As part of Melbourne Design Week, the National Gallery of Victoria and Stylecraft are pleased to announce the winner of the Australian Furniture Design Award (AFDA), as Ashley Eriksmoen for her entry ‘The Dream, or: the view from here is both bleak and resplendent.’
Founded by Stylecraft and ﬁrst awarded in 2015, AFDA is a national competition open to all Australian designers and makers. As one of Australia’s most prestigious furniture design awards, it recognises excellence in furniture design and the contribution this makes to design discourse and Australian culture.
Ashley was selected from a shortlist of ﬁve ﬁnalists, who were invited to present their realised designs for exhibition at the Stylecraft showroom in Melbourne, followed by virtual judging.
ABOUT THE PRIZE
In addition to a $20,000 cash prize, Ashley will receive support from Stylecraft for design, production and distribution of a furniture design, plus a two-week residency program at JamFactory in Adelaide to experiment with new ideas and materials, prototype new work, or explore new making processes.
Ashley Eriksmoen is a Canberra based designer-maker whose practice, which spans critical design and contemporary craft, breaks down disciplinary boundaries. Eriksmoen pushes furniture beyond narrow deﬁnitions and into an expanded ﬁeld. Her practice rejects inherited notions of resources and waste.
ABOUT THE WINNING SUBMISSION
‘The Dream, or: the view from here is both bleak and resplendent’ critiques resource intensive production-consumption-waste practices and disrupts furniture archetypes. It is constructed from discarded timber furniture; the shaped upholstery dyed with Eucalyptus leaves reﬂects native Australian landscapes, ﬂattening to white squares symbolising sheep and Modernism. The chaise references both poolside lounges and therapists’ couches—the user may rest easy in cognitive dissonance, wrestle with eco-anxiety, or both.
“The winning work with its 47 legs and canopy that overhangs like a cresting wave, is innovative and thought-provoking design that upcycles domestic timber furniture, to demonstrate the potential of post-consumer waste” said Simone LeAmon, Jury Chair and The Hugh Williamson Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture, National Gallery of Victoria.
“An exquisite construction, the furniture design belies a sombre yet critical message alerting us to the relationships between consumer waste, natural resources, deforestation and habitat destruction. The work implores us to consider strategies for creating sustainable new furniture designs from the wealth of resources that we already have at our disposal,” said LeAmon.
“The NGV, in partnership with Stylecraft, is delighted to provide a platform for the Australian design community to showcase its work as part of Melbourne Design Week. The jury congratulates Ashley Eriksmoen and commends all the ADFA ﬁnalists for their outstanding submissions.”
Stylecraft Brand Director, Tony Russell, said that “Stylecraft are proud to be involved in such a prestigious award that fosters Australian designers and makers through professional mentoring and commercial production opportunities. We look forward to collaborating with Ashley on a new collection that aligns with the sustainable practices in the winning design.”
Shortlisted ﬁnalists included Chris Connell, Elliot Bastianon, Danielle Brustman and Trent Jansen.
The competition jury featured Simone LeAmon (Chair), The Hugh Williamson Curator for Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV; Tony Russell, Brand Director, Stylecraft; Brian Parkes, CEO, JamFactory; Ross Gardam, Designer and Creative Director, Ross Gardam; and Kirsten Stanisich, Director, Richards Stanisich.
Exhibition photography for Melbourne Design Week by Tobias Titz.
Event photography by Zoe Twomey-Birks.
The Australian Furniture Design Award is presented by NGV and Stylecraft as part of Melbourne Design Week 2022, an initiative of the Victorian Government. The awards competition is coordinated by Citylab. For more information about the AFDA, visit the NGV website.