The clearance of forests to fuel the Industrial Revolution and the consequent dependence on imported timber prompted the purchase of Hooke Park, the 350 acre woodland nearby. The subsequent European programme of collaborative research explored the improved utilisation of indigenous timber and resulted in a series of award-winning buildings for the new campus. To coincide with the move of the college to Hooke Park in 2000, John Makepeace handed over the reins to a new director, who subsequently oversaw the amalgamation of the college with the Architectural Association.
Following the sale of Parnham in 2001, John Makepeace purchased Farrs, a listed house in Beaminster, which had not been sold since it was built in 1730. Here he and his wife, Jennie, now have their home, gardens, design studio, gallery and timber seasoning for current and future commissions.
John Makepeace was awarded an OBE in 1988 for services to furniture design and in 2002 received the American Furniture Society's Award of Distinction.
In November 2010 he was nominated by the Chartered Society of Designers for the Prince Philip Designers Prize 2010 and received a Special Commendation. John has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the American Furniture Society (2004) and the Furniture Makers Company (2010). He is an Honorary Fellow of the Arts University Bournemouth (2009) and of Hereford College of Arts (2013).