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Australian Furniture Design Awards 2020

Small Scale

Australian Furniture Design Awards 2020



The Australian Furniture Design Award is a significant accolade developed to recognise excellence in furniture and lighting design and its contribution to design discourse and Australian culture.

Biannually, the National Gallery of Victoria and Stylecraft hold the Australian Furniture Design Award as part of Melbourne Design Week.

In response to the 2020 Melbourne Design Week theme ‘How can design shape life?’ the Australian Furniture Design Award asked designers and makers to consider the broader implications and opportunities of furniture design. The Award focuses on the many ways that furniture design can contribute to our cultural, economic, social and ecological world. It seeks to reveal how design can be put to work to shape life – whether as a critical practice, cultural discourse or tool of industry and commerce. Competitors had to successfully articulate these ideas in their submitted designs.

James Walsh won the 2020 Australian Furniture Design Award for ‘Anthropic Bench’, which combines rammed earth with recycled glass filings to produce a sustainable and hard-wearing composite with a timber seat. The winner received an invitation from Stylecraft to develop a design through to commercial production for distribution and a two-week residency program at JamFactory in Adelaide to experiment with new ideas and materials, prototype new work or explore new making processes.




Wurundjeri Country


National Gallery of Victoria

Project type


Competition Winners

James Walsh

Jury (titles at time of engagement)

Brian Parkes

CEO, Jam Factory

Helen Kontouris

Designer & Creative Director, LEN

Simone LeAmon

Curator, Design and Architecture, NGV

Tom Owens

Managing Director & Principal, Gensler

Tony Russell

Brand Director, Stylecraft

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