JF // INNOVATOR
Founder of Jflemay Architecture & Design, Finsbury Park
Jf is one of our inimitable innovators. A Commonwealth import, Jf is from Montreal, and goes by Jf to give mono-lingual English speakers a break from mispronouncing Jean-François. While studying architecture at McGill University, he did a semester abroad at the École d’architecture de Paris-Belleville, sparking his love for Europe. Committed to returning to do his master’s on the right side of the pond, Jf spent some time cutting his teeth at Moshe Safdie & Associates in Boston. Never one to do things on a small scale, Jf got a scholarship from the Architectural Association in London and he hasn’t looked back. He loved to study there as he followed the route of humanitarian architecture, traveling to Bangladesh and Ethiopia.
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He then joined the office of Sir Norman Foster where he worked on the Stirling prize-winning Bloomberg headquarters in London and the Oceanwide Center towers in San Francisco. After nine years at Foster + Partners and becoming a chartered architect, he felt ready for a change and decided it was time to start his own architecture and design studio.
Jf wants to make things simpler. For furniture, this means no more planned obsolescence, no more unfathomable instructions and no more screws that disconcertedly hang around that piece you just assembled. Jflemay is bringing screwless flat pack furniture to you. Ultimately this furniture is durable, practical and sustainable. The furniture is made locally in London from sustainably sourced European maple plywood. Jf is meticulous and every piece is the product of hours of labour and love. He has an in-depth knowledge of every level of the process from the design stage all the way through to manufacturing. He displayed his work at the 2019 Salone del Mobile in Milan, where it was selected for exhibition at the department store La Rinascente.
Starting your own business not only takes guts and smarts, but a lot of resources and time. Jf left his job at an international architecture office and moved into our Finsbury Park care home so he could save on accommodation and invest fully in his business. Moving into a 40-bed care home can be a tricky one to explain to your friends who are buying flats and treading the beaten path. But for Jf the decision was easy, and it came with unexpected advantages, such as being in a refreshing community of like-minded people who do equally interesting but different things.
Jf is excited to build on this network and meet like-minded people who are innovating in their areas, as well as fellow architects and makers who he can talk shop with. For his Ambassador discount, Jf has taken a desk at our new LOWE Works space and is a friendly face for the LOWE team in the break room.