Modern Queensland design

On 23 September, as part of the Night in the John Oxley Library series and in conjunction with the Hot Modernism exhibition, Robert Riddel and Eddie Codd joined Ian Townsend for a discussion on modern design in Queensland.

The night's discussions ranged from reminiscences of seminal design businesses West's Furniture and the Craftsman's Market, reflections on architectural practice in Brisbane and the future of design and manufacture in Australia.

As the exclusive Australian importer of Knoll furniture from 1953, West's was the place to go for cutting-edge pieces. Harry Seidler was a prominent and regular customer: a letter from him is reproduced in the State Library of Queensland exhibit "Modern Design meets Brisbane." Of interest is the fact that much of the furniture was manufactured in Brisbane under licence, often to a standard unsurpassed anywhere else in the world.

Craftsman's Market in Toowong, established by Joy De Gruchy in the 1960s, sold the latest fabrics and furnishings, featuring on-trend and colourful designs from labels such as Marimekko.

Eddie brought in three Harley Industries chairs that he designed over the years, one of which was designed for Robin Gibson's design of State Library of Queensland's auditorium in 1988. You can see more of Eddie's designs for Harley Industries in this collection: Acc 29550 Harley Industries Pty Ltd Catalouge.

If you weren't able to be there on the night, you can know listen to this sparkling and wide-ranging conversation below.




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