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Who’s next in line for the Australian Furniture Design Award?

The competition, presented by Stylecraft and the NGV, aims to support Australian design, with a number of prizes to supplement income and boost the profile of the winner.

Who’s next in line for the Australian Furniture Design Award?

Place by Elliat Rich, the AFDA 2017 Winner.

Stylecraft and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) are extending an invitation to Australia’s foremost designers, architects and makers to register their latest projects for the 2022 Australian Furniture Design Award (AFDA).

A biennial event, the Australian Furniture Design Award is now in its fourth iteration after being launched in 2015 by Stylecraft in partnership with the JamFactory, in order to identify and nurture the wealth of design talent the country has to offer. The search for the next award winner begins now, with registrations now open.

The winner of the award will receive a $20,000 cash prize for their efforts, along with an invitation to develop a commercial range or product with Stylecraft and a two-week residency at JamFactory, Adelaide. While the cash prize is a welcome boost to any designer, the ability to create a range with Stylecraft and work in one of the country’s foremost design studios in JamFactory underlines the significance of the award for Australian designers.

Paperclip, Seaton McKeon x Stylecraft

Seaton McKeon was the inaugural award winner in 2015, with his design of The Sun The Moon and Me, a free-standing light and mirror that portrays a map of stars in the night sky. The moon is represented by a mirror reflecting the viewer’s image within the scene. The industrial designer and founder of studio.mckeon & Neatt, McKeon went on to launch the outdoor seating collection, Paperclip, in conjunction with Stylecraft in 2017.

The Sun The Moon and Me, Seaton McKeon

The sculptural vanity unit titled Place was the AFDA winner in 2017. Designed by Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich, the unit possesses a neatly concealed drawer constructed from stacked and coloured dowel, a removable storage container and a velvet-covered pivoting mirror, which sit upon a grouping of timber legs.

The colours, textures and sense of foreground, middle ground and background of the piece reference Rich’s travels through the Central Australian landscape. Rich’s subsequent collection, Different Thoughts, studies the “boundaries of time and matter, and what connects one being to another.”

Elliat Rich's Different Thoughts collection for Stylecraft

Elliat Rich’s Different Thoughts collection for Stylecraft

The title of the most recent award winner of AFDA belongs to James Walsh, with his submission Anthropic Beach. The Hugh Williamson Curator, Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV, Simone LeAmon, says, “The AFDA jury was unanimous in their applause of Walsh’s furniture design, recognising the designer’s ambition to investigate meaningful and practical uses for glass that would otherwise end up in landfill, while delivering a new and novel aesthetic experience for furniture design that successfully merges the past with present.”

James Walsh's Anthropic Beach, AFDA 2020 Winner.

James Walsh’s Anthropic Beach, AFDA 2020 Winner.

Walsh’s debut collection with Stylecraft remains in the design phase, with the range to be announced in the coming months before its release in 2022.

James Walsh’s Anthropic Beach, AFDA 2020 Winner.

The AFDA is a two-stage competition, with the first stage being an open call for new and original furniture or lighting design concepts. Entrants are required to give information on their professional practice.

In order to be eligible for the award, all competitors must register to enter. Registration period closes on the 15th October 2021.

Register your designs for the 2022 Australian Furniture Design Award here.

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