RMIT Graduate Tom Zachariassen chats to visitors about the work on display.


Last week I managed to visit a handful of graduate design shows to check out Melbourne’s newest emerging talent. I’ve still got many more shows on my list… November is filling up fast!

Inside Out was the name of the RMIT TAFE graduate furniture exhibition, on display at the Telstra Building in Melbourne’s CBD for only four days last week. I was really impressed by the quality of pieces on show… and was equally charmed by exhibiting graduate Tom Zachariassen, who patiently talked me through the work of each student in great detail! (Thanks Tom!). Highlights below.

Damien Tonelli‘s Africana coffee table stole the show for me – simple yet striking, beautiful sleek lines… it seemed almost Japanese in style, however Damien’s inspiration was African Warrior Shields. Each compartment under the tabletop slides out for storage. He created his piece using both solid Tasmanian Oak and veneer, and finished it with a glass surface –


Samara Whateley‘s work also stood out – extremely accomplished and original. The Cheek to Cheek seat above is adjustable so two people can sit either face to face or cheek to cheek. A playful, striking design that encourages a dialogue between those who use it. The bent plywood pieces are covered in thick industrial felt for comfort and colour.

Samara Whateley again – Oblique P entertainment unit in Jarrah veneer and white painted surface. Love that great geometric detailing on the front doors.

The Vertical Fold Chair by Stefan Torre doubles as additional seating for house guests and a focal point for any feature wall. The chair’s clever design ‘borrows’ from lesser structurally dependent components to become fully self supportive with the aid of state of the art Rare Earth Magnets and piano hinges. Special thanks to Eveneer (specialists in environmental reconstructed timber veneer) for supplying the Euro-Sable veneer used on the faces of the chair. Contact the designer at – stefantorre@hotmail.com


Captain’s Chair by Justin Hermes in Mountain Ash solid timber, sourced entirely from reclaimed industrial waste.

Tom Zachariassen‘s Scrambled Eggs side table has various hidden components that can be pulled out to increase the surface area of the table top. He was generously sponsored by local timber suppliers Cabinet Timbers in Port Melbourne who supplied materials for him to complete this project – snappy_tom@hotmail.com

ps) must apologise, some of these shots are a quite washed out… my camera seems to have locked itself onto a very strange setting and I just can’t seem to fix it…