Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toni Prinsse - Post 3 - Grant Featherston

Grant Featherston was self-taught and his signature furniture piece is the Contour chair. He created it in 1951 by developing a cheap way of molding plywood whilst maintaining strength to create the shape; this put him ahead in contemporary furniture design and set precedence for other furniture designers.

Featherston opened his first furniture showroom in 1956 and also consulted to Aristoc Industries for 13 years. He formed a design partnership with his wife Mary in 1966 and they created one of the first multi media chairs “The Wing Sound Chair (Talking Chair)”, an Icon of its time. It was used during Montreal’s 167 EXPO in the Australian Pavilion to “talk” to people about gorgeous Australia. It was made from polystyrene, fiberglass, foam, and hardwood and was covered in wool and vinyl.

His design disciplines also includedproduct development, photography, graphics, jewellery, interiors and exhibitions.

He had a philosophy of good design and opposed the constraints of conservatism. His lightweight and ergonomic designs helped Australians relax on furniture they could “sit on” and paved the way for informal living spaces in the home.

Featherston’s Contour chairs are still very popular today. He passed away in 1995 and was inducted into the DIA Design Hall of Fame in 1996.

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