Now in its third year, Melbourne Design Week is Australia's leading international design festival. As part of the 2020 program, our Melbourne showroom exhibited the five finalists of the 2020 Australian Furniture Design Award, presented by Stylecraft and the National Gallery of Victoria.
On display are the five finalists pieces, as detailed below:
Anthropic Bench by James Walsh
The intention of the Anthropic Bench is to explore the growing global issue of post-consumer glass waste, and the potential for experimentation with this material. The core of this exploration is rammed earth, a method dating back to 5000 BC, and the potential in revisiting this technique in modern times, as the process requires little energy for production and produces no waste in the process. Focussing on development, transformation and reinvention, the Anthropic Bench substitutes recycled glass into this method, in the place of traditional rammed earth, and prioritises maintaining durability in a convergence of tradition and technology. The aim is to raise awareness of the potential in forming a solution-based link between this age-old method and the current rising issue of waste.
Abandoned Cabinet by Michael Gittings
Abandoned Cabinet is inspired by the idea of objects reclaimed by nature after abandonment, due to climate change, and the design aims to promote awareness regarding the result of continued inaction. A contrast of styles is created by wrapping a Modernist cabinet with Art Nouveau vines, styles chosen for what they historically represent; a contrast of consumer culture and a disposable mindset, juxtaposed with organic form and craftsmanship. Experimenting with proportion distorts aesthetic expectations, and coupled with the stark materials, the design challenges what is possible with form.
Floor Lounger by Supercyclers x Seljak Brand
Floor Lounger is a part of Supercyclers x Seljak Brand’s Pressing Matters project, whereby textile waste becomes a valuable resource integral to the product’s materiality and aesthetic. With re-manufacturing solutions in place, Floor Lounger, is a closed loop furniture product made entirely of material diverted from landfill. Floor Lounger's low horizontal profile is intended to encourage wellbeing through rest and relaxation, but also movement and fitness in the act of accessing it.
Elementary Abacus by Marta Figureido
In designing the Elementary Abacus, Figueiredo sought to invent a piece that offers a new kind of inclusive sensory experience, while featuring familiar references and performing everyday functionality. Keeping visual and physical experimentation at the forefront of her design process, she has referenced works from throughout design history – from the Triadic Ballet to popular children’s toys – while pushing into a new kind of artistic expression that incorporates the use of sustainable materials. With the counting beads of the abacus children’s toy as its key inspiration, the Elementary Abacus is the convergence of tradition and technological advancement.
Datum 72 Table by Design King Company and Dr. Christian Tietz
This design collaboration explores a new perspective on the dining table and the ritual of the shared meal, through the lens of still life and Cubist painting. The table is a key element for convivial socialising, and typically in still life painting tradition, produce and artefacts are depicted on the tabletop. The design explores a permeable tabletop, so that the datum line is not the place from which everything rises from, but a top where things also descend into valleys and plains. The physical elements of dining culture can now be arranged to descend below the surface, into the ground and the landscape from which they metaphorically came.