Australian Designs Shown Off During Milan’s Design Week

Simple in appearance, with a few unique touches to differentiate them, bar stools in Australia are much like what one would expect from such a furniture anywhere in the globe; with its own distinct feel that sets it apart. One would not expect bar stools to be displayed in a 12th-century courtyard in Milan.

Except, at this year’s Milan design week last early April, that’s exactly what happened, as the works of 11 designers from the country were exhibited near the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, one of Milan’s oldest churches, inside the Oratorio della Passione. The display was organized and produced by Local Design, an Australian online furniture store, and exhibited in a small room.

The room was filled with several thousand white bricks, stacked together to act as platforms for the exhibition of the Australian designs, which ranged from simpler pieces for the country’s booming hospitality market, ranch-fit leather armchairs, even to bar stools. The wide range of designs which make up the Australian aesthetic shows the many different influences for the country’s style, seen in all the furniture, including bar stools in Australia, among other things, according to Emma Elizabeth, a Local Milan curator.

On the oratory courtyard, the exhibition already shows off designs from the country, with the first thing greeting visitors being new Hurdle chairs from Dowel Jones. Further into the room, more designs show up, these ones clearly taking into account Australia’s climate. An example is the SP01 wire chair designed by Tom Fereday, which even has the ability to survive the Australian outdoors as its main selling point.

In addition to furniture designs, lighting designs were also exhibited during the show, which Elizabeth says is part of the growing overseas interest for Australian design. According to her, the interest in Australian designs stem from the connection of furniture design to local culture, and the Australian lifestyle itself. She adds that Australian designs are a big thing, and that they’re worth exploring and understanding more.

Elizabeth, however, has pointed out the major issue lies in handling shipping costs, especially with regards to shipping to somewhere like Milan, which she describes as a nightmare.

The Local Milan show was held last April 4 to 9, and, interestingly, was also graced by an exhibit focusing on a country’s aesthetics; the Ventura Lambrate exhibit, ‘Everything is Connected’ did the same as the exhibit for Australians, only, this time, for Norwegians.