Monash industrial design students showcase at world-renowned fair

Two industrial design students from Monash Art Design and Architecture (MADA) have exhibited their Exo Light Series at the iconic furniture fair, Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano.

Rowan Turnham currently in Honours year, and Matthew Harding, who has now finished his Bachelor of Industrial Design, exhibited their light series at the fair in April. The fair is known as the global benchmark for the home furnishing sector and attracted more than 300,000 visitors.

Architecture and design at Monash University
Matthew Harding and Rowan Turnham

Rowan said exhibiting their Exo Light Series at the fair was remarkable experience, one that will help them to further their career in design and manufacturing.

“We didn’t know what to expect; it was our first time exhibiting overseas. Design in Europe was so much bigger than we thought. Meeting fellow designers from around the world was something you don’t get to do on a regular basis, especially when you’re from Australia.”

Rowan and Matthew created a prototype in their third-year materials and manufacturing class in 2013, and then approached Australia’s Rakumba Lighting who assisted in the refinement of the design and manufacturing process.

“Rakumba Lighting really refined our initial prototype, such as using a computer numerically controlled (CNC) jet stream of water with abrasive grains at the sheet of aluminum to smoothly cut the fixture’s multiple fins, instead of a laser cutter as we originally did,” Rowan said.

“It was important for us to think of the footprint of the product, which included the ability to flat pack it for shipping, as well as its assembly which we considered very carefully.

“Specially designed star-shaped joiners enable the fins to be snapped together. Using this process, fixtures can be produced quickly in multiple shapes and colours and then flat packed for shipping and delivery,” he said.

The Exo Series was designed to be reminiscent of engineered structures and uses light reflected from the fixture’s various surfaces and edges to create a distinctive look.

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