07 February 2013

RMIT's furniture designers have the edge

RMIT University furniture design has dominated the international design competition The Edge 2013, with two awards and 11 finalists.

Ashley Allen and Ben Brayshaw - both from RMIT's Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) - won Awards for Excellence in Design at the competition, which is part of the Australian International Furniture Fair.

Mr Allen's Dollop Light won the award for "Best new commercial release designed by a professional designer" while Mr Brayshaw was awarded "Best new prototype designed by a tertiary student" for The Clam Chair.

The prize is the latest major award for The Clam Chair: the portable seat last year won the "Australian Furnishing Student Design Award for Victoria and Tasmania" at the annual Furnitex trade fair.

Mr Allen had two pieces on exhibition, including his winning Dollop Light, made from earthenware slip casting and inspired by a falling dollop of cream.

"It's been a challenging and rewarding piece to create," he said.

Julian Pratt, Program Coordinator Furniture and Product Design at RMIT, said the two awards and the high number of RMIT finalists in this year's competition was a testament to the University's design-focused, innovative and forward-thinking furniture programs.

"Our students work with industry-leading manufacturers and lecturers in state-of-the-art facilities investigating contemporary Australian and thought-provoking furniture design ideas," Mr Pratt said.

Held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, the Australian International Furniture Fair attracts thousands of industry representatives, including furniture and furnishings retailers, architects, interior decorators, designers and stylists.

Light fixture

Ashley Allen's Dollop Light.

Folding chair in the shape of clam shell

The Clam Chair, by RMIT graduate Ben Brayshaw, is also in contention.

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