browne-Wilkinson with Sebastian Cox. Right: Andu Masebo with Emilie-Gabrielle Lemaitre-Downton

Each student has been matched with the mentor that we felt best complemented their interests and skill set; Browne-Wilkinson is working alongside Cox, a “nature-first” maker who specialises in using timber from UK woodlands, while Canales is being advised by Fogale, a multidisciplinary designer known for his use of honest yet upscale materials. Finally, Lemaitre-Downton has been teamed up with designer Masebo, who has a richly diverse background in ceramics, metalwork and carpentry.

Along the course of the six-week mentorship programme, the students will also be able to top-up their design know-how in sessions with Waugh Thistleton Architects and Daytrip Studio – the two creative forces behind The Black & White Building’s design. Charlie Green and TOG’s head of design, Nasim Koerting, will additionally be on hand to provide the students with helpful feedback.

Stay tuned to discover what the students produce – their final pieces will be revealed in an event at The Black & White Building on Tuesday 6th December.

Learn more about the Black & White Building here