Industrial Design graduate Joshua Flowers has burst on to the design scene with his Flower Chair – vibrant street furniture that cradles the body and 'activates' the environment.
Street Furniture Australia, a leading manufacturer, first noticed Flowers’ chair design at the 2013 Sense of Place competition, an annual collaboration with UNSW.
After winning the competition, Flowers, who insists the chair’s name is coincidental to his surname, was invited to take up an internship with the manufacturer during the final two years of his Industrial Design degree at UNSW Built Environment.
“I worked two days a week making Flower Chair prototypes and researching materials and manufacturing techniques," said the designer, who now works for Copenhagen-based firm Wahl & Ross designing medical products, consumer electronics and homewares.
“Street Furniture Australia were incredibly generous letting me work there as an intern and use their resources to prototype the chair. The design was developed through rigorous prototyping and research, skills that are core to any good design work,” Flowers said.
The chair was originally designed to be made from timber and recycled rubber, but the final design, which was launched at the annual Australian Institute of Landscape Architects festival in Canberra earlier this year, is made of a marine grade stainless steel and powder coated panels.
“I wanted to retain the flexibility of the original concept which aimed to embrace the seated person in the circular shape while allowing their body to move suspended by the ropes and panels,” said Flowers.
The designer hopes the Flower Chair, which is in production just one year after his graduation, will “activate” parks and residential estates with its original design and bright colours.
“It’s very humbling to have a company appreciate your work enough to want to invest in producing it,” he said.