Wallpaper* Global Interiors: a snapshot of design in Oceania

Our edit of furniture, objects and lighting from Australia and New Zealand include pieces by Resident, Daniel Emma and Jam Factory

Blue room with various furniture
Interiors: Olly Mason
(Image credit: Artist: Form Und Rausch)

Australian design pieces and furniture from New Zealand are made with a contemporary creative mindset, honest materials and a perfect balance of traditional craft and mocern technologies. Stopping in Oceania in our Global Interiors 2021 (opens in new tab) tour, we explore the work of independent designers such as Dean Toepfer and Daniel Emma, brands like Resident and Sowel Jones, and the talent behind not-for-profit design organisation Jam Factory. Our discoveries are presented in the April issue of Wallpaper* Magazine through a sequence of immersive images created by Berlin 3D design studio Form & Rausch.

Here, we showcase in more detail our pick of design from Australia and New Zealand.

Resident

Padded metal armchair

‘Isabella Chair’, from £1390

(Image credit: Simon James for Resident)

Auckland brand Resident was founded by Simon James and Scott Bridgens in 2011, and in just a decade, it has established itself as a well-respected player of the design panorama, creating New Zealand-made furniture and lighting by local and international designers.

The Isabella chair (pictured) was designed by James, featuring a play of proportions between the slender steel base and a generous seat and padded back cushion (available in a series of textile finishes by the likes of Maharam and Kvadrat).

Ross Gardam

Black side table

‘Breeze Side Table’, €560

(Image credit: Ross Gardam)

Behind Australian furniture brand Ross Gardam is a team of designers, engineers and makers collaborating to create ‘experiential objects that elicit joy and defy convention.’ The Melbourne-based company is the result of a multilayered experience in the fields of design and manufacturing, with connections to local artisans and makers that combine cutting edge technologies with traditional techniques.

The Breeze side table (pictured) is designed to ‘explore the divergence of mass planar forms and the subtle light play produced,’ an effect achieved with combining curved panels into a table structure that connect to create graphic asymmetric forms. Part of a family of products including a coffee as well as dining table, the Breeze side table is available in a wide variety of customizable powder coat finishes for the base as well as the top (with the latter also available in marble)

Daniel Emma

Colourful hanging mobiles in front of blue door

Mobile, price on request

(Image credit: Daniel Emma)

Australian design darlings Daniel To and Emma Aiston have created colorful design geometries since launching their studio in Adelaide, South Australia, in 2008. Their original take on everyday items has seen the pair design furniture, packaging (opens in new tab), beauty and grooming accessories, cleaning tools and spaces – with a recent project including signage for public defibrillators in their hometown.

Their series of Mobiles demonstrated their clever ingenuity and the simplicity of their design language. The effortless compositions of wood paint and wire are arranged in a poetic, playful way; the perfect addition to brighten a space. 

Dowel Jones

Stool in the shape of a thimble

‘Thimble Low Stool’, AUD $320.00

(Image credit: Dowel Jones)

In 2014, Australian designers Adam Lynch and Dale Hardiman founded furniture brand Dowel Jones with the motto ‘anything but ordinary furniture’. The company grew from a two-person studio creating furniture for local cafes, to a brand producing furniture, lighting and accessories sold globally.

Available in a spectrum of rainbow colours, the Thimble stool (pictured) is a single piece spun aluminium stool referencing the familiar shapes of a thimble. Stackable and practical, the stool is also available in a tall version featuring a powder coated steel frame. 

New Volumes

White table sat on rocks

Wyrie Table, AU$24995

(Image credit: Nick Rennie, for New Volumes)

‘Create the most unique and beautiful products that will inspire and enhance the everyday:’ this is the aim of New South Wales-based brand New Volumes. The brand has debuted a first collection of pieces from Elba marble sourced from a cave in Greece, comprising household objects (such as grinders and bowls) and furniture that is functional as well as sculptural – such as the majestic Wyrie dining (opens in new tab) table by Nick Rennie (pictured). 

Dean Toepfer

Colourful vases

‘Vase versa’ Duotone stem vase, starting from $120AUD

(Image credit: Dean Toepfer)

Australian designer Dean Toepfer focuses his work on explorations of the ways materials, shape and form interact. His Vase Versa series (pictured) is a colorful landscape of single-stem duotone vases made of Marblo, a 1970s polymer available in a variety of shades. Toepfer created pieces in bold hues as well as vases replicating marble surfaces, combining them into contrasting arrangements that change colour perspective depending on their orientation. 

JAM Factory

Black metal floor lamp

‘Solute Floor Lamp’, price on request

(Image credit: Liam Fleming & Dean Toepfer, for JAM Factory)

Jam Factory is a creative hub in Adelaide, supported by the South Australian Government through the Department for Innovation and Skills. Created as a ‘not-for-profit organisation that champions the social, cultural and economic value of craft and design in daily life,’ Jam Factory has been supporting Australian design and creativity for over five decades, with a two-year training programme where designers can explore ceramics (opens in new tab), glass, furniture (opens in new tab), and jewellery and metal through a two-year programme, as well as studio spaces available to local talent.

Jam Factory also serves as a design brand featuring Australian-made furniture by its alumni, such as the Solute lighting collection by Liam Fleming and Dean Toepfer. The collection features pendant lights, sconces and floor lamps (pictured), whose manufacturing combines artisan glass blowing and modern mould making technology.

Douglas & Bec

Wicker furniture under a hanging ceiling light

‘Arch Pendant 01’, $1620 NZ

(Image credit: Douglas & Bec)

In 2006, New Zealand based designer Bec Dowie started a creative collaboration with her father, furniture maker Douglas Snelling. This familial partnership has since grown into an fully-fledged furniture and lighting company.

The Arch Pendant light (shown here alongside two seating pieces from the Arch collection) is simply formed by a trio of suspended, tinted glass panels (also available in brass finishes) concealing a light source. The essential design is studied to create a diffused ambient as well as directional light. 

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.