max mcmurdo

Five questions for creatives

Max McMurdo

Furniture hacker Max McMurdo is a passionate eco-designer who restores everyday waste objects and playfully upcycles them into beautiful accessories and functional pieces of furniture. From his Bedfordshire studio, he designs and manufactures a range of handmade products including chairs made from shopping trolleys, roll-top baths transformed into sofas, and magnificent desks produced from aeroplane wings. Max is also the proud designer of an amplified sofa.

Max graduated from Bournemouth University in Product Design and Visualisation in 2000. He will work with whatever he can find lying around at home to design and build something new and beautiful. Whether it be creating shelves out of an old door or a side table out of a washing machine drum! – this man can build it.

Max’s first appearance on TV was in BBC2’s Dragon’s Den, he has since worked with George Clarke on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and with Kirstie Allsopp on Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free.

How did you get into the creative industry, and was there a defining point in your career that led you on that path?

I wasn’t particularly academic at school but found I enjoyed art design and technology. My design teacher, Mr Bonson, also managed to captivate my imagination and I felt I was good at something.

Is there anything you would change in your current career and if so why?

I wish people appreciated creativity more but unfortunately with mass production and throwaway consumerism – handmade made bespoke items will unlikely be sold in volume.

Where do you see yourself, and your career in five years’ time?

I have absolutely no idea, that’s the beauty of being a self-employed creative! If you had told me five years ago I’d be writing this from California filming for National Geographic I would not have believed you!

Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?

I look at things, I ask questions and don’t accept convention.

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in the creative industry?

It’s really tough, you will likely work longer hours for less money and no certainty of income. I still wouldn’t swap it for a 9-5 in a suit though!

You can find more about Max’s work on his website: