Australia Day, Honoring The Great Grant Featherston

 

Whilst Australia is celebrating a national holiday for Australia Day we are highlighting the late great Australian designer Grant Featherston, and his iconic designs.

During the Atomic Age, Featherston went against the trends of the time to create utterly unexpected designs. And, whilst many designers can be credited with innovative and unique furniture designs, few can take credit for developing new forms and shapes in the way Grant Featherston did.

Grant and Mary Featherston photographed above. Image from of the Featherston archives.

Grant and Mary Featherston photographed above. Image from of the Featherston archives.

Grant Featherston was born 1922 in Geelong Victoria, Australia and passed away in 1995.  He was a self-taught, designer and started designing lighting and glass panels before serving in the army from 1940-1944.  After the war, he returned to Melbourne and produced the first of his famous plywood shell Contour chairs. 

At the time, many designers internationally were experimenting in moulded plywood, however the market in Australia couldn’t support the investment in expensive moulds and machinery. In pursuit of creating a formed shell chair, Grant came up with the idea to create a curve by joining two pieces of plywood together after playing with a folded tram ticket in 1950. He patented the technique and released his iconic R152 Contour chair later that year

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“The essential fundamental of all design is human use.”

- Grant Featherston

He then opened up Featherston Contract Interiors furniture showroom in 1956. In 1957 he became chief design consultant to Aristoc Industries, a Melbourne based furniture manufacturer for 13 years.

Grant was a foundation member of the Society of Designers for Industry, the forerunner to the Design Institute of Australia.  His designs received many Good Design Awards and he is represented in the collections of National and State galleries and museums.

In collaboration with Grazia & Co, Gordon Mather Industries and Mary Featherston, the Featherston collection was officially relaunched in 2016. Made exclusively in Melbourne, Australia using many of the original moulds and techniques, a selection of the Featherston collection is now available through Gestalt New York

The Scape Lounge Chair, Female Version - Designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

The Scape Lounge Chair, Female Version - Designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

The Scape Lounge Chair, Male Version - Designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

The Scape Lounge Chair, Male Version - Designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

The Featherston TC67 Expo Talking Chair, designed by Grant and Mary Featherston for the Australia Pavillion at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

The Featherston TC67 Expo Talking Chair, designed by Grant and Mary Featherston for the Australia Pavillion at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

The Talking Chair is now updated to include Sonos speakers in the headrest

The Talking Chair is now updated to include Sonos speakers in the headrest

The Scape Dining Chair, designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

The Scape Dining Chair, designed by Grant Featherston c.1960

 
Adrian Pollack