Special edition MPavilion stool revealed

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation today released the design for its special edition MPavilion Stool by internationally influential Melbourne designer Chris Connell. Inspired by MPavilion’s 2019 architect and Australia’s only Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, Glenn Murcutt AO, the “MP Stool” was commissioned by the foundation to celebrate Murcutt’s highly influential fifty-year practice and Australia’s growing design talents. MP Stools will be in use at MPavilion 2019 during the 2019/20 season of free events in the Queen Victoria Gardens.

Making reference to Murcutt’s MPavilion 2019 design and materiality, the steel MPavilion stacking stool —designed by Chris Connell and made by Melbourne furniture company, grazia&co — is influenced by the subtle curvature of the pavilion’s roof canopy. Steel fabricated oval tubes form the stool’s outer frame, with a perforated steel skin moulded overtop. The ‘primer red’ colour of the MP Stool creates a ceremonious contrast to Murcutt’s all-white MPavilion and symbolises Australia’s red earth, a reference to the regional nature of Murcutt’s architectural practice.

Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, said: “Celebrating Australian design is at the forefront of this year’s MPavilion commission and event season. To have Chris Connell design the MP Stool inspired by Glenn Murcutt’s architecture is a unique collaboration in Australian design and we’re excited to have brought these outstanding practices together. Along with Grazia Materia’s Melbourne-made support, this is local creativity and craft at its best.”

Commenting on his MP Stool design, Chris Connell said: “It isn’t every day that I’m asked to design a stool inspired by Australia’s most famous architect, so I’d like to thank the Naomi Milgrom Foundation for this very special opportunity. It has been a pleasure working with the MPavilion team and rewarding to know that the community will enjoy the result during the MPavilion season.”

Grazia Materia, founder of grazia&co also commented: “From start to finish, the MP Stool is Melbourne designed and made. Showing the creative strength of our industry — perfect for a celebration of Australian design at MPavilion 2019.”

Chris Connell has over thirty years experience in architecture, interior design, furniture and product design. While celebrated near and far for his innovative contributions to the industry, his many achievements include his Pepe chair designed in 1992, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MOMA). In 2018 Connell was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to design the Gallery Chair — awarded a 2018 Good Design Award Gold Winner for Product Design.

grazia&co are a Melbourne-based furniture design and manufacturing company, dedicated to the values of authenticity, integrity and community. Supporting the local industry, the firm is backed by a pool of Australian talent including Connell.

Continuing its support for Australian design, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation has also commissioned standout design collaborators for this season’s uniforms. Nonprofit enterprise The Social Studio has designed and manufactured this year’s staff uniform in collaboration with designer-illustrator Beci Orpin. The opening weekend of MPavilion 2019 also welcomes an exciting line-up with a performance by Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO followed by the RMIT Master of Fashion (Design) Graduate Showcase. During its four-month long summer season in Queen Victoria Gardens, MPavilion will partner with over 500 creative collaborators and will present over 400 free public events.

Previous MPavilion product design commissions include a chair by Sean Godsell of Sean Godsell Architects for MPavilion 2014 and a stool by Carme Pinós of Estudio Carme Pinós for MPavilion 2018.

MPavilion is supported by major partners City of Melbourne, the State Government of Victoria through Creative Victoria and Development Victoria, and ANZ.

MPavilion 2019 will open free to the public in the Queen Victoria Gardens, Southbank Arts Precinct, on 14 November 2019.


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