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Emerging Furniture Designers: Talent, Drive and Design Values

Emerging Furniture Designers: Talent, Drive and Design Values

Making your mark on the design scene goes beyond just being a good designer; it is driven by a passion for the craft, abetted by personal design values and topped off with fresh talent. These four relative newcomers to the world of furniture design have certainly made an impression quickly with multiple awards and titles to their names. While they all rightly believe in the importance of function, they each bring to their work their own perspective of what furniture is, what it should be, and even what it could be, as Rebecca Gross discovers.

 

BEN PERCY

Ben’s appreciation and understanding of the innate qualities of timber is almost palpable and his handcrafted furniture showcases both the timber and his adept skill at handling it. By analysing the grain, cut and tone of each board, Ben says, “each and every component is not only beautiful but serves a purpose—nothing is hidden.” His articulated Flex Chair is a fluent expression of this process and it reflects his succinct design aesthetic that Ben defines as “clean lines and good bones.”

Inspired by nature and driven by perfectionism, Ben’s biggest goal for his furniture is “making people comfortable,” he says. “Often, just seeing someone explore my pieces is what gives me the most satisfaction.” Ben is working towards his dream of making furniture full time and currently manages and teaches a workshop in Freshwater, Sydney. “It’s not a career that you can disengage with when you leave the workshop at night,” he reflects. “You are constantly creating, seeking inspiration and learning. It’s your passion, your life.”

Ben Percy Designs
benpercydesigns.com

Photography by Muller-Maher Photography

Ben Percy

Walnut Flex Chaise

Ben Percy

The Rocker

Ben Percy

The Pod

Ben Percy

Upholstered Flex Chaise

Ben Percy


STEPHANIE NG

Stephanie brings to her furniture design what she looks for most in other pieces. “I’m drawn to products that can speak for themselves and be configured as per my needs,” she says. This versatility underlies the design of her award-winning Mick’s Deck Chair, which has simple and considered functionality that allows users to easily customise the upholstery “making it their own, to reflect their personality, tastes and space.”

Adaptability forms just one aspect of Stephanie’s design values, which she summarises with the words “versatility, minimal, artisanal.” Driven by this concise philosophy of form and function, her values are expressed in an aesthetic she describes as “simple, clean lines. But bold. I love adding distinctive features to make it recognisable.”

Stephanie works full time as a designer her product portfolio also includes a range of lighting. In addition, she recently showcased a kinetic art light installation in the Malaysia Pavilion at the Milan World Expo 2015.

Stephanie Ng Design
stephaniengdesign.com

1

Mick’s Deck Chair 1

Stephanie Ng

Mick’s Deck Chair 2

Stephanie Ng

Trieg Table

Stephanie Ng

Mick’s Deck Chair and Scoop Pendant

Stephanie Ng

CARL HOLDER

Carl’s furniture designs are injected with a healthy dose of playfulness and personality as he transforms everyday objects into something “beyond the generic,” he says. This light-hearted element is aptly echoed in the name of his furniture range Foreply, as well as the grooved and sculptural aesthetic and versatility of his pieces. “Foreply is focused on objects that help us store and sort and hold stuff,” Carl says and his space-saving, clutter-reducing designs include the Thingamabob table/bench/book rack and Capsule One wall-mounted shelf.

“I believe everyone should have beautiful and well designed things around them,” Carl explains. His work is derived from an emotional or pragmatic response and motivated by “considered, ethical design.” He sources local and sustainable plywood from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and says he “strives for elegance from apparent simplicity.” Of course, “having fun along the way.”

Carl also flexes his design talent at Tzannes where he works on architecture, products, furniture and graphics, notably designing Sydney’s new street furniture. 

Foreply
foreply.com.au

Carl Holder

Thingamabob

Carl Holder

Capsule One

Carl Holder

Sydney Street Furniture (Photography by Tzannes)

Carl Holder

White Chair

Carl Holder

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRIS

“Furniture is my part-time passion at the moment,” says Vivianne who works as a structural engineer and project manager by day. Her innovative and distinctive furniture designs very much reflect both these creative and technical fields and her inventive problem-solving skills. Plus, in addition to this unique combination, Vivianne states her design philosophy is “to question and challenge everything. No assumptions. No rules.”

The result is furniture that, Vivianne says, “challenge preconceptions on how an object should look or feel.” As part of her design process, Vivianne will consider the typical features of a particular object and question its assumed design – “Does a chair have to have legs? Does a bookshelf have to incorporate a shelf?” Her award-winning pieces include the circular Circus Bookshelf and curvilinear Ribbon Chair, which epitomise Vivianne’s philosophy and process, while still, she notes, “remaining respectful to context and never compromising on function.”

Viv Projects
vivprojects.com

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRIS

Ribbon Chair 1

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRIS

Circus Bookshelf 1

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRIS

Ribbon Chair 2

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRISCircus Bookshelf 2

VIVIANNE KOLLEVRIS