It’s not every day you get selected to represent your continent at the world’s biggest furniture fair, so when Brisbane designer Darcy Clarke got the call, it was really “out of the blue”.
Selected as one of five designers to present an interpretation of their continent at Salone Satellite, as part of Salone del Mobile Milan, Clarke says the project posed quite the challenge.
“I took it as a chance to create a new direction in my practice, by designing new products.
“For me, weaving is one of my favourite creation processes and often my starting point. Weaving is also something which is common to Indigenous cultures in the Oceania region.”
Clarke set about working with groups and artists in Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, in the Pacific, working with each to create a contemporary woven object for the Satellite show.
His ‘Midnight’ lamps (made from woven flax by Maori Rotorua artist Jessica Paraone) were finished just in time for the show and complemented themes of holidays, islands and sunshine.
Island shaped mats, made using recycled plastic bottles, and a unique selection of shades to reflect our sunshine culture fit in well with the exhibition brief, which required the space to double as a rest area for Satellite visitors.
“People used the ‘Bean Bag’ sofas (made by Coast in New Zealand), to relax on, and the ‘NED’ seats to read through their guidebooks.
“I was quite happy with how people used the products.”
All of Clarke’s products are produced through local makers and manufacturers, representing expert craftsmanship of material and outstanding design, “in our own unique Australia style”.