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Innovation Studio

Kindred Design

Industry-engagement and our strong maker culture puts collaboration at the heart of everything we do.

Kindred Design

Experimenting with CNC routing in furniture design. Supported by European Regional Development Funding (ERDF).

About the project

Kindred Design is a Dorset startup company developing semi-tailored modular office furniture, with an emphasis on sustainable manufacturing. Grant Campbell, founder and MD of Kindred has been working with AUB Innovation since 2018, receiving an Access Voucher to prototype the Kindred office desk on our CNC router. In 2019, Kindred was awarded an AUB-ERDF innovation grant to support the next stage of its R&D process – developing modular accessories to the Kindred desk.

The inspiration for Kindred came about through a conversation with the IKEA design department who recognised that one of their biggest sustainability challenges as a company lies in their manufacturing process. As a global product brand, IKEA employs scale-intensive manufacturing practices to lower the cost of their products and as a result, the global burden on production, transport and product disposability remains high.

Kindred Design was born out of a need to address these sustainability challenges; namely to develop and test a range of long-lasting flat-packed modular furniture pieces, made-to-order through localised manufacturing routes.

Kindred are currently in the R&D pre-market stage of development but have exhibited at Venturefest South in 2019.

Their co-working building, Kindred Labs, offers space for startups and small businesses in Southbourne, Dorset and will test the first delivery of furniture in 2020.

European Regional Development Funds

This project is supported through match-funding by the England European Regional Development Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. This fund was established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. This investment will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit

Explore the Innovation Studio

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an exterior wall with two reverse-L shaped windows and three semi-circle panels visible. A person walks past towards the right.


The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises and an industry engagement hub.

Two people stand and look at a collection of lit-up transparent boxes stacked on top of one another.


A series of workshops and lectures for industry professionals to develop innovation and creative capabilities.

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Take a look at some of our recent collaborative projects with external partners and businesses

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Associate Programme

Our Associate Programme offers membership of our Innovation Studio to regional businesses seeking research and development support.

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Pre Start-Up Programme

Our Pre Start-Up Programme offers membership for creative individuals or businesses looking to develop new products or services.

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an interior space, with several people sat working at tables. A rectangle-shaped railing is in the middle of the room.

Creative Technologies

The Innovation Studio features state-of-the-art equipment and digital resources, and the latest manufacturing technology.