Australian furniture fair to unearth continent's hottest new designers

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The Independent Online

Opening February 2 at Sydney's Exhibition Centre, the Australia International Furniture Fair will - among many other exhibits and events - present the most promising local designers as part of The Edge, its respected young talent showcase.

More than 50 Australian designers have submitted their work to be considered in the eighth edition, and inspirations range from clover leaves and Thai tradition to Gaudi and Australia's gold fields.

Also, "lighting has emerged as a strong focus, with a diverse range of lamps, pendants and standing lights entered," the fair's organizers said in the run-up to the event. "From the sculptural Twist Light by Ashlyn Miso Park and the woven Wheft056 Pendant by James Hargraves to the feminine Laced Light by Peter Oag, designs promise to be imaginative."

Other highlights include stools inspired by teeth, a clock that seems to float, and an outdoor chair made of "bum warming" pebbles. Reclaimed timber and recycled cardboard are emerging as preferred sustainable materials.  

More established brands presenting their furniture in the main exhibition are also making use of reclaimed wood, such as Laidir, which will display its work alongside fellow Australian brands including made-to-measure label Papillon Furniture, Lounge Innovation, Urban Edge, or Monsoon Imports.

In addition, a seminar series featuring design experts from all over the world will help identify trends for the year to come.