People choose their furniture for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the colour suits their décor, maybe it is a statement piece that speaks to them, or perhaps it’s just comfortable. But who says your furniture can only tick one box? Australian furniture designers have been making stylish additions to our lounge rooms for years.
Maybe you want a cool statement piece, maybe you’re sitting on a collector’s item. These are five of the best Australia furniture Designers from the last century.
1. Gordon Andrews
Gordon Andrews was an industrial designer during the Mid Century Modern period. He is most famous for designing Australia’s first decimal currency notes.
Andrews was the first Australian designer to be chosen to be a Fellow of the United Kingdom Society of Industrial Artists.
His talents varied, from industrial design and furniture to graphics and photography. The Rondo chair is one of his most famous pieces of furniture. Designed in 1956, the chair looks impressive.
It’s difficult to find matching Rondo chairs these days. Over the years Andrews changed the chair base and materials from plywood to fibreglass.
These chairs are a collector’s item now, fetching quite a high price at auction. Unfortunately they are not currently in production.
2. Marc Newson
Marc Newson has worked all over the world. In 2005 he was named in Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2012 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
He’s designed everything from aircraft to New Year’s Eve firework displays, but his furniture is really a sight to behold. The Embryo chair is iconic, with rounded shapes is futuristic and fascinating.
His furniture is sought after and routinely set auction records as well as being exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.
3. Johnny Chamaki
In 2008 Johnny Chamaki was awarded the International Designer of the Year award by Vogue, Germany and Shogun, japan.
He draws inspiration from nature and animals, Australiana and geographical locations. In school he designed a helmet inspired by Ned Kelly.
The praise he received encouraged him to delve deeper into Australian history for inspiration, which would later culminate into a furniture series entitled The Outlaw Series.
One chair emulates Ned Kelly’s helmet with the armrests pointed out like pistols. Other furniture items like his El Toro collection won him international awards.
4. Douglas Snelling
Douglas Snelling worked as a designer in America during World War II. His work was influenced by Scandinavian design.
His timber furniture was lighter in colour and suited the modern Australian houses that had begun to spring up after the war.
The Snelling Line became a staple of interior design during this period. It was the first mass produced designer furniture line and was sold in department stores across the country.
His parachute webbing chairs look retro chic these days. And the influences of his time in Southern California and Scandinavian Design are very evident.
5. Grant Featherston
Grant Featherston is one of Australia’s most famous designers. He’s been described as an icon of the ‘Atomic Age’. Like Andrews, his designs were Mid Century Modern.
In 2013 his furniture was exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, as apart of the Mid-Century Modern Australian Furniture Design exhibition.
In the fifties his furniture designs were groundbreaking. The Contour R160 chair is a collector’s item these days, and it’s unsurprising it is one of the most counterfeited chairs in Australia.
If you want the real thing, you won’t have to look far. Featherston 2016 is picking up production of his most famous pieces.