Executive Director of VIA




VIA Gallery

120, avenue Ledru Rollin
75011 Paris
Metro : Gare de Lyon / Ledru Rollin

Opening :

monday-friday : 9.30am – 6.30pm

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Contact : 76 Uplands Road - Hornsey N8 9NJ London - Royaume-Uni

Ph. 0044 (0) 20 8342 5285 / 0044 (0)7870 648882
Diplomat is the design partnership of Ashley Hall and Matthew Kavanagh.

With a passion for furniture and a background in furniture, product, lighting and retail design, they first came to prominence with the ‘Micro Furniture’ range exhibited at 100% Design in 1999. This was quickly followed by showing at the Salone Satellite in the Milan furniture fair where they gained attention and projects from a range of Italian furniture and product manufacturers including Saporiti, Origlia, ArrMet, Bart Design, RSVP and Covo.
They have built on this success with recent furniture launches with Edra, Artifort. Sintesi and Zeritalia alongside consultancy projects in the USA, Australia and the UK.
Their studio is based in the East End of London where they research and develop their own ideas to place with like-minded manufacturers.


Born in Cardiff, Wales in 1967. Studied furniture design at Nottingham Trent University and the Royal College of Art, receiving his MA in 1992. He worked as a designer in the fields of furniture, product, lighting & interiors for a variety of design consultancies and manufacturers in London. In 1994 he established his own design consultancy in order to design mass produced furniture and develop his own collection of limited edition furniture pieces. His projects continued to develop his approach of using synthetic materials combined with liquid forms.
He also performs a design director role for a bathroom products manufacturer and is a visiting lecturer in product design at a number of UK Universities specialising in innovation strategy and visual language.


Matthew Kavanagh was born in England in 1966. He studied product design at The South Bank University graduating in 1988. Inspired by the Memphis design movement of the late 70’s / early 80’s Matthew moved to Italy to live and worked for Olivetti. This was at a time when personal computers had revolutionised their electronic typewriter market and Memphis designer George Sowden was designing their new hybrid products. After a year, during which time Olivetti patented his designs, Matthew returned to the UK to start his lighting and product design consultancy. In 1994 he began working for the first of several companies in the retail sector specialising in design, category management, POP display, interiors, brand communications & consumer psychology.
He also currently holds the position of director with Coutts, a group specialising in design and strategy for retailers and brands.

table Arc

folding trolley Austin

sofa Bone

lounge armchairs Dip chairs

dining chair Inglesia

micro furniture Kipling & Wishbone

dining / contract chair More

wine rack Omega

vase Parasite

contract chair Plus

vase Pocket

desk tidy Reef

dining / contract chair Smarter

stepladder Sonny