The emergence and resounding success of in-situ style showrooms such as Fred International’s Melbourne showroom and the Sisällä Apartment has been no coincidence. As consumers, we are all becoming a lot more considered with our furniture and styling purchases and, with a shift from single-family homes to apartment living on the rise, platforms that present high quality local and international furniture, lighting, artwork and homewares in their intended environments is resonating on many levels. This display style is also opening the floodgates for new emerging furniture and product designers to curate collections that populate these prototype spaces with designs that fit perfectly into the ever-evolving residential landscape.
Enter Fringe Furniture. Melbourne Fringe Festival has held a long-standing regard for emerging design and Fringe Furniture has, in previous years, showcased the work of emerging designers that err on the side of eccentric. Over the past few years, however, the furniture design element of the Festival has come to attract a collection of emerging and student furniture designers that have their sights set firmly on covetable designs that hold serious commercial clout. This year was no different and there were a few award winners that particularly captured and held our attention.
#1. Nood Co – Iva Side Table
Winner of The Tait Award for Design Innovation supported by @madebytait
Iva Side Table by Nood Co. Winner of The Tait Award for Design Innovation supported by Tait. Image courtesy of Nood Co.
Nood Co. is a design collective that believes “personality, whimsy and a playful approach should be part of all product designs.” Their Iva side table is constructed from their hero material – concrete – and is the golden triangle of sophistication, functionality and aesthetic flair. It’s clean yet unusual silhouette and beautiful palette beautifully aligns it with Tait’s signature love of colour so it’s no surprise it took out this award for design innovation.
# 2. Olas Design – GH Bike Rack
Winner of The Emerging Designer Award supported by @craftvictoria.
GH Bike Rack by Olas Design. Winner of The Emerging Designer Award supported by Craft Victoria. Image courtesy of Olas Design.
With a minimalist approach to design, Olas Design creates human-focused design aimed to create sustainable anti-disposable furniture to enhance living spaces, allowing the materials to shine through.
The GH Bike Rack is a visually light and conceptually minimal solution to bike and helmet storage that incorporates a beautifully sculptural aesthetic worthy of full display.
#3. Figgoscope Curates – The ToTems
Winner of The Most Experimental Design Award supported by Melbourne Fringe Festival.
The ToTems by Figgoscope Curates. Winner of The Most Experimental Design Award supported by Melbourne Fringe Festival. Image courtesy of Figgoscope-Curates.
Equal parts sculptural, playful and functional The ToTems, by Figgoscope-Curates, are a return to the Fringe Festival of old. Beautifully tactile (they are covered in burel wool fabric) and gloriously colourful, these quirky objects bridge the gap between eccentrics, covetable objects of desire, and downright clever design.
Melbourne Fringe Festival runs from 13th – 30th September 2018.