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Welcome to Walpole

Introducing Goldfinger, our latest Walpole member

Learn a little more about our latest Walpole member, bespoke furniture design studio, Goldfinger, in our interview with CEO & Co-Founder, Marie Cudennec Carlisle
2nd Apr 2024
Welcome to Walpole Introducing Goldfinger, our latest Walpole member

On Golborne Road lies a Brutalist building which has housed bespoke furniture design and maker Goldfinger for over a decade. During these years, the studio has evolved from workshop and café to pioneer of sustainable design and social outreach support situated at the very heart of the local community. 

Learn a little more about our latest addition to the Walpole family in our interview with Co-Founder and CEO of Goldfinger, Marie Cudennec Carlisle, below.

Marie Cudennec Carlisle, Co-Founder & CEO, Goldfinger

Walpole: Tell us about the history of your brand…

Marie Cudennec Carlisle: Oliver Waddington-Ball and I co-founded Goldfinger at the foot of the iconic Trellick Tower in 2013. Named after renowned architect (and design master behind our Grade II listed Brutalist home) Ernö Goldfinger, we decided to take the name's literal meaning as guiding inspiration: the material we touch, we turn to gold. It started as a workshop and café celebrating the potential of reclaimed materials and has since transformed into an influential social enterprise which demonstrates that sustainable, purpose-led design can indeed deliver on luxury.

What is your brand best known for?

Goldfinger is known for positioning sustainability as a core business strategy. It’s not an add-on: it defines every choice in the design and manufacture of beautiful products that people are proud to own.

We chose this path because we want to challenge overconsumption and throwaway culture. By working with reclaimed and rescued materials, raising awareness about timber sourcing and provenance and using wood thoughtfully, we hope to inspire others to reset their relationship to the living world.

Once our beautiful pieces of furniture are complete, our artisans add the final touches: the Goldfinger makers’ mark and the GPS coordinates where the tree once stood to honour its first life in nature. Following through on the ethos of circular design, we reinvest profits directly back into our social outreach programmes, including the Goldfinger Academy and People’s Kitchen.

What has been a significant achievement in your company’s timeline?

2023 felt like a landmark year for Goldfinger as we celebrated our 10th anniversary alongside two high profile commissions. In collaboration with Holland Harvey, we designed all the freestanding dining furniture for Tate Modern’s refreshed Corner café. We extend our relationship with Tate Modern when we launched our Goldfinger + Tate Collection at the Material Matters show in the autumn. We have just finished one of our most ambitious bespoke installations for Heatherwick Studio's new office in King's Cross – we look forward to sharing more on that commission soon!

Why do you love the brand?

We love that Goldfinger is so much more than a furniture company! We are embedded in the North Kensington community and integral to our operation is the Impact team, which means we get to share our wins with our neighbours. The Goldfinger Academy introduces design tech to youth and creates exposure to craft careers that are not very visible any more. Once a month, we serve free community meals as part of our People’s Kitchen at our in-house café Panella. It’s a poignant moment which helps us engage with pressing community issues as well while tapping into and celebrating the local creative spirit along Golborne Road.    

Why does your brand represent the very best in British luxury?

It feels important that we’ve challenged the assumption that there has to be some compromise to aesthetics in order to commit to sustainable materials. Goldfinger pieces are the marriage of British materials and the time-honoured joinery techniques of our expert makers. We are proud to showcase the artistry that can be achieved locally with modern design sensibility. We embrace the variation offered by natural wood – the grain and knots that hold secrets about the ages that precede us – while believing that being surrounded by beauty and natural materials have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Design that integrates these holistic sensibilities is the essence of luxury to us.

What attracted you to becoming a Walpole member?

We enjoyed Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow programme so much that we weren’t ready to say goodbye! We’ve met so many like-minded collaborators in the past year and it feels like we’ve just started getting to know Walpole members that are interested in exploring ESG best practices. We’re also excited to go on some real knowledge-gathering missions through the huge variety of Walpole’s seminars and research.

If you could collaborate with another Walpole member, which one would you choose? 

We love working with hotels and lending our unique storytelling to their spaces, particularly considering more hotels than ever are now focused on delivering sustainable and biophilic spaces for their guests. Hospitality venues have become great spaces to showcase our bespoke standout work.

We are always expanding our network of allies in the trade, so interior designers and architects, please do reach out for a personal introduction to our capabilities. Likewise, for Walpole members looking for a creative team-building event, we offer corporate workshops where you and your team can become makers for the day at Goldfinger. We have a selection of craft workshops that are not only about getting hands-on and screen-free, but also inspiring circular design thinking for your own company’s processes. 

Tell us about an exciting development or new launch for your brand in the coming months?

Firstly, we’re excited to have crafted an entirely bespoke piece for the new Walpole townhouse. It was lovely working with Accouter Group of Companies to create a showpiece meeting table that all Walpole members can appreciate and make use of.

In May, we’ll be popping up at fellow Brands of Tomorrow alumnus Edward Bulmer Natural Paint as a part of London Craft Week. It’s the perfect spot for us to expand our creative stretch from Golborne Road in Notting Hill and into great company in the hub of design and craft on Pimlico Road.

Finally we are extremely excited to welcome our new Head of Design & Production, Tom Hatfield, who will guide Goldfinger’s signature aesthetic in our expanding collections. Tom brings the perfect combination of design and making expertise from his experience at Pinch Design, The New Craftsmen and Benchmark and a true sensitivity to materials and sustainability. Expect beautiful new additions to our line up in the months to come as well as more stunning bespoke reveals!

> Visit Goldfinger's Walpole member profile

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