Western Sydney University’s emerging student designers showcased in Maxton Fox collection of chairs

Maxton Fox and Western Sydney University are proud to launch their student designed chair collection.

The innovative designs – ‘Ada’(opens in a new window), ‘Sínte’(opens in a new window) and ‘Super Tree Stool’ (opens in a new window) by students Meg Dortmans, Harry Williams and Anthony Cham from the University’s School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment – were selected through a unique competition, and are set to pique interest among the architecture and design community.

Meg, who studies the Bachelor of Design and Technology, said her design was a tribute to her beloved grandma, who has always supported her creativity.

“I remember my Oma always in her green leather chair with wood detailing and I wished to incorporate those elements into my design,” said Meg.

“I was determined to create a chair that my family would be proud of. My dad especially loved that the chair was named after his mother, and it won the competition. It was a proud moment for our family.”

Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) student Harry said the competition was a formative experience for him and underscored his belief that effective design pays homage to its context, without concealing its origin or materials from the consumer.

“Transparency is a defining feature of the Sínte Chair, as reflected by the material choice of leather, timber and metal fittings – all of which are sourced from Australia,” explained Harry.

“My design has geometric qualities; it is careful to only interact with the user on curved planes. The two stretched leather panels and the curved armrests map the arms natural inclination to rest in a subtle inward slant.”

Anthony Cham, who studies the Bachelor of Design and Technology and is a Westpac Young Technologist Scholar, said his design was influenced by a past trip to Singapore where he visited the Super Tree Grove.

“Inspired by the tree-like features of the grove, I was able to produce a piece of furniture with a distinctive artistic form, striking a balance between nature and man-made design,” said Anthony.

“Having the opportunity to design for a leading producer like Maxton Fox has been a huge deal for me – I’ve had a chance to show what I can do and make myself proud.”

The winning designs were selected by a group of esteemed architects, interior designers, and Maxton Fox management for production and sale by Maxton Fox Australia.

As part of the competition, forty talented students submitted a 4:1 scale model, CAD drawings, and a pitch video of their chair as part of their entries in response to a brief.

Karen Yévenes, Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor in Industrial Design, said the program at Western Sydney University is committed to providing students with rich opportunities in work-integrated-learning.

“Our partnership with Maxton Fox has been a very rewarding experience for our talented young designers; students have applied their understanding of product semantics, sustainable materials, and lean manufacturing processes to create unique and functional products, as delineated by the client brief. We’re proud of the students’ achievements and in the collaboration with vibrant local industries such as Maxton Fox,” she added.

Dennis Hall, Founding Director of Maxton Fox, said: “As a family-run Australian manufacturing business based in Western Sydney that has been manufacturing furniture and joinery for over 50 years, we’re pleased to partner with Western Sydney University, to support the next generation of emerging designers.”

For more information on the student collection of chairs, visit the Maxton Fox web page (opens in a new window).


2 August 2021

Ali Sardyga, Senior Media Officer