DC Fit Masthead

A slice of emerging design comes to Monaro Mall

Alexa Sommerville and Beatrice Smith

There’s nothing sweeter than discovering something before everyone else.

Whether it’s a newly opened café that becomes your local before it’s an Instagram darling, or a book that you rave about before the prizes are awarded, there’s something special about a creative mind at the start of their career.

This month, you have the chance to visit a selection of emerging designers that have been specially curated to showcase the best in up and coming Australian design, before they make it big.

Called HOME:MADE, the space is located in the Canberra Centre’s new Monaro Mall and will present some of the most innovative lighting, furniture and homeware pieces Australian designers have to offer.

Perhaps you’re after a new sideboard – but you’re bored by the traditional designs touted by mass furniture stores. Or maybe you’d like some unique plates to offset the plain white ones you serve up at home. You might even be curious about having a bespoke piece created for you, but be a little low on inspiration.

Canberra-based Elliot Bastianon could have just what you’re looking for.

The designer believes furniture should go beyond function, and creates tools for communication and enlightenment with a variety of materials. Better yet, along with fellow featured industrial designer René Linssen, Elliot places emphasis on manufacturing in the Canberra and Southern NSW region through their company Furnished Forever.

Fellow Canberran designer Chelsea Lemon uses her preferred medium of timber to create furniture and homewares inspired by art and nature. Her work features dynamic geometric arrangements and parquetry designs informed by movement found in Australian plants.

Since graduating from the Australian National University in 2015 with Honours in a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Chelsea’s fresh approach to traditional woodworking techniques has won her prizes and seen her exhibited at Parliament House.

Richilde Flavell’s ceramic designs are also being showcased in HOME:MADE, although they’re also spotted at your favourite café. The creative force behind Girl Nomad Ceramics has made bespoke pieces for Mocan and Green Grout, Barrio Collective and Fox and Bow.

Her unique and functional designs show her interest in using clay to articulate and explore her surroundings through soft lines, volcanic tones and on-trend exposed clay surfaces.

Also on display in cafes in her hometown of Hobart, Lindsey Wherrett’s bespoke ceramics are created using a passion honed from time spent in Europe and Japan. Her work, hand-crafted in her home studio, is guided by the ‘form follows function’ design principle.

“My pieces must perform their physical function well but an equally important part of that function is to make you happy, quietly enriching the visual and tactile environment of your daily rituals,” she says.

Multidisciplinary artist Nicole Monks is guided by philosophies formed closer to home.

“I combine the past, present and future into all my work,” she says of the impact her Yamatji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage has on her craft.

Guided by her cross-cultural identity, Nicole uses her work with furniture, textiles, video and installation to connect traditional Aboriginal story telling with contemporary Western thought.

Christina Bricknell believes the real charm of handmade craft is the story each piece has to tell. Informed by how humans interact with objects and how materials act with one another, Bricknell meticulously crafts lights, chairs, memory boxes and nesting boxes. The designer.

HOME:MADE is presented by Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre in partnership with the Canberra Centre and In The City, with the support of Jam Factory, Designed Objects Tasmania and Workshopped in association with Australian Design Centre. See it at Canberra Centre until 26 November.

the essentials

What: HOME:MADE at Canberra Centre
When: Open until 26 November from 9am-5.30pm Monday – Thursday, 9am-9pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday
Where: Inside the Monaro Mall, Bunda Street, Canberra City

Feature image: Local Milan. Image supplied. 

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Alexa Sommerville

Canberra raised Alexa Sommerville has almost completed her Bachelor of Communication in Journalism degree. After five months on exchange in the UK, Alexa fell in love with solo travel and has mastered the art of daydreaming either about her next getaway or her next meal. She enjoys watching health documentaries, online shopping and old-school film photography, but not as much as she does annoying her mother by using every ingredient in the pantry to bake her latest healthy food obsession. Alexa hopes one day to be writing about traveling, or eating, or writing while she travels and eats. More about the Author


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author