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. 

 
Contemporary lighting design at Koda

Contemporary lighting design at Koda

 
Adam Markowitz and Emma Eagle of Good Form at the impeccable stand by the American Hardwood Export Council

Adam Markowitz and Emma Eagle of Good Form at the impeccable stand by the American Hardwood Export Council

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.

Details from the stand by American Hardwood Export Council

Details from the stand by American Hardwood Export Council

Deco period inspiration at Trit

Deco period inspiration at Trit

 

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.

You can see this direction in contemporary designs from our Scandinavian brand Warm Nordic, especially in the Be My Guest Bench Seat by Danish designer Charlotte Høncke

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.

New Zealand design at The Palisades

New Zealand design at The Palisades

1980s period inspiration at Domo

1980s period inspiration at Domo

 
Pendant lighting at Zaha Hadid Design

Pendant lighting at Zaha Hadid Design

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.

Furniture and accessories at Zaha Hadid Design

Furniture and accessories at Zaha Hadid Design

 
Inviting colour and texture at Trit

Inviting colour and texture at Trit

 
Creative modular seating with pastel coloured foam for the speaker series at DenFair

Creative modular seating with pastel coloured foam for the speaker series at DenFair

 
Unique stand using recycled partition materials

Unique stand using recycled partition materials

 
A brass multi-piece stacking candle holder by Thomas Maxam

A brass multi-piece stacking candle holder by Thomas Maxam

 
Seletti’s colourfully camp stand

Seletti’s colourfully camp stand

Vessels crafted from charred wood

Vessels crafted from charred wood

Flexible lighting solutions from Koda

Flexible lighting solutions from Koda

Words by Emma Eagle

 
Emma Eagle