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Australia’s Most Inspiring New Furniture Designs, From The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

TDF Design Awards

There’s no shortage of inspiring entrants in this year’s TDF + Laminex Design Awards shortlist, but we must say, the Furniture Design category showcases some particularly stunning projects! 

Not only do these designs display incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship, but the majority of them are also made by hand in Australia.

Out of over 50 submissions in this category, we’ve whittled the shortlist down to just 14 outstanding projects from which judges Nick Garnham, co-founder of iconic Australian furniture brand Jardan, and multidisciplinary designer Khai Liew will select the winning and commended projects.

Join us for a closer look at the shortlisted designs in this category, supported by Jardan.

30th July, 2020

Manuel Canestrini & Colin Whitehead, Symbiont Coffee Table. Photo – Martin Cedes.

Manuel Canestrini & Colin Whitehead, Symbiont Coffee Table

This solid oak coffee table combines table tops of various shapes and heights into a single, functional piece of furniture. Available in configurations of two, three or more components, the table is suitable for various domestic or commercial settings, and can be finished in natural timber, or two pack paint. Symbiont is a collaboration between furniture designer Colin Whitehead from Special Things Furniture, and Manuel Canestrini of industrial design bureau Formacy.

Fomu, L’Art de Vivre Lounge Chair. Photo – Sean Fennessy. James Howe, J7 Day Bed. Photo – Tom Ross.

Fomu, L’Art de Vivre Lounge Chair

The L’Art de Vivre (meaning ‘the art of living) lounge chair by Melbourne based Fomu draws influence from mid-century French design. Born from the desire to create a personality-filled piece that doesn’t overwhelm its environs, the chubby, boucle wool chair is minimal yet sculptural, and encourages interaction. The lounge chair is made in Australia, and constructed in American oak with a plant-based finish. 

James Howe, J7 Day Bed

Featuring a chunky red oak understory topped by powder-coated steel woven in Danish cord, the J7 Day Bed by James Howe is at once sensual, comfortable and tactile. The piece represents a true labour of love, with each J7 Day Bed hand woven by the designer in Adelaide. James’ uses a carefully developed weave technique that sees cord wound around a steel frame.

Biasol Studio, Comoda Sofa. Photo – Timothy Kaye

Biasol Studio, Comoda Sofa

A sofa range that celebrates its soft, curved form, Comoda is a thoughtful, contemporary furniture collection with  comfort at its core. The collection balances chunky and generous proportions with sleek, Danish-inspired design. Designed by Biasol Studio and made in collaboration with local manufacturers, the modular system can be configured to suit a variety of environments.

Cenzo, Loop Chair. Photo – Peter Ryle. Manapan x Foolscap Studio, Gulnura Table. Photo – Tatjana Plitt.

Cenzo, Loop Chair

A salute to the classic wishbone chair, the minimal contours of the Loop Chair envelope the sitter in its free-flowing form and elegant contours. The chair is beautiful from all angles, including from underneath, and is made from American oak with a natural paper cord.  Every element of the chair is made and woven in Cenzo’s Melbourne workshop. 

Manapan x Foolscap Studio, Gulnura Table

This boardroom table is inspired by the Gulnura (the Yolngu word for ‘lightning snake’) local to Milingimbi Island, located off the north-east coast of the Northern Territory, where Manapan Furniture’s workshop is situated. Crafted from local gum, the table is a part of a suite of furniture made in collaboration with Foolscap Studio, and commissioned by the Australia Pacific Airports Corporation at Melbourne Airport. Manapan worked closely with Foolscap throughout the design phase, introducing to them different techniques and finishes unique to Arnhem Land.

Foolscap Studio, Soufflé Lounge. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit.

Foolscap Studio, Soufflé Lounge

In a rapidly changing world where workplace and home environments collide, the Soufflé lounge by Foolscap Studio challenges perceptions, expectations and experiences by blending work, life and leisure modes into a singular, highly-customisable modular system. Its flexibility encourages expression and stimulates creativity, while challenging the status quo of what workplace and domestic furniture needs to be. The Soufflé derives its name from the collective noun for clouds, which, as an interior concept, was key to tying all elements together in a way that felt light, approachable, and ever changing.

Danielle Brustman, Chromatic Fantastic Cabinet. Photo – Jonothan Griggs. Ferguson George, Flyde Lounge Chair. Photo – Grant Handcock.

Danielle Brustman, Chromatic Fantastic Cabinet

Chromatic Fantastic is a suite of modular furniture pieces by Danielle Brustman, including a series of oak and steel cabinets, which invite engagement with both the harmonic and discordant combinations of colour and form. Inspired by the flow of musical notes in composition, the modular system of colourful, rhomboid cabinets can be detached and reconnected in various arrangements and numbers.

Ferguson George, Flyde Lounge Chair

In the design of the Flyde Lounge Chair, Ferguson George set out to create a chair not constrained by the backrest. In response, American black walnut has been veneered, steam-bent and formed to create a simple yet strong chair structure. The chair’s seat component flows through the full length of the chair, creating a lightness not achieved through standard lounge design, with the backrest ‘floating’ above.

Studio Thomas Lentini, Central Park Road Table. Photo – Thomas Lentini. Oku Space, Breezeway Cabinet. Photo – Oku Space.

Studio Thomas Lentini, Central Park Road Table

The striking profile of this American white oak dining table is owed to its legs,  which appear different from every angle. Intended as the key focus of the table, the legs involve 16 different processes (before sanding) to create. Studio Thomas Lentini was commissioned to design the table for a private client with strict size specifications.

Oku Space, Breezeway Cabinet

This freestanding shelving system by Oku Space showcases a lightness in both materiality and appearance. Vertical timber slats act as a screen, allowing stored objects to remain partially on display, while obscuring these from different angles, and creating optical effects. These vertical slats are also integral to providing rigidity and structure to the overall strength of the cabinet.

Adam Goodrum & Arthur Seigneur, Exquisite Corpse ‘Longbow’ Credenza. Photo – Andrew Curtis.

Adam Goodrum & Arthur Seigneur, Exquisite Corpse ‘Longbow’ Credenza 

Longbow is a credenza from the three piece-collection ‘‘Exquisite Corpse’, by A+A – a collaboration between Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur. Industrial designer Adam conceived the initial designs and patterns, which were finessed by Melbourne-based French marquetry artisan Arthur.

Arthur has exploited the material’s reflective properties by applying 10,000+ ribbons of straw in varying and often contrasting directions, imbuing the surfaces with a dynamic textured quality. Every colour of straw is custom dyed and every component bespoke, including all the brass hardware. The 17th-century craft of straw marquetry is believed to only practised by 25 artisans around the world.

Revisit our feature on the Exquisite Corpse collection here.

AKWT, Itto Table. Photo – Sam Sederof. McCarthy & Foolscap Studio, JX8 Dining Table. Photo – Shelley Horan.

AKWT, Itto Table

Created to be both refined and adaptable, the Itto dining table perfectly balances weightlessness with sleek stability. The delicate timber frame is achieved via a tapered leg and carefully hewn shadow line. All AKWT furniture is handmade in Brunswick East.

McCarthy & Foolscap Studio, JX8 Dining Table

The JX8 Dining Table was commissioned as the centrepiece of a corporate boardroom with the intention of hosting copious meal-time meetings. Given this unique multi-functionality, Hugh McCarthy and Foolscap Studio decided to combine rich materials and playful contours in order to link an executive vibe with loose hospitality flair. The resulting custom table is a series walnut veneer planks joined by intricate brass detailing.

The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020 Furniture Design award is presented by Jardan.

Jardan is an Australian family owned and operated company that has designed and handcrafted furniture in Melbourne for over 25 years. Our furniture is built to last a lifetime and is designed to capture the essence of the relaxed Australian lifestyle. To complement our range of furniture, we work with local and international makers to unearth an eclectic, contemporary collection of homewares.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net