Off to Milan:
Designer Duncan Meerding to exhibit in Italy.
TASMANIAN furniture designer Duncan Meerding is heading to Milan. Meerding has been selected to exhibit at a major international show for lighting designers – one of just 500 designers worldwide to be extended such an invite.
Early last year he made his way to Germany for the biennial Messe Frankfurt Light + Building Trade Show and next month Meerding will showcase his products at Euroluce, one of the world’s largest lighting shows.
The five-day Euroluce event attracts more than 300,000 visitors.
Meerding called it the “ideal platform” on which to showcase his handcrafted, sustainable designs.
Meerding will be taking some new designs to the show alongside pieces he is best known for like his cracked log lamps and propeller pendant lights.
He has also some exciting ideas bubbling for the showcase.
“We will be making some big installations,” he said.
“They will be big sculptural installations which flatpack down for the show.
“One is a giant propeller flower that sits on end on the floor, like a closed flower fallen on its stalk. Another will be similar to my box spirals light but 1.8m tall.”
Meerding said he had not attended the Euroluce show before.
“I have not been to Milan at all,” he said. “But this trip will be good exposure to potential business partners and to meet similarly minded people.
“It would be great to gain business contacts but also to engage with other design practises.”
Over the last five years Meerding has seen a shift in his audience.
The majority of his sales are now to North American and European customers and he attributes this change to growing demand for quality, handmade design over mass manufactured items.
Meerding said the response to his work in Germany last year was overwhelming. “Visitors were intrigued by my designs,” he said.
Meerding has a unique perspective having lost his vision at age 18.
His work reflects an alternate sensory world that most people don’t have any ex- perience with. Meerding said there were barriers to overcome for young Australian designers wishing to participate at international exhibitions like the ones that he has and shortly will again.
“There are finance, geography and language barriers to name a few,” he said.
“I have been fortunate to receive two grants from the Arts Council of Australia and Arts Tasmania to help with this dream.”