Fringe Furniture turns 30

Fringe Furniture returns from 15 September to 2 October at the iconic Abbotsford Convent to celebrate a landmark 30 years. Since the festival’s inception, Fringe Furniture has been the vanguard for iconic, eclectic, cutting-edge industrial design.

To celebrate its 30th birthday, Fringe Furniture is looking back to the future with this year’s theme: Redesign, encouraging artists to re-visit history, separating functional purpose and encouraging impossibility. Many exhibitors will be returning from the early years including founder Bruce Filley.

Celina Clarke was an RMIT industrial design graduate when she first exhibited a chair in Fringe Furniture at Fitzroy Town Hall in 1989. Now the co-founder of ISM Objects, a worldrenowned design company with pieces collected by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Clarke returns to Fringe Furniture to support the ISM Objects Award for Lighting Innovation.

“Our business has come a long way since my first Fringe showing and I think the community around Fringe really helped us have the confidence to give things a go and found ISM,” says Celina.

For Fringe Furniture, ISM Objects will also bring back its Fab Lamp – which won the Artist & Industry Awards when it was first launched in 1992 – reinvented with the latest technology: LED, cordless and rechargeable using USB.

Long-time exhibitor turned Award Partner Gordon Tait of design house Tait says, “Each year is completely different and the lead-up to the event is even better each time, from the announcement of the theme to taking in all the amazing works when judging takes place.”

Gordon co-founded Tait design house in 1992 and now presents the Tait Award for Design Innovation at Fringe Furniture. Encouraging and supporting young designers is incredibly important to Gordon’s personal and professional ethos.

Gordon adds, “They are our future and so to be able to offer guidance and feedback from my position as a manufacturer and designer is very rewarding.”

For die-hard Fringe Furniture fans, the exhibition will also feature archival components including objects, articles and interviews with previous exhibitors.

Audiences who are blind or vision impaired can also experience the exhibition with audio-described tactile tours taking place on September 23 and 25. There are also artist-led tours at 3pm every Sunday throughout the exhibition.

Fringe Furniture 30: Redesign
15 September – 2 October Wednesday to Sunday

11am – 5pm Sacred Heart Chapel Oratory and Ironing Rooms Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford


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