Marking its fifth year, Australia’s leading architecture and interior design trade fair, Denfair, will be showcasing lighting innovations, new furniture launches and furnishings by emerging local designers and established brands with a scattering of international talent from 20 June in Melbourne. 

‘Many of our exhibitors are specified in both residential and commercial environments…we’re having conversations about the crossover between work and life, and how our environments have been changing to reflect this,’ says Claudio Oyarce, Denfair’s co-founder and director of the overarching ‘Life Work’ theme.

We’ve tracked five Australian talents whose approach to exploring utilitarian forms and ambient nature of their creative output have caught our eye...

Smooth, elliptical lines characterise this Collingwood-based studio’s furniture pieces. Principal and designer Anne-Claire Petre’s new Sedis seating probes the aesthetic potential of simplified forms and the essence of balance and proportion. Offering six size variations – from low stool to chair, to low and high barstools, with or without backs – Sedis offers five different finishes that tonally reference the Australian landscape.

Howe’s biophilic approach distils the beauty of predominantly natural materials that achieves a sensual minimalism. The Adelaide-based designer’s new Hubble lamp is named after the Hubble telescope used in outer space to take high-resolution images of the cosmos with low background light. LED light emits from a slip cast porcelain diffuser atop a wand-like Rock Maple stand to release a ‘warm, textural quality via the subtle impurities of the porcelain,’ explains Howe. Elsewhere, his Simple Simon side tables underscore the beauty of oak grains with their elegantly angular simplicity. Photography: James Howe

Child-like humour and simplicity unifies Nancy Ji’s design approach. No stranger to accolades, she most notably scooped the 2018 Denfair Front/Centre for her Archie Table inspired by the goal to create furniture from a single piece of material. She returns to the show to launch square and rectangular Paper Tables. Crisply executed, their slim profile is equally eco-conscious, being crafted from a single metal sheet to reduce material waste. A series of minimal cuts and bends transform a flat surface into a 3D product with legs. Photography courtesy Mina Mina

This Fitzroy-based studio launched in 2017 by artist, collector and designer Oliver Wilcox. Highlights from year’s new lighting range include the Distance table lamp and the Folded Forms wall sconce. The former takes cues from visual sources ranging from vertebrate anatomy to 1920s bankers’ lights and neo-noir cinema, whilst integrating modern illumination and dimming technology into it’s base. Riffing off the shapes of a 2017 sports car, the Lamborghini Aventador, Folded Forms is equally streamlined yet organic given its robust origami-like brass creases. Photography: Oliver Wilcox

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Helmed by Alex Fitzpatrick, A Design Studio’s experimentations with textured glass merge traditional glassblowing and metalworking skills with contemporary lighting technologies to achieve dimmable luminescence with brilliance. New wares include additions to the Crackle family (which also incorporates vases) including a lamp and wall light that radiates reflections via its fractured surface created by hand-blown torches, plus the minimal Basel collection – table and floor lamps with slender angular silhouettes – representing the lighting company’s fresh design directive. Photography: Alex Fitzpatrick. §

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