Furnitex, Australasia’s Furniture and Furnishings Trade Fair

VIVID- VIBRANT VISIONS IN DESIGN, the successful annual furniture design competition, celebrates its sixth year in Melbourne as part of FURNITEX, Australasia's largest furniture and furnishings Trade Fair.

A selection of Australia's most dynamic furniture designers and design students will showcase their newest and most unique creations at VIVID 2008, held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 17 – 20 July.

Presented by FURNITEX and curated by the talented Uli Hasel, a number of exciting new products will be revealed to the industry for the first time in the categories of commercial, Concept and Student. This year an exciting new award will be added to the competition – the VIVID GREEN AWARD.

This year's pieces are bigger and bolder than ever before, requiring you to physically see the pieces to appreciate their clean lines and large designs. Nearly half of the entries are ecologically sustainable with bamboo emerging as the material of choice. Australian hardwood in its recycled form is also enjoying a revival.

FURNITEX provides these designers and students with the unique opportunity to display their products to thousands of manufacturers and retailers over the four days of the event. This year will feature designers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Commercial: 2008 sees some exciting entries from a number of Australia's foremost design talents. WA based designer, Michael Shepherd has entered two pieces into the competition, the MOLAR STOOL (image to the left) and the BARK CHAISE. The Molar Stool's clean lines and bold colour creates an immediate impact and is made from a single piece of 18mm MDF.

Chris Byrne of Left Hand Make in Sydney is also starting to make an impression with his contemporary children's furniture designs. SMALL ONE, his entry in VIVID 08 is a beautifully designed three piece table and chairs set made from birch plywood in the shape of abstract animal curves. Definitely a piece that you will be proud to have on show in your home.

Concept: Unique designs of chairs, stools and shelving have been very popular entries in the Concept category for 2008. That is why the TRANQUILANDIA LIGHT (image to left) by Victorian-based designer Sinclair Park stands apart from other entries. This design is made up of using windscreen glass of which almost 14 tonnes goes to Australian landfill every year. Sinclair decided to use some of this wastage in his rather beautiful and unique piece.

NSW interior designer, Jenna Ryan has also submitted an interesting entry into this year's competition, the CHATA BELT CHAIR AND TABLE, which is made from recycled belts and is seen as a modern alternative to the classic telephone table. A cutting edge design that provides seating for two people in one called YOUME CHAIR (image to left) by talented Melbourne designer, Malcolm Thomas is another one to watch out for and is sure to attract attention because of it clean lines and interesting shape.

Student: This is always an exciting category of the competition that gives us a sneak preview into the minds and creativity of our next generation of design talent. Jessica Diec from Monash University in Melbourne has submitted a piece called SALT + PEPPER STOOLS (image below), which are made from lightweight spun aluminium, suitable for indoor and outdoor
use. The seat is also removable for effective storage. Other student pieces to keep your eyes open for are the JUK COFFEE TABLE by Jensen Ho and the MOLENTJE COFFEE TABLE by Yoshio Takagi. The JUK TABLE is a sculptural piece made from ecologically sustainable bamboo and looks quite different depending on the angle you look at it from. The MOLENTJE TABLE is a simple, beautifully put together design created from a single perfectly square piece of plywood.

An award will be presented within each category of the VIVID competition with cash prizes as well as a free stand at FURNITEX 2009 on offer. Winners will be announced at the Official Opening of FURNITEX at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Thursday 17 July at 11.00am.

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