Take a seat, Melbourne’s Fringe Furniture festival turns 30

Everything about furniture design at the Fringe Furniture festival. Photo: supplied

Everything about furniture design at the Fringe Furniture festival. Photo: supplied

Melbourne’s cutting-edge Fringe Furniture festival is celebrating its 30th year by returning to its roots.

Its theme, Redesign, has furniture artists returning to their early years to display retro, chic designs as well as their on-trend, latest pieces.

Fringe Furniture

  • September 17-October 4
  • Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am-5pm.
  • Free
  • Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

 

Celina Clarke was an RMIT industrial design graduate when she first exhibited a chair at the Fitzroy Town Hall in 1989.

Now she is a head designer at ISM Objects and the firm will display a revamped version of its Fab Lamp, which won the festival’s artist and industry award when it was unveiled in 1992.

It has been reinvented with the latest technology and is now an LED, cordless and USB rechargeable lamp that still looks fab.

The Fab Lamp. Photo: Supplied

Long-time exhibitor and now a festival award partner Gordon Tait of the Tait design house says “each year is completely different and … even better each time”.

Eugenie Kawabata, table Fold, in recycled glass resin and brass. Photo: Neil Prieto.

Gordon co-founded Tait design house in 1992 and now presents the Tait award for design innovation at the festival to encourage and support young designers.

“They’re our future and so to be able to offer guidance and feedback from my position as a manufacturer and designer is very rewarding, ” he says.

Marie Lefebvre’s Stepping Stone Sitting Table, made from reclaimed Victorian Ash and felt. Photo: supplied.

Fringe Furniture is a stand-out exhibition of emerging designers of furniture, lighting, homewares, wearable objects, permanent and ephemeral works.

For die-hard Fringe Furniture fans, the exhibition features blasts from the past including objects, articles and interviews with previous exhibitors.

Audiences who are blind or vision impaired can experience the exhibition with audio and tactile tours on September 23 and 25, and artist-led tours are held every Sunday at 3pm.

There’s also a selection of works in a pop-up exhibition at City Square from September 15  to October 1.

Fringe Furniture is the longest running event in the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

 

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