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Quench exhibits in Tokyo

A Queensland design collective made up of designers Alexander Lotersztain, Björn Rust, David Shaw, Jason Bird, Marc Harrison and Surya Graf, Quench strives to promote new design developed in Queensland and raise the profile of Queensland design. Their latest project sees them pursue a design research project in conjunction with an international investment company and a Queensland macadamia producer.


Quench has recently designed a series of artefacts made entirely of macadamia timber, and taken them to Japan to exhibit at Tokyo Design Week. Through the making of these design artefacts, their exhibition Table Stories is an exploration into a new way of thinking about the harvesting, seasoning and processing techniques of discarded macadamia tree trunks.

Although macadamia nuts are popular worldwide, macadamia wood transforms into a waste material as the macadamia nut trees reach maturity and are no longer bearing viable amounts of produce. Each year older trees are thinned from the plantations, left to dry where they fall, and are typically discarded. Trunk diameters of the Macadamia trees are often too small for commercial timber milling and therefore have limited value compared to the prized nuts and oils.

While macadamia (macadamia integrifolia) wood isn’t considered valuable due to its low yield and difficult manageability, Quench considers it a unique native Australian hardwood timber with a characteristic Lacewood grain. Here we look at Quench’s five objects crafted from this unique timber.

Sclpt by Alexander Lotersztain

Sclpt engages the user in the art of carving, and allows the user to create a unique and personal utensil by hand. In an age of mass production and disposable objects, the Sclpt concept aims to inspire the user to craft and customise the utensil, make an emotional connection and give back value to an object as mundane but important to our culture as the spoon.





Prop by David Shaw

Prop explores the properties of macadamia wood, which has similar features to other indigenous timber species such as silky oak and she oak, all featuring spectacular medullary rays and grain patterns. Prop has been designed to hold hot food, with its inward tapering and three legged shape creating an object that is secure and stable even on uneven surfaces. It can also hold a tealight to help keep the food warm whilst creating ambient light.



Vessel by Jason Bird

Jason Bird’s object Vessel seeks to explore the use of the unique character of the macadamia wood. By utilising discarded macadamia branches, Jason has crafted unique receptacles to convey the nuts’ high value oils. Jason has applied computer modelling and machining techniques to process the timber, allowing the unique characteristics of grain to shine through. Vessel also encompasses experimentation with the scenting of the natural Macadamia oils, to attenuate the subtle essence of the wood’s nuttiness with unique botanicals.




Dr. Crunch by Marc Harrison

When presented with the challenge to make a product from Macadamia wood, Marc Harrison says it seemed poetic to design a device to crack open the Macadamia nut. Dr. Crunch is comprised of two parts, the javelin and the anvil, with the mass and weight shared equally between the two. This allows the javelin to deliver a striking blow, and the anvil to absorb this energy. As the Macadamia nut is spherical and prone to ricochet, the anvil contains a divot to house the nut, allowing the energy created through velocity to focus between javelin and anvil.




HEX by Surya Graf

The HEX grinder is a stacking mortar and pestle design that allows for the preparation, serving and storage of fresh spices. Produced from locally sourced Australian macadamia timbers, the design showcases the figuring grain details within the surfaces that help to emphasise the ornamental nature of the objects. HEX can also sit proudly on the dining table as an object of beauty.