DenFair 2019 Highlights
DenFair needs no introduction really. This side of the equator it's the largest event for the design industry, hosting 8000 people and 140 exhibitors in a 12,000 metre square space at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Design leaders along with emerging brands from across the world are represented here for the three day event not to be missed.
We were delighted to attend the event this year, connecting with other store owners, designers and professionals for a day of inspiration. Each stand used colour, materials and typography in a considered and thoughtful way to present cutting edge products and ideas in a unique space.
One stand we were particularly impressed by was designed by architect Adam Markowitz for the American Hardwood Export Council. The structure was created by tall, spaced batons of dark wood creating an interior workspace of tables, desks and custom seating. It was beautifully finished by highly crafted floating rope cord benches on the outside.
Design directions and trends we noticed were a shift towards more colour compared with a few years ago when it was all about blush. Rich warm reds, greens and blues were popular choices. Some brands refused to give in to anything natural and neutral, like Seletti, the mad Italian design brand which is all about colour and camp.
The lines, proportions and materials of the 1970s and 80s are inspiring a lot of designers – this perforated metal white lamp certainly reminded us of that era. Arches from this period also featured strongly – we saw this in furniture with impressive French cane pieces with a double door opening as a contemporary, compact armoire.
New Zealand design played a significant part in the event too with the Palisades, a collective space combining the work of Nathan Goldsworthy, Think + Shift and Tim Webber in an immersive space with materials from Autex Industries.
The event was an encouraging glimpse of where Australasian design is up to right now and where things are heading. We left exhausted and inspired, already thinking about how we can get back to it next year.
In the afternoon we attended a talk by two architects who had travelled from the UK to represent Zaha Hadid Design. The design house has collaborated with an impressive series of partner brands like Georg Jensen to create unique and timeless interior design objects, all pushing the boundaries of the material's capability and pursuing the vision of the late founder.
Words by Emma Eagle