The Weekend Australian - Review - - Australian Furniture Awards -

THANKS to his in­spired new Rolla chair, a de­sign stu­dent from Li­combe Tech in Syd­ney’s outer west is off on a $ 10,000 study tour in Florence, the ul­ti­mate de­sign des­ti­na­tion.

Stu­dent De­sign win­ner of the Fur­nish­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia Awards, Trinh Duy Dao, is pleased that his de­sign for an ot­toman is be­ing recog­nised.

Trinh, who is in his sec­ond year of Diploma of Furniture De­sign at Lid­combe TAFE, says he is still ‘‘ over the moon’’ about win­ning the pres­ti­gious award and ex­cited about learn­ing more in­no­va­tive tech­niques in Europe.

‘‘ I want to be a part of this in­dus­try when my stud­ies are over, and it’s im­por­tant to recog­nise the great in­no­va­tion and de­sign that is made in Aus­tralia,’’ he says.

The Fur­nish­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralian an­nounced Tran’s award at its first na­tional stu­dent de­sign awards in Perth last Satur­day.

Trinh had the choice of one of four cour­ses in furniture de­sign in Europe. The cour­ses are avail­able in Florence, Mi­lan, Copen­hagen or Lon­don and de­pend on the win­ner’s pref­er­ence. The prize has a max­i­mum value of $ 10,000.

It is the first time Trinh has de­signed and built furniture, and af­ter two years of study his first ex­hi­bi­tion takes place next week, show­cas­ing his award win­ning de­sign for the finale of his course. Next year, he plans to fur­ther his stud­ies in de­sign, with an aim to be­come an in­ter­na­tional de­signer in in­te­ri­ors, prod­ucts and, of course, furniture.

‘‘ To study in one of the most pres­ti­gious de­sign schools means I’ll be able to see the most unique and fash­ion- for­ward de­signs,’’ he says.

‘‘ I’ll be able to use th­ese ad­vances in de­sign to make even more mod­ern cus­tom- made de­signs in Aus­tralia.’’

Trinh’s Rolla will be the first stu­dent- made win­ner to proudly bear the new Aus­tralian Made swing tag launched by the in­dus­try this year.

Kevin Feld­man, Pres­i­dent of the FIAA in Queens­land, says the stan­dard of en­tries ‘‘ was ex­cel­lent and shows our home grown tal­ent in this great Aus­tralian in­dus­try’’.

This award is part of the Furniture In­dus­try Aware­ness Cam­paign ( FIAC), spear­headed by Feld­man na­tion­ally.

‘‘ We are strongly com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing Aus­tralian Made and felt it was time to make this a na­tional award to en­cour­age young peo­ple in their ca­reer path,’’ he says.

‘‘ Other stu­dents will ben­e­fit from the awards pro­gram with recog­ni­tion of their ex­cel­lence in­spir­ing even more creative and in­no­va­tive de­signs and lead­ing to work op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘‘ By en­cour­ag­ing the de­vel­op­ment of young lo­cal de­sign­ers, we hope to en­sure a sus­tain­able fu­ture for the in­dus­try. ’’ The cour­ses on of­fer are: four weeks at Isti­tuto Europeo di De­sign, Mi­lan, which in­cludes tu­ition, ac­com­mo­da­tion and air fares; four days at Cen­tral Saint Martins Col­lege of Art and De­sign in Lon­don; 12 weeks at Arte School, Florence; or six weeks at the Dan­ish In­sti­tute for Study in Copen­hagen.

‘‘ Rolla presents both a sense move­ment and fun,’’ says Trinh.

‘‘ Rolla is an in­ten­tional de­par­ture from tra­di­tional forms. Us­ing qual­ity GVA birch ply, alu­minium tube, Dun-

of lop en­duro foam and 100 per cent re­cy­cled fab­ric.’’ Ian Hearn, CEO of the FIAA in West­ern Aus­tralia says: ‘‘ Young de­sign­ers are par­tic­u­larly pos­i­tive about the stun­ning, unique na­tive tim­bers on of­fer in this coun­try and our com­mit­ment to en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able man­u­fac­ture.’’

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