What does Australian design look like?
An exhibition of local talent at Salone del Mobile this year hoped to reveal just that.
“The thing about Australian design is that it’s made up of a million different influences, so shows like this really allow the public to see what the Australian aesthetic overall is,” ……….. stylist and curator Emma Elizabeth
Curated by Sydney based designer, stylist and creative director Emma Elizabeth, this exhibition brought together the work of eleven established Australian designers, displayed within the historic 12th century Oratio della Passione chapel within the Basilica Sant_Ambrogio in Milan’s 5 Vie district.
Local Design presented ‘Local Milan’, was supported by Brickworks Building Products, who supplied —
1000 x long San Selmo Corso Aqua bricks hand placed in the outside courtyard and a further 8000 La Paloma White Artico bricks which were hand placed inside the Oratoria della Passione, to create the scenography
A completely incredible feat for Australian design, with the designers working over the three day bump in, to hand lay the bricks to build the showcase for the 11 designer pieces.
The exhibition starts in the Oratorio courtyard, where there are new Hurdle chairs and benches from Dowel Jones.
With frames made of white powder-coated tubular steel, the Hurdle collection includes bar stool variants that have a silhouette similar to an umpire’s chair.
“The Australian design scene is quite exciting to people at the moment, because we are so far away, and people are really interested in the food culture, the Australian lifestyle, and I think design’s a big part of that,” said Elizabeth. “It just needs to be explored and celebrated more so that people understand it a bit better.” ….. Emma Elizabeth
The participating 11 x Australian designers
Curator of LOCAL DESIGN, Emma Elizabeth, is a highly innovative creative who lives by her ethos that “design is nothing without style, and style is nothing without design”.
With over 10 years industry experience, both local and abroad, Emma’s work lies across many disciplines such as Art Direction, Design, Styling and Creative Conceptualization.
Her expansive career has included many projects with the highly acclaimed Designer Rugs collaboration at the forefront, exhibiting all over the world from Milan to New York, London and Sydney.
Emma Elizabeth’s own contribution is a rug whose print is based on the wings of butterflies.
Furniture and lighting designer, Ross Gardam embodies a unique and contemporary aesthetic across his work – pairing traditional crafting techniques a high-end manufacturing technology to create products that are both elegant and beautifully simple.
Ross presented the gold-domed Ora desk lamp.
Industrial Designer, Tom Seekhan specialises in commercial furniture, lighting and product design following an informed design process that considers the life of the product and how it will be used in a specific environment.
With a large portfolio of beautifully restrained, contemporary products, Seekhan is changing the way commercial spaces look and feel – all for the better.
Tom, presented an oak Holo floor lamp topped with an LED-rimmed hoop
Driven by a love of nature and light, Industrial Designer Christopher Boots explores the architecture and geometry of organic shapes throughout his work, often inspired by the patterns, shapes, and structures found in plants, animals and minerals.
Boots has worked on a multitude of projects including a collaboration with designer brand Hermes on a mesmerising series of lighting displays for their Madison Avenue store.
Christopher is a dedicated craftsman who has a way of transforming and elevating materials to highlight their natural beauty and form.
Christopher Boots‘ presented crystal-lined wall sconces.
Kate Banazi and Ryan McGoldrick
Experimental, intuitive and often playful, the work of artist Kate Banazi celebrates the subtle variations of serigraph printing and explores the layering of colour.
London-born, Kate currently lives in Sydney and has developed a series of wall light fixtures with Ryan McGoldrick that draws inspiration from linear structures, movement, shadow and colour.
Kate Banazi and Ryan McGoldrick, presented sculptural Umbra lighting made from overlapping steel elements.
Recently featured on In/Out, Jon Goulder is a fourth generation furniture maker, leaving his family business to study furniture design and fine woodworking at Canberra School of art.
He is currently the Creative Director of the Furniture Studio at the Jam Factory in Adelaide and is a master craftsperson, a skilled designer and currently focused on developing his 1 off and limited edition collections for representation in Australia, America and Europe.
Jon Goulder‘s Settlers Chair, which the designer handcrafted using an original leather-moulding process. is made of old-growth blackwood from Tasmania and local leather, it is meant to age “like an old saddle”.
Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch are the young, enthusiastic creators behind Melbourne studio, Dowel Jones.
Interested in simplifying objects to their bare essentials, the pair works with local manufacturers to design products that minimise materials and manufacturing, without compromising aesthetic value.
Currently based in an old mechanics garage in Preston, Dowel Jones are certainly ones to watch.
Creating his first successful production design in 1993 (the SW1 Swivel chair for Norman + Quaine), Furniture Designer, Charles Wilson was launched into the industry establishing an ongoing relationship with manufacturer, Woodmark International, for whom he has since created a range of furniture pieces for local and international distribution.
Charles Wilson‘s aluminium La Nîna side table, is designed to cantilever over an armchair,
Artist Anna Varendorff’s studio, A.C.V is an experimental practice takes the role of the true craftsperson.
Formally trained as a metalsmith and artist, Anna creates sculptural forms that act as fine vases for delicate foliage and flowers.
Her whimsical aesthetic captures the essence of beauty in simplicity, the emotion of shape and her hand made approach means that no two pieces are ever exactly the same.
ACV Studio presented a series of slender brass vases designed to hold single blooms,
Unifying functionality and aesthetics, Australian designer Adam Goodrum is making his way to the top of the furniture design industry with a list of accolades to his name and being named one of the most influential Australians in the Bulletin‘s Smart 100.
Goodrum works both on personal projects and for an impressive list of clients including such companies as Capellini, HAY, Alessi, Verve Cliquot and Norman Copenhagen.
Adam Goodrum‘s upholstered Bilgola lounge chair, is said to be inspired by the modernist architecture of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Connecting with people through materials, finishes and innovative design, Tom Fereday develops lighting and furniture products based on the principle of honest design and that relate to their environment and end purpose.
He celebrates natural materials and the design process to create enduring products that result in intelligent and meaningful design solutions.
Tom Fereday‘s wire chair can withstand the Australian outdoors
About The Oratorio della Passione
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is a world-known monument in the heart of Milano, founded by the bishop of Milan Ambrogio between 379 and 386 AD. in a holy area dedicated to the burials of christian martyrs.
Even if it has been modified and restored many times in its history, the building is considered to be the most interesting example of lombard romanic architecture and a jewel preserving masterpieces of art.
The Oratorio della Passione, next to the Basilica, is an oratory of the XVth century, a hall with a quadrangolar apse and a groin vault once all painted with frescoes by the milanese painter Luini with the history of the Passion of Christ.
Part of the fresco decoration were unfortunately teared away from the walls at the end of the XIX century and sold on auction (3 pieces are nowadays in the Victoria&Albert Museum) but the integrity of the place is still preserved.
About Local Design
Curated by the talented designer, stylist and creative director, Emma Elizabeth and her entrepreneurial brother, James Coffey, LOCAL DESIGN is an online and offline platform for Australian Designers, enabling them to showcase their work and providing a unified community of creative professionals all with the vision to support the local.
As the local design landscape becomes more and more global (with online shopping & sourcing dominating the market) LOCAL DESIGN is a way forward for both consumers and designers, steering away from replica products and towards high quality, original designs crafted by local talents.