Australian Modernist Seating – Part One

Hi All,

This is going to be a big post hence ‘part one’ A couple of weeks ago Jo and I went up to the Penrith Regional Gallery for the ‘Take A Seat’ exhibition. This was an exhibition of Australian Modernist Furniture from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. A style Jo and I are big fans of as it fits with our love of Scandinavian design.

Two years ago we were lucky to have an exhibition of Fred Wards furniture here in Canberra which really opened our eyes to the depth of furniture design in this post war period in Australia.

I will start with the exhibitions catalogue which talks about each designer and will save me repeating much information.


This is an example of early Australian flat pack furniture, pre Ikea. Actually you could possibly buy a chair like this from Ikea today as style never goes out of fashion.

What I like the most about this furniture, and I will bang on about it a bit in this series of posts, is how form does not follow function. How these designs are beautiful too look at, functional – great to sit in, and constructed to last with the joinery being part of the aesthetic in many cases.

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All parts numbered

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Screw holes pre drilled and mortices cut




The beauty of these designs was that it was furniture for the masses. After the shortages of the war the designers wanted good design to be affordable for everyone.



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