TDF Talks With Designer Mary Featherston

Today we’re launching our third TDF Talks podcast season! Thank you so much to everyone who has tuned in since we launched last year, we’ve clocked up more than 150,000 downloads to date, and are so grateful for your support.

Back with a bang, today we share a chat with one very special guest, legendary Australian designer, Mary Featherston.

Lucy Feagins

Inside Mary Featherston’s ‘granny flat‘. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Grant Featherston and Mary Featherston in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Oriental Gallery 1968. Photo – Courtesy of Heide Museum.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Mary Featherston’s ‘granny flat‘. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘Design For Life: Grant And Mary Featherston’ Exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
7th of February 2019

Mary Featherston has been an influential force in Australia’s design world since the 1960s.

She worked in partnership with her husband Grant for more than 30 years, during which time, their small design studio was responsible for countless iconic furniture designs, not to mention the entire interior fit-out of the NGV building on St Kilda Road, designed by Roy Grounds in 1966!

Aside from her design work with Grant, Mary is a passionate designer in her own right, with a particular focus on children’s learning environments. She’s worked with schools and museums, and continues to work as a consultant and an advocate in this space.

I had a chance to speak with Mary about her incredible working partnership with Grant, the challenges of being a woman and a mother working in design in the 1960s, and her ongoing passion for designing innovative learning spaces for children.

Remember, you can view wonderful photos as you’re listening to this podcast, simply listen to the podcast using the Overcast or Pocket Casts apps!


Notes + Links

In mid-2018 Design For Life: Grant And Mary Featherston, an exhibition charting Grant and Mary Featherston’s immense contributions to the Australian cultural landscape, was exhibited at Heide Museum of Modern Art.

We also had the chance to visit and share a tour of Mary’s amazing ‘granny flat’ in Ivanhoe, which you can view here!

The Featherston Mark II Sound Chair designed for the Australian Pavilion at the Montreal World Expo in 1967.

Mary loves to read, and she’s currently reading Net Loss: The Inner Life in the Digital Age by Sebastian Smee.

She is also an advocate for the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, focused on preschool and primary education. It is student-centered, constructivist, and uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments.

This is our 21st podcast episode – catch up on past episodes here!

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