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MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
CLIENT: MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN (THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE)
COMPLETION: DECEMBER 2015
The Melbourne School of Design commissioned markowitzdesign to design and build a meeting room table for the Hanging Studio in the new MSD building by John Wardle/NADAAA. The Hanging Studio is seen as the crowning space within the building, so the school wanted a table that gave presence to the room, but also facilitated the multi-functional role of the space.
The school had salvaged timber from a Spotted Gum tree that had to be felled to make way for the new building, and wanted to reuse this timber as an expression of continuity with the history of the site, as well as a statement on the role of sustainability in the school's practice.
The table responds directly to the plan of the room, with each flowing curve reacting to the facets of the walls, which appear to push and pull the table form itself. The shape of the top is designed to allow a range of meeting possibilities, with different areas facilitating various meeting arrangements from 2-12 people.
The experimental solid starburst pattern of the tabletop maximises yield from the very limited salvaged timber, whilst the geometric central ring and split is simultaneously a nod to Bauhaus/Futurist painting, whilst functionally allowing the solid timber top to expand and contract seasonally.
The project investigates the possibilities at the intersection of traditional fine craft and contemporary digital fabrication. Much of the table top was assembled using traditional joinery with handcarved edge details, whilst the central 'danish lip' (preventing wayward pencils rolling to the centre) and lowered platform for cables were carved using CNC. The faceted steel base was formed parametrically and laser-cut.
Surrounding the table are 12 custom black 'Flea' chairs, designed by markowitzdesign, whose lightweight minimal design sit in deference to the presence of the table.
COMPLETION: JANUARY 2015
EXHIBITED: FRINGE FURNITURE 2015, ABBOTSFORD CONVENT
Custom American Oak cabinet with ebonised exterior and natural interior.
Hand cut dovetails, hand carved curving exterior.
Photography by Dalton Paley
PUBLISHED: The Maker, Tamara Maynes (2015), Designing Tomorrow's Heirlooms Australian Financial Review (2014), Seventy-One Chairs, Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts
EXHIBITED: Fringe Furniture (2013), Object Future II (2014)
Conceptual 'easy chair' prototype. Exploring the Scandinavian approach to chair design in the production of a laminated ply cantilever chair, referencing great Scandinavian designers such as Alvar Aalto, Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl.
Digital modelling, including Grasshopper algorithmic design used in production of laser-cut former mould.
Conceived & constructed whilst studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.