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Australian Design, American Hardwood

The American Hardwood Export Council has a long history of supporting furniture designers from around the world.

Australian Design, American Hardwood


September 12th, 2013

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has turned its attention to Australia. “There is some very exciting design taking place in this part of the world,” says AHEC Director for Oceania Rod Wiles, “but given the location and cost of production here, it’s hard for these designers to gain recognition beyond Australian shores”.


Jade Table by Zuster

According to Wiles, Australian furniture designers have a good grounding in wood, given the range of indigenous species in Australia. Wiles explains “they tend to be acutely aware of the environmental credentials of their materials and are  well placed to evaluate the benefits of American hardwoods”.

sabrina zuster ahec

Sabrina Stools by Zuster

One such company who caught their attention was Melbourne’s Zuster, who recently opened a second showroom in Sydney’s Surry Hills. American white oak has played a key role in their burgeoning success. “We are proudly Australian and would like to source a suitable local species, but nothing we have tried comes close to American white oak”, says MD Fleur Bouw. “We think it is the premier timber choice for furniture and interior design – the combination of its attractive and superior grain quality, strength and consistency is not easily found in other timbers”.

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Mode by David Cummins

Architect turned designer, David Cummins, is currently working on designs created from American hardwood lumber supplied by Sydney’s Speciality Timber Traders and facilitated by AHEC.  Cummins uses traditional joinery and cabinet making techniques alongside modern technologies, such as laser cutting, to produce high quality, bespoke contemporary furniture. “To have such a open brief free from commercial constraints is liberating,” says Cummins of his recent collaboration with AHEC. “For me this project is about showcasing my design and making skills while working with some of the most beautiful hardwood in the world”.

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AHEC showed furniture made by Australian designers from American hardwoods at Sydney Indesign.


Sydney Indesign


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