First up: Jon Goulder, Creative Director of the Furniture Studio at Adelaide's Jam Factory.
As a winner of a number of design awards yourself what excites you about the Australian Furniture Design Award (AFDA)?
To be acknowledged as a winner amongst your peers is the highest accolade for a designer. What makes this award stand out in the industry is not only the prize money but the opportunity for the winner to come to JamFactory and design a piece for commercial production to be distributed nationally by Stylecraft.
This award goes beyond offering prize money, how important is the residency and opportunity to manufacture for the winner?
The residency and manufacturing is a major value add to the award and the Australian design landscape. The winner will be recognised globally as they will be creating the next design in the Stylecraft stable together with the team at JamFactory, this gives the winner the opportunity to increase their profile. This award is unique, with most awards there is no continued momentum once a winner has been announced, with the AFDA once the lights go out the major component of the award kicks in.
How does this award contribute to the Australian design landscape?
AFDA was created on past experience and recognises the need in industry for such a process to foster local talent. Identifying Australian design talent through a competition process gives a very real opportunity to Australian designers - both emerging and established. Local design and manufacturing has been thriving over the last five years in Australia, this award supports the industry by providing the skills necessary to harvest talent and the network to distribute product.
What are you looking for first and foremost in the winner’s design?
The winner of this award will need to be innovative. The designer needs to find his/her own voice in a sea of similarity, and deliver an original concept.