Happy Birthday Fringe Furniture! Where did those 30 years go? As award partners for the event and once even entrants (many years ago), Fringe Furniture has always been incredibly important to Tait. This year was no exception, awarding Alexsandra Pontonio with the Tait Award for Design Innovation for her Ondalé Shelves, as part of Fringe Furniture 2016.
Created in 2015 by Alexsandra, Ondalé is inspired by the modern classics and a result of Alexsandra’s personal investigation into traditional timber joinery and cold-pressed lamination. The outstanding product is made from factory off-cut veneer and finished with plant-based oils.
Alexsandra herself is based in Melbourne and is continually inspired by a love of timber and creating with her hands. Her influences stem from a background working with the environment and sustainability, that she further pursues through her design career. Previously exhibiting at Fringe Furniture, Alexsandra has also presented her work at Salone Del Mobile Milan with Melbourne Movement‘s Salone Satellite, Vivid Design Competition and Cut to the Chaise, part of RMIT‘s Design Hub.
As part of the Melbourne Movement, Alexsandra is one of a talented mix of young Australian designers that together are determined to build an international reputation for cutting-edge Australian design. The Movement was founded in 1999 by Kjell Grant; an accomplished designer and professor of design at RMIT University. Fostering and promoting products by emerging design talents, the Movement is driven to inform people, retailers and manufacturers of the value and exceptional standard of authentic Australian design.
Almost 15 years prior to the start of the Melbourne Movement, artist and designer Bruce Filley masterminded Fringe Furniture. Filley, working in his shed one day in 1986, with community radio station Triple R on heard the then-DJs start to discuss the Melbourne Fringe Festival. At the time it was a mere four-years old, now Victoria’s longest-standing multi-arts festival, yet had already forged a reputation as a platform to support and promote emerging artists across music, theatre, film performance and comedy. Filley enthusiastically pondered whether the format of Melbourne Fringe Furniture could also be applied to furniture design and shortly after a visit to the Melbourne Fringe headquarters, found himself soon heading up the inaugural Fringe Furniture exhibition, all under the Melbourne Fringe umbrella. And the rest, as they say, is history (and an exceptional one at that).
Here’s to another 30 years Fringe!
Alexsandra Pontonio; alexsandrapontonio.com
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