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Photo – courtesy of Luke Macmahon.

Fringe Furniture Gets Political

21st September, 2017

Fringe Furniture asks artists how the practical objects we use every day might help bring us closer and encourage new kinds of communication.

Fringe Furniture has been running as part of the annual Melbourne Fringe Festival since in 1986, making their event the longest running in Fringe history! Back again this year for the 31st time, the exhibition is showing out of the Abbotsford Convent, and features more than 100 designers.

Exhibition curators encouraged Fringe Furniture participants to get political in response to the challenge set by Melbourne Fringe – ‘Make a statement. Make a difference. It’s time to step out of the Echo Chamber.’ Inspired by everything from sustainability to untrustworthy politicians, the designers on show have considered their work beyond intended use and function of everyday objects, using design to question our current cultural, social and political climate. In a time where Instagram aesthetics can seem like the be-all and end-all, we love the idea of exploring frustrations and fears through physical, functional objects – design is art, after all!

Exhibiting artist Luke Macmahon’s piece, ‘A coffee table for two people to have coffee’ (pictured), directly links the politics of government and our consumption of everyday objects. ‘Politicians adapt their beliefs on an hourly basis to accommodate whatever is trending,’ explained Luke. ‘Furniture often manifests itself in this way, attempting to serve too many functions and appeal to as many people as possible – resulting in unattractive pieces that we cannot trust.’ – Who knew they made tables so smart these days?!

Fringe Furniture will also offer artist-led tours of the exhibition on each Sunday of the festival, with Tactile Tours also available for visually impaired visitors.

‘Fringe Furniture’ group exhibition
September 14th to October 1st.
Rosina Auditorium at Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne

Find more information about the free exhibition,  Fringe Furniture, here

21st September, 2017

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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